Each day’s challenge is the end goal. In addition to severing the disciples from regular income, regular work for support, dependence on those to whom they minister for bread, drink, shelter and clothing, the Lord adds to their burden the heavy responsibility to “take no thought for the morrow.” For them their ministry is to be moment to moment. No planning and rehearsals. No staging and frantic preparation. No three-year budgets. Only now. Forever only now.
Is it to keep them humble?
Is it to prevent pride and arrogance?
Is it to require they remain in constant direct touch with at least some of those over whom they minister?
Is it to keep them keenly aware of the necessity of relying on Him?
If they cannot plan for more than the day’s events, how can they plan a busy travel schedule to take them all over the world? Is that somehow built in already to the “sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof?”
What kind of life would this create for His disciples chosen to minister to others? Would they ever be able to minister to more than just a few at a time under this system? If they are limited to serving only a few at a time, then how would an entire church receive benefit from this kind of spontaneous ministry? What kind of changes would that make in how a church is run and organized?
Just how impractical do we think this manner of organizing would be in a multi-national, multi-lingual, 13 million member church? If it is impractical, should the Lord’s teachings be revised or should we change our way of thinking about His church and system?
If this were to be implemented, how would you go about organizing it? Would you divide the world into twelfths? Within that division, would you expect the disciple assigned to “drop in” to stake conferences and ward meetings unannounced? Would that prevent central planning and budgeting by the chief disciples? Would it force the Presiding Bishop’s office to take concerns for all temporal concerns and budgets? Why would letting an Aaronic Priesthood office be concerned with temporal affairs and freeing up Melchizedek Priesthood for spiritual concerns be an unwelcome change?
Would this fundamentally transform the role of leadership? How? Would it be chaos, or would it be an improvement? Why?
Just how dumb an idea is this that Christ is teaching to the chosen twelve? If not dumb, then it is at least of limited practicality when growth in numbers and locations makes it burdensome? Was Christ’s teaching here short-sighted? Did He fail to make provisions for the modern church, with its global spread and cross-language needs and budgets?
When the Book of Mormon was restored, this sermon was restored to us. When restored, it clarified how this portion of the sermon was addressed to the presiding twelve disciples. Was there a Divine purpose or message behind it? Should it be considered as meaningful to us today? Christ lived an interesting life. He more or less followed this counsel, though in truth He understood and fulfilled the prophecies concerning Himself. Yet, throughout it all, He also seemed to surrender control to the Father in everything. (See, e.g., Mark 13: 32.) He commented on how spontaneous a life He lived, and how unpredictable things were when following the Spirit. (John 3: 6-8.)