Authority To Cast Out Unclean Spirits
6th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Archbishop Loren Thomas Hines
July 11, 2021
Readings: Amos 7: 7-15
Ephesians 1: 1-14
Mark 6: 7-13
Christ speaks to us each week. He gives us instructions on how to live our lives. The challenge is for us to really follow Him beyond just listening to Him. We need to follow His instructions. It is more than just information because His words are life. He started his ministry at age 30, He was showing us an image of humility. He didn’t just go out and start ministering to people without training.
He calls His 12 apostles and draws them to Himself. These men have been with Him. They were trained by Him. They listened to His teachings, ate with Him, slept together as a group. He sends them to preach the Gospel and to heal the sick, to do what He has done. Up until this time, they had not really been going out on their own yet. It was always Jesus doing the work. But Jesus told them, “I am giving you authority over all unclean spirits. It says in Mark 3:14-15 “And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, and to have authority to cast out the demons.”
Each time He teaches the Apostles, He is actually teaching us. We have a purpose in this life. It is not for us to struggle in life because we have been empowered to bring His Kingdom into a reality. Preach that the Kingdom is at hand. Why do we say the kingdom is at hand? It is because at this time he’d not gone to the cross yet. It is our responsibility to live out the Gospel. We should not just sit in church and listen. God wants us to be doers of the Word. He’s given us gifts and the power to accomplish our responsibilities.
He sent out His Apostles in twos. He was showing us that there is power in two. That there is power in unity. One can lift up the other when needed. One can strengthen the other when he is weak. Each can correct and help one another when necessary. He was also instilling in them that they had the authority over unclean spirits. That they must be humble and not arrogant. He instructed them not to bring anything but a staff. They were not to bring any bag, bread, money or extra tunic. Just their undergarment and a pair of sandals. During their time, the staple wear was an undergarment which is like a big bag with holes on the sides for both arms and another hole cut around the neck for the head. There is a cloak, 7 feet across that was used as an “outerwear” and which can serve as a blanket when they are asleep. There is a piece of cloth that is tied around the waist, as a girdle but which functions as a provision where one can put his money. So they were not to bring with them any of these extra pieces of clothing items except the undergarment they had on. He was wanting them to trust in Him. When they got to the village, they were told to stay in a house that welcomed them until it was time for them to leave. If there were those that rejected them, they were to leave and dust off their sandals.
Jesus was setting a pattern and showing us that He is the source of everything. Our confidence should be in Him. He gave them authority over all unclean spirits. They were given the power to heal the sick. Using oil, they were to mark those who are sick on their foreheads, and they would be healed. They had to have the faith that what Christ has said, so shall a thing be done. It says that they were casting out many demons. This tells us that much of the negative things that happen to us is due to evil forces. But God will not put us to shame. He will fulfill what he has promised. Normally, they would have money bags when they go out, but in this case, the Lord told them not to collect any gold. He was training them to have faith. He is telling us that when we find ourselves in unfavorable circumstances, we are not to get upset but rather to put out trust in Him. These lessons are for us to learn. Ephesians 1: 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
When we feel weak, he is our strength. When we go to trial, we do not even have to plan what we are going to say because the Holy Spirit will speak through us. “The things that I have done, you shall do also.” God will not fail us. When the disciples were sent out, they were given oil to anoint the sick. The sign of the cross marked on our foreheads are symbols of the anointing.
God will do the work for us if only we put our trust in Him. We should let God be God. He said He would come back for a glorious church, not a failing church. We have a blessed life because of Him.
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