When Jesus had called the Twelve together, He gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey — no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” Luke 9:1-5
“For this reason very fitly He bade them take nothing with them, wishing them both to be free from all worldly care, and so entirely exempt from the labours that worldly things occasion, as even to pay no regard to their necessary and indispensable food. But manifestly One who bids them abstain even from things such as these, entirely cuts away the love of riches and the desire of gain. For their glory, He said, and, so to speak, their crown, is to possess nothing. And He withdraws them even from such things as are necessary for their use, by the command to carry nothing whatsoever, neither staff, nor scrip, nor bread, nor money, nor two coats.
Observe, therefore, as I said, that He withdraws them from vain distractions, and anxiety about the body, and bids them have no cares about food, repeating to them, as it were, that passage in the Psalm: “Cast thy care upon the Lord, and He shall feed thee.” For true also is that which Christ said: “Ye are not able to serve God and Mammon.” And again; “For where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also.”
That they may lead, therefore, a consistent and simple life, and, being free from vain and superfluous anxiety, may devote themselves entirely to the duty of proclaiming His mystery, and labour without ceasing in publishing to men everywhere the tidings of salvation, He commands them to be indifferent both as regards clothing and food. And to the same effect the Saviour elsewhere spake: “For let your loins, He says, be girt, and your lights burning.” But by their loins being girt, He means the readiness of the mind for every good work: and by their lights burning, that their heart be filled with divine light.”
Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) in Commentary on St. Luke, Sermon XLVII (From the Syriac. MS.12,154) 203-204.
Our Lord commands the disciples to take nothing for the journey to teach them to learn to trust Him to supply. What about you? Have you allowed him to cut away the love of riches and the desire of gain from your heart?
The journey of life is too short to fill your heart with “vain and superfluous anxiety” on the way. This will steal our joy and surely limit our generosity. How about casting all your cares on the LORD to prepare your heart to celebrate Christmas?
Cyril rightly connects the dots in Scripture to remind us of the reason we are to live this way. We are lights intended to shine. This means we do not just point the way to life but we also show people how to live. We must do this with peace, kindness, and love.
I have had many interesting conversations with Christians and Muslims on this trip to Egypt, and while I have many thoughts, one things is clear to me. When disciples of Jesus live a consistent and simple life, free of anxiety and rich with generosity, they are bright and radiant witness.Read more