Almighty God and Loving Father, your greatness demands my praise and your love demands my devotion. I gladly give them to you today.
Read Matthew 10:5–15
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,[a] 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.
- Matthew 10:8 The Greek word traditionally translated leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin.
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.
Reflect‘How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation...’ (Isaiah 52:7). Give thanks to God that his peace rests on you, and that you bring his peace to others.
Jesus’ apprentices have seen him combine the message of heaven’s nearness with powerful displays of just how near! Heaven’s economy is forgiveness, peace, wholeness, joy, praise and resurrection (v 8; 9:1–8,23–26,35). Now it’s the disciples’ turn! Jesus’ first focus is on the ‘lost sheep of Israel’ (v 6) because his time on earth is short. He must return to the Father, so that generations of disciples can do even greater things, taking the good news to the ‘ends of the earth’ through his Spirit in them (John 14:12, 16:7–11; Acts 1:8). How might you share God’s message and power with others (v 8)? Why not find a mentor to help you grow your gifts and use them (2 Timothy 1:6; 1 Corinthians 12:4–11).
Jesus’ strategy puts the disciples at the hub of each community (vs 10,11). If you’re open to accommodating dirty, hungry, penniless travelers, you are already demonstrating godly hospitality, and may be open to their message too (v 13). Generous people have high standing in their community, connecting Christians with others. Most people respond better to a friend of a respected friend, rather than some dusty strangers!
Who do you know who are people of peace? How might you bring blessing to them?
Holy God, as witnessing opportunities cross my path today, enable me to grasp them and effectively witness for you.
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