Wednesday 4 September 2013

Matthew 10:1-15 - Sending the twelve

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Today we're looking at Matthew 10:1-15 in which Jesus speaks to his disciples and sends them out.

He begins by giving them authority to eject unclean spirits and heal illness and injury. Authority is given first and then they are sent. How important do you suppose this sequence was for them? Have we been given authority? It would be foolish in the extreme to go without it!

We have a full list of the disciples here, given in pairs. It has been suggested that they worked together as pairs, the smallest and most intimate group possible (and the smallest form of church). See CO2 - Church of Two for more details. The seventy were certainly sent in pairs (Luke 10:1).

Jesus sent them strictly to Jewish lands. Their role is to do what Jesus did, it was their first taste of living on his behalf, the first taste of being missional as opposed to observing it. They are to proclaim, heal, raise the dead, cleanse, throw out demons. It's not a money-making enterprise, they will travel light, and they are to find and stay with worthy people and bestow peace.

To us this all seems a bit strange, but in Jewish culture 2000 years ago this would be a normal way of travelling. Even today 'Peace be upon you' is still the standard greeting in Hebrew (Shalom alechem) and in Arabic (Assalamu alaikum). Dependence on local hospitality was normal, visitors were regarded as a blessing.

Notice the warning to those who are not welcoming.

In our own lives we need to be missional too. Church springs from mission and every expression of church should involve a sending out into the surrounding culture and community. Think about mission in terms of your own life. What might you do that you are not already doing?

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