Confess Jesus as Lord
Matthew 10:1-25: In today’s reading Jesus calls, commissions, and names his twelve disciples. He gives them power to heal people and cast out evil spirits. He sends them out with instructions about where to go and what to do. He also foretells the afflictions and persecutions they would have to endure and warns them to be wary of people who might betray them, and to stay strong even in times of trial.
Today's Scripture: Matthew 10:16
“Listen! I am sending you out just like sheep to a pack of wolves. You must be as cautious as snakes and as gentle as doves.”
1 Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and every sickness. 2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James and his brother John, the sons of Zebedee; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew, the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Patriot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus. 5 These twelve men were sent out by Jesus with the following instructions: “Do not go to any Gentile territory or any Samaritan towns. 6 Instead, you are to go to the lost sheep of the people of Israel. 7 Go and preach, “The Kingdom of heaven is near!” 8 Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, heal those who suffer from dreaded skin diseases, and drive out demons. You have received without paying, so give without being paid. 9 Do not carry any gold, silver, or copper money in your pockets; 10 do not carry a beggar's bag for the trip or an extra shirt or shoes or a walking stick. Workers should be given what they need. 11 When you come to a town or village, go in and look for someone who is willing to welcome you, and stay with him until you leave that place. 12 When you go into a house, say, “Peace be with you.” 13 If the people in that house welcome you, let your greeting of peace remain; but if they do not welcome you, then take back your greeting. 14 And if some home or town will not welcome you or listen to you, then leave that place and shake the dust off your feet. 15 I assure you that on the Judgment Day God will show more mercy to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah than to the people of that town! 16 Listen! I am sending you out just like sheep to a pack of wolves. You must be as cautious as snakes and as gentle as doves. 17 Watch out, for there will be those who will arrest you and take you to court, and they will whip you in the synagogues. 18 For my sake you will be brought to trial before rulers and kings, to tell the Good News to them and to the Gentiles. 19 When they bring you to trial, do not worry about what you are going to say or how you will say it; when the time comes, you will be given what you will say. 20 For the words you will speak will not be yours; they will come from the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 People will hand over their own brothers to be put to death, and fathers will do the same to their children; children will turn against their parents and have them put to death. 22 Everyone will hate you because of me. But whoever holds out to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in one town, run away to another one. I assure you that you will not finish your work in all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 24 No pupil is greater than his teacher; no slave is greater than his master. 25 So a pupil should be satisfied to become like his teacher, and a slave like his master. If the head of the family is called Beelzebul, the members of the family will be called even worse names!
What are some of the instructions and warnings Jesus gave his twelve disciples? What qualities does Jesus seem to require of his followers? What do you think it would have been like for the disciples to hear those instructions? How might you have responded to Jesus’ call?
Everlasting God, just as Jesus challenged his disciples to share the Gospel, challenge us to carry your Gospel in the world today. Open the hearts and minds of all who need to hear your message, and empower me to share the Good News. Amen.