October 10th, 2006
Jesus’s instructions to his disciples when he first sent them out to do his work don’t seem very attractive. They weren’t to take any money or spare clothes with them. They were to rely on the hospitality of people they visited. There was no promise of a pleasant reception, but there was a promise that the followers of Jesus would be persecuted, put on trial, and betrayed. These events would provide them with opportunities to be witnesses for Jesus. It seems like a pretty strange way of spreading a message known as the “good news”. What do you think?
Matthew’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 10
10:1 Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority to cast out unclean spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. 10:2 The names of the twelve apostles were: first Simon who is called Peter, Andrew his brother, James the son of Zebedee, John his brother, 10:3 Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew the tax collector, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, 10:4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.
10:5 Jesus sent these twelve out and instructed them, “Don’t go to the Gentiles or any Samaritan town. 10:6 Instead, go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 10:7 As you go proclaim, ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!’ 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse people suffering from leprosy, and cast out demons. Give freely just as you have received freely. 10:9 Don’t take any gold, silver or brass in your belts, 10:10 or a bag for your journey, or a spare coat or shoes, or a walking stick, because the worker deserves to be fed. 10:11 Whenever you come to a town or village, find someone who is worthy, and stay at that person’s house until you go on. 10:12 As you enter the home, bless it. 10:13 If the home is worthy, let your peace come on it, but if it isn’t worthy, let your peace return to you. 10:14 If someone won’t receive you or hear your words, shake the dust off from your feet as you go out of that house or town. 10:15 I can guarantee that the land of Sodom and Gomorrah will be better off than that town on the day of judgment.
10:16 “I’m sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be wise like serpents but harmless like doves. 10:17 Be careful of people: they will hand you over to councils and they will beat you up in their synagogues. 10:18 You will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, so you can witness to them and to the nations. 10:19 When they hand you over don’t be anxious about what you will say or how. You will be given the right words to say when the time comes. 10:20 It won’t be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
10:21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rise up against parents, and cause them to be killed. 10:22 You will be hated by all people because of me, but anyone who endures to the end will be saved. 10:23 When they persecute you in one town, escape to the next; I can guarantee that you won’t have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
10:24 “A student is not better than a teacher; and a servant is not better than a master. 10:25 It is sufficient for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the servant like the master. If the master of the house is called the prince of demons, how much more will it happen to the members of his household! 10:26 Don’t be afraid of them, because nothing covered will not be uncovered, and nothing hidden will not be made public. 10:27 What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light, and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim on the housetops. 10:28 Don’t fear those who kill the body but can’t kill the soul. Instead, fear the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
10:29 “Aren’t two sparrows sold for five cents? Not one of them falls on the ground if your Father doesn’t let it, 10:30 and every hair on your head is counted. 10:31 So don’t be afraid. You are more valuable than many sparrows. 10:32 Whoever stands up for me in front of other people, I will stand up for before my Father in heaven. 10:33 But whoever denies me to other people, I will deny before my Father in heaven.
10:34 “Don’t think that I came to bring peace on the earth. I have brought a sword in place of peace. 10:35 I came to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 10:36 A person’s own household will be enemies. 10:37 People are not worthy of me if they love a father or mother more than me, or if they love a son or daughter more than me, 10:38 or if they don’t take up their cross and follow after me. 10:39 Those who cling to their life will lose it; and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 10:40 Someone who receives you receives me, and someone who receives me receives him who sent me. 10:41 Someone who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. Someone who receives a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 10:42 I guarantee that whoever gives one of the least of my followers just a cup of cold water to drink will not miss out on a reward.”
Entry Filed under: Courage