1 He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
Have you received something freely? Undeserved?
Last time, Jesus saw the crowd and had compassion on them. He looked outside and said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”
Few = almost none
“Ask the Lord of the Harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Jesus is the same then and now, so he also has compassion today on man, sinners, the lost. It is the dream/hope of Jesus Christ that every single Christian = a missionary/reaper. Why? Because there is somebody that every one of us must bring to God.
He asks us to see what he saw, do what he’s done, feel what he’s felt.
- Matthew 10: The Missionary Chapter
- The King’s Ambassador’s Chapter
- 1 Cor 13 = Love
- 1 Cor 15 = Resurrection
- Hebrews 11 = Faith
- Matthew 10 = Missionary
- Who is the Lord/King of the missionaries?
- Who are the missionaries?
- Where is their mission field?
- What is the main target?
- What is the main message?
- What are the main tasks?
1: Who is the Lord of the missionary?
This is the Missionary chapter. The key subject = HE (Jesus Christ). The Lord = Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, the Lord of Salvation.
v. 1 = “HE…”
The work of salvation can only be accomplished by Jesus Christ, but the witness of salvation can only be accomplished by his workers. That’s why Jesus needs (needs) these messengers.
In Isaiah, the prophet was before the throne of God in his vision, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty.” God said, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us? (Trinity)” Isaiah, “Here am I, send me!”
Like this, if we really experience salvation, we must respond to the calling of Jesus Christ. Who shall go for us (Trinity)?
Chp 9 did say, “Pray for workers.” But that is not enough. We must also make ourselves available to serve him.
2. Who can be missionaries? Called and sent?
There are two steps in the calling:
1. Jesus calls a sinner to be saved (to be his disciple/learner/follower).
Yes, Jesus had MANY disciples – some only hangers-on, but some were truly converted. In his first calling, Jesus calls a sinner to be saved = salvation.
Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I’ll give you rest.
Here I am. I stand at the door and knock…
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners to salvation.
2. Calling for OTHER’S salvation.
From this large group of disciples, Jesus selected a smaller group of disciples (called apostles). In church today, we have no name “apostles” – but the most suitable name = “missionaries.”
v. 2-4 Can you memorize the 12 apostles?
- Simon (Peter)
- James (Zebedee)
- Matthew (this guy)
- James (Alphaeus)
- Simon (Zealot)
- Judas Iscariot
These guys are TOTALLY AVERAGE. Not rich, not academically gifted or learned, not high status, etc, etc.
They were very mixed – fishers, tax collectors (the most hated of the Jews), Simon the Zealot (very religious).
Zealots = the most nationalist of all nationalists – prepared to die for their country’s independence.
They had a strong resolution to undergo ANY suffering for their country – they were also ready to kill anyone who was against their country – with assassination or murder.
Imagine, if Simon the Zealot had met Matthew in another place (not with Jesus), he might have killed him.
The wonderful truth – 2-3 men who HATE each other can LOVE each other in Christ.
Who is God? He is the God who created the heavens and the earth out of nothing. He can do something EXTRAORDINARY with ordinary people. Jesus sees not only who we ARE, but also what he CAN MAKE us.
- Yes, we are ordinary – not great.
- But Jesus can make us extraordinary – to do something great through us.
Why? Because Jesus is a great king.
Are you called for salvation? (#1). Are you assured of your salvation? Then you should give thanks in ALL circumstances.
“It is by grace you have been saved, not by works so that no one may boast.”
Are you called as a missionary (#2)? Then also give thanks in all circumstances – because we have nothing to boast.
1 Cor ?:27-29 “God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise. God chose the things that are not to nullify the things that are so that no one can boast.”
If you have a strong calling, and realize that you are also called as a missionary, and you have a heart to truly win people to Christ, then you are TRUE apostles – you are TRULY his ambassadors.
3. Where is the mission field?
If we are missionaries, where is our mission field? Who are the main target people?
v.5-6 Lost sheep of Israel.
Jesus gave them very specific instructions regarding their ministry.
- Not Gentiles
- Not Samaria
- Only lost sheep of Israel
Does this mean he opposed the others? Didn’t love them? Was a nationalist?
No, he’d already encountered the Gentiles in Matthew 8 and healed them, and in John 4, the Samaritan woman.
What does this mean?
Jesus came not to the Jews ONLY, but to the Jews FIRST.
Why are the Jews called the “Chosen People?” Because they were chosen FIRST – to give the message of salvation to other nations.
In that time, the Gentile territory lay to the North and Samaritan territory to the South. This is the very FIRST evangelism activity for the apostles – it was not long-term, but short-term. They must come back soon and report to Jesus. Now is also before Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.
So, this time is for maximizing efficiency and effect – not for exclusivity, not for partiality, but for FRUIT, concentration of limited energy for a specific target.
After his crucifixion and resurrection, THEN Jesus commands, “Go into ALL nations, ALL Creation and proclaim the Good News!”
So, how can we apply this principle in our own mission fields? If we are truly missionaries, we need to have 2 attitudes:
- Personal evangelist – be ready at all times to preach the Word of God, in season and out of season
- Specific target – we are limited in time and place, and wisdom, so we need a specific target for maximizing the fruit of our ministries.
3. What Was Their Message?
v. 7 “As you go…”
The message: short, simple, clear
“The kingdom of heaven is near.”
Jesus himself is the kingdom of heaven – kingdom = the king’s domain, country.
John the Baptist’s message was also the same.
It means, “The King is hear, the King is near, receive him!”
Now, we are after his crucifixion and before his Second Coming – so now what is our key message?
- Jesus DIED for your sins
- He was RAISED for your salvation
- He is COMING again soon
4. What were their tasks?
- Heal the sick
- Raise the dead
- Cleanse those with leprosy
- Drive out demons
Can you do these things?
We cannot. But Jesus can do them through us.
He is the same yesterday, today, and forever in his power and authority. Yes, these things can happen literally if Jesus wills. But, more importantly is the SPIRITUAL ministry.
Basically, fundamentally, the ministry of the missionaries is these things:
- The lost are sick – unable, invalid, hopeless, powerless. If he accepts Jesus, he is healed perfectly, immediately.
- The lost are dead (Eph 2:1 “As for you, you were dead in your sins and transgressions…”). If he accepts Jesus, he is ALIVE immediately. “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me will live, though he dies.” Accepting Jesus Christ means rising from the dead immediately, physically, spiritually, eternally.
- The lost are lepers – without sense of spiritual things – unclean and ugly. If he accepts Jesus, he is immediately cleansed, purified, forgiven, restored in fellowship. Accepting Christ = purification.
- The lost are under the control of devils spiritually. Do you believe? “You belong to your father, the devil” – Jesus says to those who reject him. Whether we understand or agree or not, this is the spiritual truth. If he accepts Jesus, he is immediately freed to serve Jesus.
Accepting Jesus =
Freely we have received. Freely we are to give.
John 10:10 “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.”
If we are in Christ, we have eternal life. But God wants us to enjoy this life abundantly, fully. How? The secret = by giving freely. Give THIS life freely to others and you will experience THIS life more abundantly.