Read Matthew 10:1-42
“He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.” (Mark 2:14, 15)
When that day finally came for the sending of the twelve in Matthew 10, it was likely no surprise. Assuming that Jesus had shared with His disciples His purposes for selecting them, they would have been anticipating that day. They would have realized that there was more to Jesus following than listening to great teaching and watching Him do amazing things. Don’t get me wrong. The development of that kind of intimacy with and marvel over Jesus is an important thing. Churches do well to underscore that and place an exclamation mark after those aspects of discipleship . . . in principle and in practice.
But He had planned for more. He had intended that these men who had drawn close to Him would also represent Him. He had a clear picture of them proclaiming a message and demonstrating compassion to others. You see, not only did He bring them in to Himself, He also sent them out to others. And, on this day, He gave them final instruction and sent them.
Does your vision for your walk with Christ include both? Is it both “be with Him” and “go out for Him?” To do one to the exclusion of the other is imbalanced. To concentrate your discipleship energy on increased knowledge about Jesus or deeper appreciation for biblical truth is critical. But these are incomplete.
It is important to note that the twelve did both. Both the “be with” and “go out for” were built into their DNA. Both defined their purpose for existence. It is in part after their “Christian small group” experience that we have chosen to model a significant portion of our ministry in Grace Group. We want them to experience intimacy with Christ, love for one another, and ministry to the lost.
Are you part of a Grace Group? If so, make sure that this all important dimension of discipleship does not get back burnered. If not, sign up for one today!