MEETING THE NEED
Lord Jesus, work in my mind and my heart today, that I might care about the world the way that You do.
Read Matthew 9:35—10:16
The Workers Are Few
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
10 Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— 10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWe are called to be Jesus’ ambassadors. How might we do that today, and every day?
Jesus’ ministry schedule looks exhausting (9:35–38). The scale of the need was huge (9:36,37) and Jesus’ humanity had limitations: he could only be in one place at one time.
As Jesus presents the problem to his disciples, he also signals where they will find the answer (38). When we see a need that is too big for us to handle we are to pray. Is there a need that comes to mind now? If so, take time to pray about it.
Interestingly, God’s ministry solution to the problem was a motley bunch of novices (10:2–4)! Their effectiveness did not lie in their skill or practical experience but in their willing-ness to act on the spiritual authority given to them (10:1). As Jesus’ ambassadors, they were to pass on Jesus’ message and do exactly what Jesus had been doing (10:1,7,8).
Tucked in amongst Jesus’ instructions to them is a great ministry principle that holds for all Jesus’ followers: “Freely you have received; freely give” (10:8).
If we have heard the Good News, how can we help more people hear? What has God given you that he wants you to share? Post on social media today something that God has done for you.
Lord of the harvest, send me and others in the power and authority of Your Spirit to share salvation and bring glory to Jesus.