By Dale Roach
- Why did Jesus Christ send out his disciples two by two?
The Gospel writter Mark gives evidence that Jesus Christ designed the ministry of his disciples to be a team effort.
“Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.” ~ Mark 6:6-7
Luke also records that Jesus Christ even sent a large group of seventy-two of his followers out by twos.
“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.” ~ Luke 10:1
Why did Christ do this?
Was there a reason?
What was his plan?
Here are four strategies of Jesus Christ to consider.
- Training People Two at a Time Is Powerful
Jesus sent out his disciples out by twos as a training exercise.
His purpose in sending them out together was for spreading the Good News and growing the Kingdom of God. This teamwork approach shows that people can encourage and empower those they walk with.
It is obvious that Jesus used the power of influence, encouragement, and mutual learning to train his disciples.
Jesus also gave his disciples authority over demons, as well as the power to heal the sick. Luke tells about this action of Jesus,
“One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money,or even a change of clothes. Wherever you go, stay in the same house until you leave town. And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.” So they began their circuit of the villages, preaching the Good News and healing the sick.” (Luke 9:1-5)
- The Witness of Two People Is Trustworthy
Two people provide a valid witness.
Why is the witness of more than one person important?
The Old Testament book of Deuteronomy supports the principles of multiple wintesses.
“A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established.” ~ Deuteronomy 19:15 ESV
Instead of just sending out one person, Jesus created a support system by sending out two disciples together.
He said, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20)
- Working Together by Twos Multiplies Strength
Jesus gave the disciples authority when they worked together.
“Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.” (Mark 6:7)
Jesus’ teaching and training is also supported by Ecclesiastes:
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
- Supporting Each Other By Twos Is Rewarding
Jesus showed that sending the disciples out by twos help them to support one another in the things they witnessed and the observation of many miracles.
The reason that many congregations and churches are failing today is that they are not following what Jesus did.
If a fellowship is going to be strong, it must follow the actions of Jesus.
Developing the skills of people to support one another and work together is necessary for success.
In the recruitment of his first four disciples he focused on what the fishermen (Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John) knew best. He said, ““Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” (Matthew 4:19)
A powerful story about supporting one another can be found in the Old Testament book of Exodus.
The Israelites were in a battle with Amalek. Moses was commanded by God to stand on the mountainside and hold his hands upward toward heaven. As long as he did this, the battle was being won. However, when he became weary and his arms dropped the Israelites would began to lose. Exodus chapter 17 tells how important it is to have to support you.
“The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”
So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.” (ExoRoach
How is your church doing?
Is your fellowship growing its ministry by twos?
Do you believe this practice can still work today?