He sent the apostles out to tell about God’s kingdom and to heal the sick. He said to them, “Take nothing for your trip, neither a walking stick, bag, bread, money, or extra clothes. [Luke 9:2-3 (NCV)]

giant swallowtaiil butterflyTake only what I’ve got on my back and the one pair of sandals on my feet? You’ve got to be kidding! Obviously, Jesus hasn’t looked in my suitcase! We’re taking the grands through the Tetons and Yellowstone and I need hikers, sneakers, and Tevas along with my sandals! In addition, I need my backpack, water bottles, hiking poles, shorts, hiking pants, jeans, tops, swim suit, jacket, fleece, cap, undies, toiletries, and assorted other essentials (like phone and iPad). While attempting to cram everything I want into my bags, I pondered this verse: take nothing. At least we have hotel reservations for our entire journey; the disciples didn’t even have that. They were expected to depend on the good will and hospitality of the towns they visited.

Would I have taken nothing with me or would I have squirreled away a little money in my robe’s pocket “just in case”? Would I have had enough faith that God would provide everything I needed or would I have worried about my next meal or finding a place to rest my head at night? We know the end of the story: Jesus died and rose again. He truly was the son of God—the promised Messiah—God in flesh. The disciples, however, weren’t yet Easter people; they were followers of an itinerant rabbi from Nazareth. Nevertheless, they followed his command; their faith in Him was that strong!

Thank you, Jesus, for the faith of those who went before us. Forgive us, Lord, for our lack of faith and for our deep attachment to the things of this world. We know that if we truly rely on your power, you will, indeed, provide everything we need. Help us surrender our lives and future to you, confident in your provision and love.

Then Jesus said to the apostles, “When I sent you out without a purse, a bag, or sandals, did you need anything?” They said, “No.” [Luke 22:35 (NCV)]

Don’t worry and say, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” The people who don’t know God keep trying to get these things, and your Father in heaven knows you need them. Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well. [Matthew 6:31-33 (NCV)]

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