And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;Mark 6:7
Jesus’ twelve disciples were sent out in six pairs. Would it not have been easier and covered more territory if each of the twelve went alone? Why did Jesus do this?
The simple answer is – that is how humans are designed to function best. God has fellowship in Himself with the part Godhead. We are made in the image of God. Therefore, we are designed to function better with another person with us.
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.Genesis 2:18
This fellowship between brothers has at least two crucial roles. One, the two men can serve to encourage one another when things get difficult. And two, the men can also serve as accountability partners for one another.
Matthew records the six pairs of preachers:
Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.Matthew 10:2-4
We have studied about these twelve men in previous articles so I won’t go into details about them here. (You can review these articles starting with Peter by clicking here and then “Next” at the bottom of each article.) However, I must admit that the first time I looked at these partnerships, I said “Poor Simon the Canaanite.” He got stuck with Judas Iscariot who was covetous of money and betrayed the Lord!
I felt sorry for the guy until someone pointed out to me this simple fact: Jesus is God and He knew Judas was going to betray Him. Therefore, Jesus knew that Simon could handle it! What comfort to know that Jesus trusted Simon to continue being the Zealot (Canaanite) that he was and not be influenced by Judas Iscariot.
When we seek to do the Lord’s will and help or teach others, it is a good practice to have a fellow disciple alongside. This is the way the Lord designed us. This is what Jesus showed us by example. And who knows, if the going is tough, it may be the Lord showing you that He trusts you handle the difficulties of the work!