Jesus sends the twelve apostles out to preach in the towns and villages. What do they have to say to the people? At this stage of Jesus’ ministry, his death and resurrection, and many of his great miracles, are still in the future. But the apostles can speak of their own encounter with Jesus. They can recount how he has changed their lives. The Twelve preach repentance – a change of heart that leads to the forgiveness of sins. They bring healing to the sick. Their preaching presents the people with a choice: those who reject the Good News are challenged by the prophetic gesture of the apostles shaking off the dust of the place from their feet.
Jesus tells his missionaries to travel light, without money, food or spare clothing, relying on the hospitality of strangers. If we can speak with conviction about how Jesus has touched our lives, then we don’t need to carry a lot of baggage. Our witness is enough.