Daily Devotional Saturday 13th March 2021

by William Moody

Matthew 10

The Twelve Apostles

10:1 And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;1 Simon the Zealot,2 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles

These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’3 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers,4 cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, or two tunics5 or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. 11 And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. 12 As you enter the house, greet it. 13 And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. 15 Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

Persecution Will Come

16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, 18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. 19 When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, 22 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant6 above his master. 25 It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign7 those of his household.

Have No Fear

26 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.8 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?9 And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

Not Peace, but a Sword

34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Rewards

40 “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. 41 The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

Footnotes

[1] 10:3 Some manuscripts Lebbaeus, or Lebbaeus called Thaddaeus
[2] 10:4 Greek kananaios, meaning zealot
[3] 10:7 Or The kingdom of heaven has come near
[4] 10:8 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
[5] 10:10 Greek chiton, a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin
[6] 10:24 Or bondservant; also verse 25
[7] 10:25 Greek lacks will they malign
[8] 10:28 Greek Gehenna
[9] 10:29 Greek assarion, Roman copper coin (Latin quadrans) worth about 1/16 of a denarius (which was a day’s wage for a laborer)

(ESV)

In sending out the disciples, Jesus gave the command to focus first on the lost sheep of Israel (v5-6). The time for the Samaritans and Gentiles would come, but now the focus but be on the lost sheep of Israel.

The people of Israel were God’s people, but they were lost because their religion was dead and just a matter of routine. They didn’t have spiritual life. The message that Jesus’ disciples would share was about the kingdom (v7), about the rule of God in people’s lives. Spiritual life comes as people yield to the reign of Christ.

The disciples were given amazing power to perform miracles (v8). These signs were evidence of Christ’s kingdom coming.

The disciples were going out not carrying money but depending on people’s hospitality for their material needs to be met (v8b-11).

The disciples were to expect very different responses in regards hospitality and to how people would receive their message (v12-14). The shaking of the dust off their feet (v14) was basically saying those who rejected the message were acting as pagans. Those who reject would suffer the wrath of God (v15).

We need to pray in our own lives and in the lives of others around us that there will be a right response to the Word of God.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.