"Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet ..." (Luke 10:4)

"Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road." (Luke 10:4)

Why can't they take a purse, bag or sandals or greet someone?

Why is Jesus suggesting that his 72 disciples (Luke 10:1) go out and preach without a purse, bag or even sandals?

In other words, he wanted them to go traveling to these various towns (two each) without money ("purse"), belongings ("bag") or even shoes: Barefoot, with no money or possessions. Why?

Jesus was teaching them to be solely dependent upon the Supreme Being.

Passing on Jesus' teachings while being completely dependent upon the Supreme Being for food, shelter and protection allowed them to be in the position Jesus wanted from them - to represent the Supreme Being as they were taking refuge in God.

It is not that going barefoot or not having money makes a person take refuge in God or represent God - as this is cheap imitation. Rather, Jesus was instructing his students to set an example at a particular time and circumstance.

During that time, Temple priests were paid per diem salaries and lived well at the expense of the Temple - and those who made offerings. Jesus wanted to show that the Truth is not a business deal. It is offered by God and His true representatives without obligation or cost.

Is this done today?

Yes, there are some who still teach in this manner: Humbly, without the expectation of respect or honor.

But some of today's institutions who claim to represent Jesus do completely the opposite: They take advantage of Jesus. They profit from their proclamations and preaching. The reverends, priests, cardinals, and popes are well-paid and housed in extravagant quarters.

They don't need to rely upon the Supreme Being because they earn salaries. And they wear extravagant robes, hats, and comfortable shoes, all paid for by the poor people who attend their churches.

These institutions claim to represent Jesus, but they are basically businesses. They employ their preachers just as a business employs salespeople - in order to market their business and bring in the income. They might claim their purpose is spreading Jesus' teachings, but they don't spread his teachings. They spread a false promise that all we have to do is join their church and accept that Jesus died for our sins and their members are saved.

And if one doesn't join their sect, they say that person will go to hell. On top of this threat, they promise that Jesus will heal all our diseases and make us rich or even help our football teams win - or whatever else we want. Wow. What a great deal. And all they need to do is join the sect and claim they are saved?

Is this proposition real?

As a business, this would be a perfect strategy for getting customers. Imagine a business telling its customers that if they come to the store and drop money into the collection box, and just say "the CEO saves" then all their problems will go away. They will be healed, they will be wealthy and they won't have to go to hell now.

Such a business will certainly get lots and lots of customers, and won't have to sell anything - except of course their false proposition.

But eventually, such a business will be identified as a scam.

Like scams, these institutions that claim to represent Jesus promise all this, yet little is delivered. They promise that accepting that 'Jesus died for my sins' will erase one's consequences. But this is a falsehood.

If it were true, why have so many people who attended these churches gone to jail for committing a crime? If their sins were cleansed by Jesus' crucifixion why would they still have to suffer the consequences for them?

Even some Catholic priests have gone to jail for their crimes of child molestation. If Jesus' persecution on the cross saved them from the responsibility of their sins, then why did they go to jail? Why do they have to pay for their sins with jail time if Jesus saved them from their sins?

And why, if Jesus heals everyone that goes to these institutions, are there so many sicknesses among their members? Why do some of their members die from cancer or heart disease and other illnesses like everyone else? Isn't Jesus supposed to heal them as promised by their teachers?

And if Jesus helps win football games, why does every football game have a loser even though both teams prayed to Jesus to help their team win?

Because these are not Jesus' teachings. These are attempts to use Jesus. They are attempts to take advantage of Jesus' ability to heal others, or otherwise, perform miracles - by those who want to profit from Jesus' teachings.

Just consider Jesus' clear teaching on this topic:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’" (Matt. 7:21-23)
Jesus follows this clearly by stating:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock." (Matt. 7:24)

How are Jesus' words put into practice?

Jesus is separating this idea of using Jesus to heal or perform miracles from following his teachings: "who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice."

He also separates those who aim to use Jesus to save themselves from their sins from those who serve God: "Only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven" will be returning to the spiritual realm - "enter the kingdom of heaven."

He is also separating this from doing a quid-pro-quo with God: Doing service in order to get something in return.

This also means that using Jesus' dying on the cross in order to get our sins cleansed is not Jesus' teaching.

The phrase, "will enter the kingdom of heaven" is clearly describing being saved. A person who is saved enters the kingdom of heaven. And thus Jesus is stating that "only" - yes "only" - "the one who does the will of my Father" will be saved.

Doing someone else's will out of volition means serving them. It means doing what pleases them.

Asking to be "saved" by Jesus' "dying" on the cross, or having our diseases healed by proclaiming Jesus or asking Jesus to help us get rich or win football games is quite the opposite of Jesus' teachings: These are wanting Jesus to do what pleases me.

Our will is to be saved. Our will is to be healed. Our will is to win the football game or be the boss or be famous or whatever. If it is my will - it is all about me. What pleases me. These institutions are teaching us to want God and Jesus to do what pleases me. In other words, they don't teach us what Jesus taught - that the goal is to love and serve the Supreme Being. Their teaching is to ask God and Jesus to serve me.

This is the opposite of Jesus' teachings. Jesus wanted his students to learn to serve and please the Supreme Being with their lives. And he wanted them to focus on that service.

This is why he also told them "do not greet anyone on the road."

He wanted each team of two to enter the village and begin preaching. He didn't want them to get sidetracked while on the way. Who knows who they will meet on the road. Even if they were to stop and preach, they would be taking time away from what Jesus wanted them to do: To preach to a crowd of people within the village. There they could properly lay out the precepts of Jesus' teachings, and allow multiple people to learn those teachings at once.

And what was Jesus' most important teaching?
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'" (Luke 10:27)