Travelling light

The Sending Of The Twelve, by Duccio de Buoninsegna

The Sending Of The Twelve, by Duccio de Buoninsegna

Jesus spent a considerable time travelling around preaching, as we are told in Mark 6: 6-16 and other gospels. There came a time when he sent out his disciples, in pairs, to spread the gospel further. He instructs them to take nothing with them. His directions are quite specific, that each one take, no food, no money, no spare clothes, only the clothes each of them stands up in.

At that time, it was quite usual for travellers to rely on the hospitality of people, in the places they visited. Today I think a very different reaction might be forthcoming, particularly in western society. It is improbable that such seeming vagabonds, with no apparent possessions or means of support, would find a welcome, certainly not in anyones home, as they might have back in Jesus’ time.

No hotel would take them, that is for sure, without a credit card. They might be looked on in a similar manner to gypsies or new age travellers; a blight on civilised society. They would likely end up sleeping rough in shop doorways or cardboard cities, amongst the homeless. Even here they would not be welcomed, merely tolerated by those in similar situations. If they were very lucky, they might get something from local charity’s night soup-run and an occasional bed in a hostel for the homeless.

The ‘civilised’ people would largely try to ignore them, generally looking on them as a nuisance. If the modern day disciples tried to speak with anyone, to spread the gospel, in a shabby unkempt state after travelling, they would probably be lucky if they were merely ignored and not insulted, abused or possibly even arrested, for vagrancy.

Their credibility in the twenty first century, without money or possessions would be so low as to be virtually worthless. At best they might be thought of as eccentric. At worst, sectioned and locked up. This might be a cynical opinion but perhaps not so far from reality?





2 thoughts on “Vagabonds.

  1. Pingback: Vagabonds: Another Look. | Entertaining Angels

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