Jesus is a master teacher. One day in the future, these disciples Jesus had chosen will lead the church without His physical presence. Jesus, of course, promised them authority through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) when that day comes and the Church Age begins. For now, however, these men needed practice, so Jesus sent them out to 1) proclaim the kingdom of God, and 2) perform miraculous signs of healing sickness and exorcising demons.
Jesus bestowed on the apostles power and authority. This accomplished a two-fold purpose—validating Jesus’ power and authority, as well as empowering the future leaders of the Church. It worked! It worked so well that Herod caught wind and was amazed, thinking John the Baptist was back from the dead.
This passage raises two points. First, if you want to elevate leaders, give them something to do. Parents, teachers, disciplers, leaders, etc. all want to raise up future leaders. The problem is that they often don’t provide a real opportunity to learn. Too often we shield our pupils from failure and never let them actually experience the ups and downs of leadership. Look closely at verse 10, “When the apostles returned, they gave an account to Him of all that they had done. Taking them with Him, He withdrew by Himself to a city called Bethsaida.” The experience was not enough, the apostles needed encouragement and correction to prepare for a greater responsibility the next time. You can bet that after this experience the apostles had a greater trust in God’s provision and boldness in approaching people.
Second, Jesus’ authority is shared to expand His Kingdom. The apostles were the recipients of power and authority in a unique way (if you want more information about that, check out this article . But remember that they did not yet have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, that came in Acts chapter 2. Through the Holy Spirit all believers possess a level of power through which we are called to expand God’s Kingdom. And as Spiderman’s Uncle Ben said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate