Today’s Reading: Matthew 10:1-42; Mark 6:7-13; Luke 9:1-6; Psalm 94
“The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” – Matthew 9:37b-38
Right after saying this, Jesus called his twelve disciples together and equipped them for ministry. He gave them the authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness. He gave them instructions for ministry that are still helpful to us.
“Give as freely as you have received.” – Matthew 10:8b
“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.” – Matthew 10:16
“But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me.” – Matthew 10:17-18
Be filled with the Spirit.
“When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking – it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” – Matthew 10:19-20
Be a humble follower of Christ.
“Students are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their master. Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names!” – Matthew 10:24-25
“Don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.” – Matthew 10:26
Be a voice.
“What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!” – Matthew 10:27
“Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both body and soul in hell.” – Matthew 10:28
Be aware you are valuable to God.
“What is the price of two sparrows – one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” – Matthew 10:29-31
Be loyal and true.
“Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.” – Matthew 10:32-33
Be faithful and put God above everyone else, including yourself.
“If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” – Matthew 10:37-39
Be the body of Christ.
“And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” – Matthew 10:42
When Jesus had finished giving these instructions to his twelve disciples, he went to teach and preach in towns throughout the region. – Matthew 11:1
Jesus did not just set up a classroom and teach his disciples by what he said, he taught them by how he lived. He ate with them and walked with them. By doing life with the disciples, Jesus was strategically positioned to teach them and to show them love. Jesus became an example of what it means to truly BE about the Kingdom of God – how to BE a servant and how to BE a follower. Now it is our turn to BE all God calls us to BE.
Psalm 94:12 – Joyful are those you discipline, Lord, those you teach with your instructions.