Jesus Sends out Twelve apostles
(Read Matt 10:1-24)
Jesus invited his disciples to take part in the kingdom work (9;37-38). In Jesus authority they were to to announce about the coming kingdom of God. Jesus called twelve apostles out of his disciples. Their names are given in verses 2-4. Apostle is a technical term means “Send ones”. Judas Iscariot was the only apostle who was not from Galilee. They were probably young and from varied walks of life. They were given authority to do miracles. They have to serve others freely as they have been benefited (Matt 10:9-10). The apostles were to trust the Lord for all their needs. They were to rely upon the gifts and hospitality of those whom they ministered. The character of disciples and the methods of their ministry should reflect Christ’s mercy and forgiveness. Jesus warns that the disciples will face severe opposition no matter how good their message and how honest their methods are. They should not receive hospitality from those who reject their message. The shaking off the dust of their feet was a symbolic act of condemnation. The disciples are sent out as sheep among wolves. So, they must be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. They knew that the safest place on earth is in the center of God’s will. They will face rejection and opposition from family for the sake of Christ. When they face persecution, they should flee to the next town. Verse 23 may be a reference to the great commission the apostles received. A disciple is not greater than his teacher, or a servant greater than his master. If they have called the master of the house, Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household? The word Beelzebub refers to the prince of demons and was a contemptuous name for Satan. The missionary work Christ entrusted to the disciples is the work of the whole church in every generation. The world that gave Jesus the crown of thorns will not give his disciples the crown of gold.
The Promise of Blessing in Confessing Christ
(Read Matt 10:26-42)
Like Jesus, the disciples would encounter rejection and opposition. Christians life is not free from pain and suffering (John 16:33). The disciples will face persecution even from their own families (Matt 10:21-22; 35-37). Those who love darkness will hate the light (John 3:19-20). Jesus wants his disciples not to be afraid of those who threaten them. The time is coming when everything will be revealed. Jesus promises honor to all who confess him before men (Matt 10:32). To confess means to acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior. Not to confess when you know you should confess is to deny him. Why Christians should confess Christ? The plan of salvation includes it (Rom 10:9-10). The Lord of the harvest expects it (Acts 1:8). The public sacrifice of Christ demands it (Heb 2:11). The Day of Judgment requires it (Acts 17:31; Rev 20:11-15). There is no secret Christian discipleship (John 9:25). We should confess Christ by our words and life (Matt 5:16). The early believers confessed Jesus by baptism and association with fellow believers in worship and witnessing (Acts 4:23; Heb 10:25). If anyone confesses Jesus openly, Christ will acknowledge him before the Father in heaven. But if anyone denies him on earth, he will be denied before the Father (Matt 10:33). The open confession of Christ can lead to division and conflict in the family (Luke 12:51). True discipleship is denying self and taking up own cross and following Jesus in obedience (Matt 10:38). The cross is symbolic of death and identification with Christ. Following Christ may cost us our comforts, preferences and our friends. Following Jesus requires us to no longer live for ourselves. A life emptied and poured out in servicing Christ will find fulfillment and joy (10:39). Christ has destroyed the power of Satan. May this truth guard your heart and empower us to live for Christ.