Intro: No matter what event I go to or attend, I am inclined to look for the circulating leader and how the rest of his or her team is working. I’m sure that is because for the better part of my life I have served as a leader of people and events. It is so important for every person to know not only the overall vision or plan, but the leader must also communicate the part each person will play and make sure he or she will be willing to perform the instructed task knowing every part matters to the success of the event. A leader should always be there for his or her team and willing to make the greatest sacrifice if necessary.
In our passage today, Jesus is the Leader Extraordinaire! He has chosen his twelve team members and has communicated the vision or plan. The disciples do not need to guess about what they are to do, because Jesus has instructed them well. They are to go to the Jews in various areas and tell them the Messiah is near; Jesus is talking about a spiritual Kingdom. Notice the message is for the Jews first—the lost sheep; the Jews are the ones waiting for their Messiah and he has come (Ro 1:16).
The disciples are to heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons (Mat 10:8). In the midst of sharing the message, Jesus tells the disciples they will need to pick up their individual crosses—deny themselves and anyone or anything that would hinder them—and follow Jesus, because he will be there for them. They are not to be surprised by opposition to the gospel. This experience will prepare the disciples to be passionate witnesses of the power and provision of Christ the Messiah. Christ prepares the disciples about making connections with other believers…even strangers. We must always remember Jesus provides for what we lack, so that we can proclaim blessings when his grace [divine favor] is manifest for our needs.
Jesus speaks to the hearts of people every day. We can certainly talk about the Savior with other Christians and be a blessing, but just remember unbelievers are also listening to what is said in public. The disciples were sent to give the message to the Jews, but when the non-Jews heard about the Messiah, they were also ready to receive the Good News. When it is clear a person wants to talk about the Lord, then bless him or her with your witness.
Matthew 10:5-15 NLT
5 Jesus sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, 6 but only to the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep. 7 Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near [coming soon]. 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!
9 “Don’t take any money in your money belts—no gold, silver, or even copper coins. 10 Don’t carry a traveler’s bag with a change of clothes and sandals or even a walking stick. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve to be fed.
11 “Whenever you enter a city or village, search for a worthy person and stay in his home until you leave town. 12 When you enter the home, give it your blessing. 13 If it turns out to be a worthy home, let your blessing stand; if it is not, take back the blessing. 14 If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave. 15 I tell you the truth, the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah will be better off than such a town on the judgment day.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for instructing us well. As your disciples, we know what we need to be and do in the Spirit. Open windows of opportunities for us to witness to others who so desperately need you and may not know you passionately want a relationship with them! In Jesus’ name. Amen.