Focal passage: Mark 6:7-13, 30-32
George Liele, an African-American missionary, is known for sending and being sent to share the gospel with those who had never heard the Good News.
Originally from Virginia, the freed slave and his family made their way to Georgia, where he started two churches in Yamacraw and Savannah.
Eventually, he was forced to leave for Jamaica, but he turned the unfortunate scenario into a missions opportunity.
The Baptist Quarterly noted in 1964 that due to Liele’s efforts, his converts were sent to Sierra Leone, other parts of Jamaica, Nova Scotia and even back to Georgia.
In Mark 6:7, Jesus sent out 12 disciples. The following verses reveal they were to have both a sense of readiness and faith in God’s providence, not unlike what the Israelites experienced on their journey to the promised land.
The missionary task is strenuous and difficult, but it can be described as a new exodus, one whose purpose is to carry the gospel into uncharted territory.
Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, said in his book 10 Who Changed the World, that Liele “raised up courageous servants of the Lord to lead His people into their Promised Land of freedom.”
The description of John the Baptist’s fate indicates what may lie ahead for faithful Christians bearing witness in the public sphere.
Likewise, Liele was wrongfully imprisoned on multiple occasions.
He experienced several instances of persecution both within the American colonies and the British colony of Jamaica.
The act of shaking off the dust in verse 11 brought a sense of judgment upon the towns that would not hear the gospel. The return of Christ is paired with the idea of rest in Mark 6:31, calling believers to be diligent but spiritually focused as they await His return.
Are you ready for Christ’s return? Will you commit to making disciples among all the nations, despite whatever hardships and trials may come?