JANUARY 14 READING…Matthew 10
In our readings today, Jesus prepares His disciples to begin their assigned ministry…this is not the fullness of their ministry, but the beginning of it to fulfill God’s great plan. Not only did the Lord call them, and not only did He send them out…but He also empowered them to do what He assigned them to do. This is the way the Lord ALWAYS works…there is nothing you or I have been called to by God, that He does not provide all that we need to do it. He assigns, then He empowers…the empowerment for us is the Holy Spirit indwelling us, doing through us what we could not do on our own. These men would go out with the assignment of casting out demons, to heal all kinds of sickness and disease. This was quite an eclectic group of men. Three sets of brothers…John and James sons of Zebedee, who were fishermen…Peter and Andrew sons of Jonas, also fishermen…and James the less and Judas Thaddeus sons of Alpheus and Mary, Thaddeus was also called Judas the Zealot. Matthew was a tax collector. Thomas, who’s name meant twin, seemed to be the inquisitive one, some might even describe him as pessimistic. Simon was actually a Canaanite, and a Zealot. Then there is Judas Iscariot, he was the treasurer and the betrayer of Jesus. The other two disciples we don’t know much about, although there are strong traditions tied to all the original twelve disciples of Christ…these men were Philip and Thaddaeus. Jesus said of Thaddaeus that he was a true Israelite in whom there was no falsehood.
The second part of our reading is Jesus giving instruction to His disciples concerning their assignment. At this time, they were to only go to the house of Israel…it was not yet time for the Gospel to go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans. As they went they were to preach about the kingdom of God being at hand…they were to heal the sick…cleanse lepers…raise the dead…cast out demons. They were to do this without receiving pay for doing it. They were to stay where the door was open and they were welcome. If they were refused being received by the community they were to knock the dust off their feet and move on. They would have extraordinary opportunities to even speak before governors and kings. But, they would suffer greatly for the Gospel’s sake. They were not to fear, but trust God. Jesus told them that His message, rather than bringing peace in this sin fallen world, would actually bring division. They were going out as His representatives, not for themselves, but for Him…people who either accepted them or rejected them, were actually doing this to Jesus. I believe the Lord is calling us to the same things today…we are His disciples in the world today. I hope you know that He has called you…He has given you an assignment…and He has empowered you by the Holy Spirit to accomplish everything He has called you to.
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
MONDAY’S (1/17) READING…Matthew 11