Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles
Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to cast out evil[a] spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness. 2 Here are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (also called Peter),
then Andrew (Peter’s brother),
James (son of Zebedee),
John (James’s brother),
Matthew (the tax collector),
James (son of Alphaeus),
4 Simon (the zealot[c]),
Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).
5 Jesus sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, 6 but only to the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep. 7 Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near.[d] 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!
Lord, give what? Open my eyes. Am I to pray for, and expect to receive miracles? If I am in that position, perhaps yes! Guide me if that happens Lord. Give me faith.
But no Lord, I think You want me to give freely what I have received freely. Help me see what You have given me.
Forgiveness. Lord, You have been so merciful to me. Help me to never hold a grudge. Never ever Lord.
Patience. You have been so patient with me, and I am so short with my children. Change me Lord.
Love. What have I ever done to deserve Your Love? Help me Lord, to give Love as You do. Help me to love the unlovely.
All my possessions Lord. They are all Yours. Help me to be more charitable. Others need so much and I have so much.
Your Word. Lord, Your Word has meant so much to me. Help me to have it on my lips for others instead of the silly jokes and wise cracks I so often say. Help me Lord. Change me
9 “Don’t take any money in your money belts—no gold, silver, or even copper coins. 10 Don’t carry a traveler’s bag with a change of clothes and sandals or even a walking stick. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve to be fed.
Lord, You sent Your disciples out with instructions to depend totally on You to supply their needs. No preparation for the journey. I go through life depending one me. I have retirement accounts and savings accounts and investments and a closet full of cloths. Am I wrong Lord?
Of course all my hoarding hasn’t really done me any good. My stuff hasn’t made me or my family happy, or even secure. It seems the better off we are, the more we worry.
Lord, arrange my life so some how, all I have is used for Your glory. I don’t know how You can do that, but please do. Change me so I have the courage to do Your will with all my “stuff”. Change me so I have the courage to accept what Your will is.
11 “Whenever you enter a city or village, search for a worthy person and stay in his home until you leave town. 12 When you enter the home, give it your blessing. 13 If it turns out to be a worthy home, let your blessing stand; if it is not, take back the blessing. 14 If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave. 15 I tell you the truth, the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah will be better off than such a town on the judgment day.
Lord, help me to say a little prayer for every home I enter and person I meet. What a great idea! It will remind me to think of You more, and I can maybe bring some small blessing to a few more people. Jesus, I have these ideas so often, and I never actually change to make them habits. Change me Lord. Please make this a habit for me. This is a really good command. Please Lord, remind me. Change me.
16 “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves. 17 But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. 18 You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me.[e] 19 When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. 20 For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Lord, help me to be a “sheep among wolves”. So many times I am the wolf. I snap at my children because I am tired. I don’t have any kindness for my wife when she needs it. I’m nt as helpful at work as I once was. Lord, I don’t know how to remind myself to be “shrewd as a snake, but as harmless as a dove”.
This really builds on yesterday, when I learned that I should be blessing everyone I meet. I can’t remember to do that either. If I were walking moment by moment in Your Holy Spirit, this would be natural. Help me Lord. Help me somehow to learn to walk with You daily. How good it would be to speak Your words and do Your deeds. Help me Lord.
21 “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. 22 And all nations will hate you because you are my followers.[f] But everyone who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one town, flee to the next. I tell you the truth, the Son of Man[g] will return before you have reached all the towns of Israel.
24 “Students[h] are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their master. 25 Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons,[i] the members of my household will be called by even worse names!
Lord, You warned Your disciples that they would suffer, and they did. Many suffered death for loving You. I, at least for now, don’t have to fear persecution like that. But I am still afraid sometimes to follow You as I should. Little things, like what others would think if I quit drinking. I fear losing a friend here or there because of You.
If I totally followed You, maybe I would be persecuted some more than I am. My own family members may be the harshest, as You warn. But maybe not. Maybe if I were bolder, they would admire me a little more. But would that bring You glory, or me?
