Traveling with Jesus

He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two…  He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts…   (Mk. 6:8)

Recently I was behind a woman in the check-in line before a flight.  When she put her suitcase on the scale the attendant said, “You’ll either need to lighten your suitcase, or you’ll need to pay a penalty.”

The woman responded by opening her suitcase with the intent of finding some more clothes to put on.  This process became both laborious and embarrassing.

Watching this woman sort through her luggage, I slightly changed the attendant’s words:  Either we need to lighten the load, or we’ll need to pay the penalty.  Those words are true with the airline industry and with life.

When Jesus sent out the disciples, He ordered them to travel light.  Jesus gave this order because He wanted them to trust He’d provide for them.  He also gave it because He didn’t want them to be burdened with things they didn’t need.

Some airlines advertise, “Bags Fly Free.” Although this is true when you fly with those companies, this isn’t true with life.  Some of the things we carry around aren’t free; indeed, some are very costly.

What do we need to unpack and to pack? We need to unpack shame, fear, blame, envy, and resentment because they cost us our peace, joy and serenity.  When we unpack these articles, we’ll have more room to pack the things Jesus wants us to have—mercy, grace, and love.

When Jesus says, “Follow me,” He’s inviting us to take a trip with Him.  I encourage us all to look at the baggage we are carrying around. Are there some things we need to unpack because they weigh us down?  And, are there some things we need to pack in order to travel with Him?

Unlike the scene I described at the airport, our unpacking and packing to travel with Jesus doesn’t need to be either laborious or embarrassing.   It need not be laborious because Jesus will help us with whatever we need to discard.  And it need not be embarrassing because Jesus already knows all and forgives all.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Do you need all the baggage you are carrying around? Does some of it weigh you down and have enormous cost? If so, what would be helpful for you to discard?
  1. If you are going to travel with Jesus, are there some things you need for Him to provide for the journey? If so, what are they?
  1. The Christian life is about following Jesus. On that journey, what do you believe Jesus wants you to see and do and experience and become?

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