This text is used for the Lectionary Year B on July 19, 2015.
These two sets of verses in Mark present summarized statements about the ministry of Jesus and his disciples. Verse 30 sums up the disciples’ ministry activity and calls for a reader to recall an earlier commissioning of the disciples in Mark 6:7-13. In these earlier verses, the disciples are sent into villages to proclaim the message of repentance (v. 12). This message imitates the core of their teacher’s proclamation also, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near, repent, and believe in the good news” (1:14). Not only did they testify to the good news, they also healed and performed exorcisms. For this reason, only here in the Gospel does Mark use the title apostles for the disciples. They demonstrated both in word and deeds that they were sent out and empowered, as representatives of their teacher, with the message of the kingdom.