Week 64 | Section 70b, c
Jesus’ compassion for humanity and his vision for the Church culminate in today’s reading involving the commissioning of the twelve Apostles. While Jesus had recognized and appointed His apostles in Section 53 in this section we learn several essential lessons of for people today who would be disciple-making disciples. The progression of their calling and ministry is integrated throughout the Harmony of the Gospels, yet there are eternal principles discovered here that will empower us to fulfill the Great Commission in our own context and calling in ministry.
1 He called to himself his twelve disciples,1 and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every sickness. The greek term for (δώδεκα/dōdeka/Strongs G1427) is used 75 times in the new testament.2 2 Now the names of the twelve apostles3 are these. The first, Simon, who is called Peter; Andrew, his brother; James the son of Zebedee; John, his brother; 3 Philip; Bartholomew; Thomas; Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus; Lebbaeus, who was also called Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Canaanite; and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. 5 Jesus sent these twelve out, and commanded them, saying, “Don’t go among the Gentiles, and don’t enter into any city of the Samaritans.4 6 Rather, go to the lost sheep5 of the house of Israel.6 7 As you go, preach, saying, ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!’ 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons. Freely you received, so freely give.7 9 Don’t take any gold, silver, or brass in your money belts.8 10 Take no bag for your journey, neither two coats, nor shoes, nor staff: for the laborer is worthy of his food.9 11 Into whatever city or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy; and stay there until you go on. 12 As you enter into the household, greet it. 13 If the household is worthy, let your peace come on it, but if it isn’t worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 Whoever doesn’t receive you, nor hear your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet.10 15 Most certainly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah11 in the day of judgment than for that city. 16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep among wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.12
7 He called to himself the twelve, and began to send them out two by two; and he gave them authority over the unclean spirits.
8 He commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a staff only: no bread, no wallet, no money in their purse, 9 but to wear sandals, and not put on two tunics. 10 He said to them, “Wherever you enter into a house, stay there until you depart from there.
11 Whoever will not receive you nor hear you, as you depart from there, shake off the dust that is under your feet for a testimony against them. Assuredly, I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!”
1 He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. 2 He sent them out to preach God’s Kingdom and to heal the sick.
3 He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey—no staffs, nor wallet, nor bread, nor money. Don’t have two coats each. 4 Into whatever house you enter, stay there, and depart from there.
5 As many as don’t receive you, when you depart from that city, shake off even the dust from your feet for a testimony against them.”
17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to councils, and in their synagogues they will scourge you. 18 Yes, and you will be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony to them and to the nations. 19 But when they deliver you up, don’t be anxious how or what you will say, for it will be given you in that hour what you will say. 20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. 21 “Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child. Children will rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22 You will be hated by all men for my name’s sake, but he who endures to the end will be saved. 23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee into the next, for most certainly I tell you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel, until the Son of Man has come. 24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his lord. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be like his teacher, and the servant like his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household! 26 Therefore don’t be afraid of them, for there is nothing covered that will not be revealed; and hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in the ear, proclaim on the housetops. 28 Don’t be afraid of those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul. Rather, fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. 29 “Aren’t two sparrows sold for an assarion coin? Not one of them falls on the ground apart from your Father’s will, 30 but the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Therefore don’t be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows. 32 Everyone therefore who confesses me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven. 34 “Don’t think that I came to send peace on the earth. I didn’t come to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I came to13 set a man at odds against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 A man’s foes will be those of his own household. 37 He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me isn’t worthy of me. 38 He who doesn’t take his cross and follow after me, isn’t worthy of me. 39 He who seeks his life will lose it; and he who loses his life for my sake will find it. 40 He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me. 41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. He who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 Whoever gives one of these little ones just a cup of cold water to drink in the name of a disciple, most certainly I tell you he will in no way lose his reward.”
1 When Jesus had finished directing his twelve disciples, he departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.
6 They departed and went throughout the villages, preaching the Good News and healing everywhere.
- What did Jesus do, teach and impart to the twelve before he commissioned them?
- What authority did He give them before He sent the apostles out?
- To what ministry is Jesus calling you? How do you feel about that? What more do you need to do prepare yourself for that ministry?
- How do you deal with rejection and opposition in the ministry to which you are called?
- Jesus had already appointed them as Apostles (section 53). He will send them out many more times (John 20:21-23) and all others who are his disciples as well he has both commanded, and will commission and anoint if we will hear, heed, and honor our Lord and Savior (Section 181 | Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:15-18, 1Cor. 15:6) and also (Section 183 | Luke 24:44-49, Acts 1:3-8).
- After Jesus’ resurrection he promises the Apostles (less Judas Iscariot who was no longer alive) the same power and authority will remain with them (and the church) even after his ascension, in the bestowing of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:44-49, Acts 1:3-8 | Section 183).
- The greek term for apostle (ἀπόστολος / apostolos / Strong’s G0652) is to be a representative, messenger, envoy; not just those who are bishops. Every believer has some form of ministry: 1 Cor 12.
- Though Jesus had healed, delivered, and forgiven both Jew and Gentile, he restrained the Apostles for the time being.
- In Jeremiah 50:6 we read that Israel was like lost sheep as does the confession of Isaiah 53:6; Psalm 119:176; Ezekiel 34:6-8,16. Read also Luke 15:3-10; Acts 3:26, Acts 13:46 and 1Peter 2:25.
- Later He would allow them (and scatter them by the means of persecution) to go to the Gentiles and even anoint the Gentiles with the Holy Spirit to preach the Good News and minister in every way they had see the Lord do himself. Read Section 178 | John 20:21 and also Acts 8:1,5-25; Acts 10:45-11:18; Acts 22:22-23; Acts 26:20; Acts 28:25-28; Rom 11:11-15; Rom 15:8-9.
- Jesus himself had been fulfilling the promise of Isaiah 61:1 and many more prophesies, but now he was multiplying the abundance of God’s power by bestowing authority and the same power to the Apostles.
- Luke 10:7-12; Acts 3:6; Acts 20:33-35. Yet The scripture also encourages people of faith to give assistance and support as they are able 3 John 1:7-8; 1Cor 9:4-14; 1Tim 5:17-18.
- This may be a command based on this particular work and ministry, versus a continuous command for all disciples and apostolic leaders in every age.
- Acts 13:51; 18:6
- The debate about the location of these two cities continues but remains of great interest to scholars, skeptics, and archaeologists.
- He warned them various times of this: Section 137a Matthew 23:34; Section 139b Mark 13:9-13/Luke 21:13-19 and how then to act: Phil 2:15; 1Cor 14:20; Col 4:5; Eph 5:15-17; Col 1:9. While we can stud the fate of each of the twelve Apostles and many more martyrs of the faith ever since, perhaps the most complete biblical account of such treatment is Paul’s report in 2Cor 11:24-26.
- Verses 36 is a quote from Mic 7:6
- See also 2Cor 5:20
- See the continuance of this throughout the book of Acts. Read Acts 5:12-15