“Christian work ought to be healing work.”
–Jessica Coblentz, theologian and writer.
Jesus sends the disciples on their healing mission virtually, if not quite literally, empty-handed: Take only a walking stick, a pair of sandals, and the shirt on your back.
How unprepared they must have felt, how powerless in the face of suffering. Yet how successful they were. It was, as they say, as easy as one, two, three: “They drove out demons...anointed the sick...and cured them.” One...two...three.
Perhaps it was their simplicity and vulnerability that enabled their healing ministry. In simplicity there is clarity of purpose. In vulnerability there is compassion. No special gifts are required. Name the suffering and soothe the wound; drive out demons and heal the sick. Jesus’ words suggest that the only obstacle is hesitation. We must move now—shaking the dust from our feet—for the demonized are many and the suffering await our arrival.