The Sent Ones
The Sent Ones
In Matthew 10:1-15, we discover four important elements in Jesus' sending of the 12, which carry over time and space to us today:
1. Jesus chose UNLIKELY candidates. We know of 4 fisherman, a tax collector, and a zealot (a militia-member)! This isn't exactly a collection of the spiritually elite. They didn't know everything about Jesus, they surely didn't understand all his teaching... and yet BAM! He sent them out. It's time for Christians to let go of the concept that "I can't go until I'm ready." Preparation is VERY important, and God will make room for it - but don't disqualify yourself!
2. These guys are to be REPRESENTATIVES, not merely heralds. A herald conveys news ("extra! extra!"); a representative embodies the news. Jesus gave them his authority over malicious spiritual beings, over disease, and told them to bring the power of the Kingdom in their being. What if you started thinking of yourself in this way: "because I'm here, the kingdom of God is here"???
3. They are to go in WEAKNESS, not power. What are those instructions? Don't pack the essentials? Don't bring or acquire extra clothes? Be dependent on others? And yet, modern (American) Christians try to look powerful. Big, expensive buildings. Well run ministry. We bring all the supplies we need, wherever we go. But Jesus seems to want to emphasize God's power, not these 12 guys' power.
4. They are UNCONCERNED with rejection. Because they represent Jesus, and Jesus represents God, it's HIS deal if they get rejected. They are to walk away from those towns the same way Jews walked away from pagan villages: wipe the dust off your feet.
And after all that, here's the amazing thing: Jesus would wind up being rejected by all 12 men. But instead of wiping the dust off his feet, he would BECOME the dust, take the weight of the Father's wrath, far worse than Sodom and Gommorah, onto himself. It's HIS deal. Praise the LORD.