Today’s Reading: Matthew 10
Key Verses: “These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions (commanding them): “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans/ Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. Matthew 10:5-8
As Jesus sent out the disciples, he provides them and us some valuable lessons in evangelism.
The word used for “commanding” is interesting. Ivor Powell wrote, “This word has four usages: (1) It is the regular word for a military command. Jesus was like a general sending commanders out on a campaign, briefing them before they went. (2) It is used when calling friends to help you. Jesus was like a man with a great ideal, who summoned His friends to make that ideal come true. (3) It is used by a teacher giving rules and precepts to his students or disciples. Jesus, like a teacher, sent His students out into a world, equipped with His teaching and with His message. (4) It is the word which is regularly used for an imperial command. Like a king, Jesus dispatched His ambassadors into the world to carry out His orders and to speak for Him”
Jesus expects us to engage in evangelism. He has commissioned us to reach the uttermost parts of the earth and to help reach all 18,800 people groups on the planet. (Acts 1:8)
I wonder what would happen if we all as God’s people took this calling seriously. Jesus teaches us that we are to meet physical, emotional, mental, social, cultural and spiritual needs of people we are ministering too.
Jack Kemp, the former congressman from New York, once told Larry King on a CNN interview, “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Napoleon once told his soldiers to plant trees along the streets of Paris so they would provide shade for his troops. A top lieutenant said, “It may take twenty-five years before those seeds come to grow into trees. Napoleon paused and said, “Well, start now, no sense waiting any longer.” We need to begin where we are at, right now in sowing gospel seeds into the kingdom.
Missionaries in Africa are now reaping a great harvest of souls because the pioneers set up hospitals, schools and churches to meet the needs of the whole person. In around 1800 there were less than 10 million true Christians in Africa, today there are over 400 million because of the seeds that were sown by the early missionaries.
Think of how your community will be transformed tomorrow because of your actions today. It’s time to start fulfilling our mission.