Jesus, You have been so good to me. Prepare me for whatever persecution may await me. Strengthen me so I am a good witness to You. Help me to follow You without hesitation. Help me abandon my fears and boldly follow You. Change me Lord. Change me.
26 “But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. 27 What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!
Jesus, my first thought is: “Everyone will know all my sins and I will be so ashamed.” But how wonderful it will be when we all have nothing more to hide. The truth of Your love and mercy are known to all. It’s all “in the light ” and known to all. Bring it on Lord! Bring it on!
28 “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.[j] 29 What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin[k]? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. 30 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
Fear only You Father, who has loved me since my mother’s womb and who gave His son as a sacrifice on a horrible cross for my sins. Yes, I should fear disappointing You, and yet I sin all the time. I am so sorry Father. I fear what others think. I fear what will happen to my income or job or family, but I put You to the back of my mind and sin.
And still You love me and bless me. You are so good and merciful. You do take care of me. Father I am sorry, and I am thankful. Help me to fear You with great love, and fear You only.
32 “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.
Jesus, I knew this verse was coming today. I am sorry, and ashamed…and a fool. I have claimed You often in my life, but there are some places or situations in which I have not , and do not, BOLDLY claim You. Lord, when I am here with You I want to tell You that I am ready to go all-out 100% for You all the time. I know that is what You are calling me to do. But I don’t want to tell You that now, and be afraid later. I don’t want to start building a tower I can’t complete.
Jesus, when will I be the person You want me to be. When will I stop shaming You? When will I have the courage to proclaim Your love for me and everyone else as I know I should? You paid such a high price for me, and I am willing to do so little for You. I need to change.
Is that it Lord? I pray for You to change me, but are You waiting on me to change? Don’t let me be wrong here Lord. I can do nothing without You, that is for sure. But do I need to do something with You? Are You waiting on me to commit to huge change? Help me Jesus.
35 ‘I have come to set a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
36 Your enemies will be right in your own household!’[l]
37 “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. 38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. 39 If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.
Wow Jesus, this is a hard saying! I do not know if I love You more than I love my wife and children. I want peace with those around me so bad, but You call me to take a stand for You. You call me to be different, and that always causes trouble. That is where it really is.
I know You want me to give up my life and be different. I even know how. In my heart I know what You want. It is time to quit drinking at parties. It is time to stop the funny, but in appropriate talk. It is time to lead my family, though that will cause a lot of fighting. It is time to stop fitting in. Lord, I am afraid. I am not worthy of You…You know that. Don’t give up on me Jesus. Give me courage Lord. Help me love You more. Help me love You with all my heart, all my mind, all my soul and all my strength. Change me Jesus. Help me be changed.
40 “Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me. 41 If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God,[m] you will be given the same reward as a prophet. And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs. 42 And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.”
Jesus, You followed a very hard saying, with a very kind one. You do not miss small acts of kindness. And not only do You not miss them, but they make a difference. Lord, help me not to miss a chance to do some small kindness to everyone I meet. Surely I have missed so many blessings because I failed to do some small act. Help me see You in everyone else and to do You a small kindness through by being kind to them.
- Matthew 10:1 Greek unclean.
- Matthew 10:3 Other manuscripts read Lebbaeus; still others read Lebbaeus who is called Thaddaeus.
- Matthew 10:4 Greek the Cananean, an Aramaic term for Jewish nationalists.
- Matthew 10:7 Or has come, or is coming soon.
- Matthew 10:18 Or But this will be your testimony against the rulers and other unbelievers.
- Matthew 10:22 Greek on account of my name.
- Matthew 10:23 “Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself.
- Matthew 10:24 Or Disciples.
- Matthew 10:25 Greek Beelzeboul; other manuscripts read Beezeboul; Latin version reads Beelzebub.
- Matthew 10:28 Greek Gehenna.
- Matthew 10:29 Greek one assarion [i.e., one “as,” a Roman coin equal to 1/16 of a denarius].
- Matthew 10:36 Mic 7:6.
- Matthew 10:41 Greek receive a prophet in the name of a prophet.