Faith of Jesus Daily Devotional - Day 43
Matthew:10 Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
Previous Context: devotion:Matthew:9:35-38 The Workers Are Few
This is one of the most lengthy passage readings in our FaithOfJesus2 daily devotions. There is so much information here that we we didn't want to break up the immediate context. At the same time some of the particulars will have to be addressed as we have the opportunity in other places and other gospel writers. Remember that we have a long way yet to go and that several topics will come back up again.
Please be advised that the entirety of this passage may have or may not have occurred all at one teaching. They may have been collected from bits and pieces of other teachings that Matthew (who was there at the time) felt important to tell us all at once. We just don't know and perhaps don't need to know in order to understand the crucial meaning.
What is God doing?
"He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease"
This is a test run so to speak. Note that it is by the power that He is giving to them not an inherent power within them nor a nebulous power of the universe that they are connected to by positive thought and affirmation as other religions/cults suggest. Their use of this given power will be successful in every reported case except for one. We will discuss that one difficult to grasp case in another devotion. The reason they would be given this is in itself an obedience by Jesus to the Father and a confirmation by the Father of Jesus. Jesus is thereby shown again to be the Messiah by the ability given to His disciples to do similar obediences resulting in additional confirmations (not of them but of Jesus).
"These twelve Jesus sent forth"
Think of how the people of these towns and cities are going to react. There will be little room for doubt that the claims of Jesus are true and fully substantiated. That does not mean the claims will be accepted however (as indicated by His warnings), it means that the safe wiggle room of relativism will be made a whole lot smaller. People will be backed into a corner. For that they will respond like would a feral cat with claws and hisses.
"For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you".
I would like to inject here that in this first test run some of these warnings that Jesus gives did not come about, not to the extent so graphically portrayed. While elements of these things certainly did occur, the portrayal really depicts what would happen to them later after the ultimate confirmation occurs by the death/resurrection/ascension/indwelling come to pass, then the real daggers will be drawn.
What is man doing?
"Whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words..."
It is one thing to be open and receiving of healings and exorcisms; uncomfortable but not close minded. It is a much different thing to have these very things attributed to one person who claims to be none other than the only begotten Son of God, the redeemer of lost souls, the promised fulfillment of all law and prophecy, the LORD of Lords/King of kings, ruler of heaven and earth. It is another thing even more when said Messiah insists upon anyone coming into His kingdom to turn away from the ways of their corruption and serve only the one true undefiled way and be born again. It would seem more tolerable to just continue with all the disease and possession than to submit one's self to all of that.
In another sense there might be those maybe not accepting yet, but sympathetic or open to the cause that would have to face the pressure and ridicule of the others should they favor or host these most despised pairs, invaders of the common peace and civil way.
What does this passage tell us about the about the commands and faith of Jesus that saints are to keep/guard?
"Freely ye have received, freely give"
This is what makes it difficult for us. If we are going to receive His grace and power and confirmation ourselves into our own lives and salvation, then we are bound by such a grace to freely present and offer it to those that yet have not. It would be much easier to simply receive it ourselves and have the end of it right there. But we don't pass it on typically because of the resistance to it and the possible tribulation on the account of it.
"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves"
In the grand scheme of the passage it is not just the twelve that Jesus sends; though they were the first. It is everyone since that calls the name of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Wise and harmless are two extreme things. Typically we opt for one but not the other. Being both does not lessen the pressure expected against it; it only increases it.
"The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord".
If the Lord Jesus experienced this all through His life, His servant should expect the same. It is not that we are doing wrong. It is not that we are doing something beyond measure. It is the exact price of obedience. It is the patience of the saints and patience grows godliness.
"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven"
All to often we seek out and perform what we consider to be the gook work which is half the equation. We give the beggar a dollar, we give the old lady an assist. No confession made of Jesus. Other times we mount the soap box and preach and evangelize the gospel with no good works. Again no true confession of Christ. There even the times where proclamation and good works combine, but are done in small measure to avoid any foreseeable opposition. No confession of Christ, not as empowered by Christ. True confession of Christ involves all of these considerations.
As Christ had sent the twelve to the lost house of Israel asking them to perform things that they could not perform on their own, so to has He asked us for the larger world around us. Not so much as individuals mind you, but as unified members of one great body.
"He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me"
Next: devotion:Matthew:11:1-19 Jesus and John the Baptist