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SENT on the LORD’s Mission

Matthew 10:1-23

Friday, 13 January 2023

Jesus sent out these twelve, instructing them: go to the lost sheep… And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” (Matthew 10:6-7)

Though Jesus’ mission was bringing salvation to the whole world through Him, (John 3:17), during His earthly ministry the Gospel was proclaimed to Jews first. But by His death and resurrection the wall of separation between Jew and Gentile was removed, thereby removing all distinction so that the Good News be proclaimed to all humankind. Matthew 10 explains how Jesus called His disciples and sent them on their very first mission journey – to the lost sheep of Israel.

The task of advancing the Kingdom of God on earth is given to all disciples of Christ in any age. Today’s reading provides some valuable mission lessons:

· Sent in power and authority (Vs 1): Before sending them on the mission, Jesus empowered his disciples to cast out evil spirits and to heal all disease and sickness. Jesus to whom all authority in heaven and on earth has been given (Matthew 28:18), gives us authority and empowers us with the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ instruction in Acts 1:8 was to receive the power and infilling of the Holy Spirit to be His witnesses to the end of the earth. Receive His promise: “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.” (Luke 10:19)

· Sent on His mission with His Message (Vs 5-7): The disciples were ordinary men but Spirit-empowered and sent on a heavenly mandate. The mission is the Lord’s— we are called and sent as the ambassadors of Christ to fulfill the Lord’s work on earth. There is a specific message that we are called to proclaim, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ The good news of Jesus Christ is for a lost and fallen world— that people may respond in repentance, believing in Christ to be saved.

· Service of love (Vs 8): Jesus’ teaching Freely you have received, freely give’, echoes His words in Acts 20:35 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' We have received our salvation, calling and every spiritual gift by the grace of God and nothing to boast of. As we have received, we are to give of our time and giftings and possessions in the Lord’s mission. We are called to a service of love flowing from God’s heart through us into the lives of others.

· The urgency of the mission (Vs 9): Jesus’ instructions on travelling light, carrying minimal provisions reveals the urgency of the mission. With the coming of the Lord so very near and a short time to accomplish the mission, let us labour faithfully and with urgency in the Lord’s vineyard.

· Relying on His provisions (Vs 9): We are advised not to accumulate money or provisions for the journey. The underlying principle here is that God cares for us who desire to serve Him and every need for the mission will be provided by Him. We are to put our trust in Him alone and not on worldly possessions.

· Prepared for the response (Vs 11-15): Jesus warns us that not everyone will be receptive to the Gospel message. While some may receive it with joy, others may be hostile and reject the message. Whatever the response, be prepared do the Lord’s work with a burden in our hearts for the lost ones in the world.

Christ has placed us as lights in a dark world to be His witnesses, in taking His salvation to the ends of the earth. As we think on the greatness of His call and the urgency of the work, can we be challenged to labour diligently for the advancement of His Kingdom? What is your response?

Quote for the Day: “Share the Gospel. According to the Bible, it is every believer's privilege and responsibility to share the Gospel. If we understand what lies ahead for those who do not know Christ, there will be a sense of urgency in our witness.”- David Jeremiah



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