Read Matthew 10:1-42
As Matthew originally penned this gospel directed by the Holy Spirit, it did not include chapter and verse divisions. Those two added features serve us well as they allow us to quickly identify a specific reference. On the downside, however, we can end up limiting the attention we give to the greater context beyond the immediate chapter or verse. Let’s not make that mistake here.
As Jesus sends out the twelve apostles, don’t forget that this comes on the heels of His own teaching, proclaiming, and healing. It comes after His compassion for the crowds. It follows His request of the disciples that they pray that the Father would send out laborers (9:35-38.) That request to pray in chapter 9 became an invitation to go in chapter 10.
The ones who were to pray for more workers became workers themselves. Like Jesus, they were to bless others by addressing felt needs while announcing the importance of spiritual needs. They were to trust God for His provision and be faithful in the midst of opposition. In fact, they were to expect opposition . . . not only from strangers they encountered but also from people they counted as family and friends. But He assured them that there was eternal reward in His service.
Granted, you and I may not be first-century apostles sent out with the same assignment. Still, don’t miss out on the appropriate parallels.
- We too can pray. The need for people to carry the compassion and message of Christ to other parts of the globe is real.
- We too can go. To be sure, our going may not require plane travel, but it could include a trip across the street to a neighbor, across the hallway to a classmate, across our place of employment to a coworker.
- We too can expect opposition. Not everyone will be thrilled at our expressions of care and verbalization of truth.
- We too can anticipate reward. As we, one day, stand before Christ, we may also hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Join me as we pray and go!
“Lord of the harvest, would you raise up workers to plant, water, and harvest in your fields around the world? And, Lord, send me today to those people I can reach for You!”