Courage Under Authority

A reading for Tuesday, January 26, 2016: Mark 6:6b-12.

Where does our courage as disciples of Jesus Christ come from? Is it mere bravery, a gifting of the Spirit? Is it out of a confidence of faith, again given to those who are most faithful? Perhaps courage is even a denial of danger, a so-called "whistling in the dark" when evil is lurking?

Or perhaps true courage comes to those that are like the twelve in Mark 6. Those that are called and sent by Jesus. Not because they are most faithful, but because Jesus has chosen them. The ones that are instructed not to take anything on the journey to sustain themselves. The disciples that are commanded to rely on the hospitality of others, and the presence of Christ that goes with them. They do not go alone. They go with authority...

In the ancient world, travelers on behalf of a king would carry the king's seal or some other instrument that proved to anyone they encountered that they were under the authority of the king. No harm would come to them, not just because they had courage, but because the accompaniment of the king protected them.

This is how we travel too. We are called and sent, under the authority of Jesus Christ just like the early twelve. Therefore, we have courage because Jesus Christ accompanies us on the journey. No harm will come to us while we travel under his seal.

Our courage comes not from ourselves, but from the authority of Jesus Christ.


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