Go! Preach. Heal. Cleanse. Raise. Cast out. And Give. – 1-14-22

And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:7-8 NKJV

Today we have directions on being evangelists, aka harvesters, aka witnesses, aka soul winners. Today we get marching orders which have been given to us many times before. Today will we finally take action and intentionally seek and obey opportunity to share Jesus?

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Matthew chapter 10 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

The Twelve Apostles

10 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. Now 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 [a]Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the [b]Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.

Sending Out the Twelve

These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven [c]is at hand.’ Heal the sick, [d]cleanse the lepers, [e]raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, 10 nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food.

11 “Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. 12 And when you go into a household, greet it. 13 If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!

Persecutions Are Coming

16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless[f] as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. 18 You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

21 “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house [g]Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household! 26 Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.

Jesus Teaches the Fear of God

27 “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in [h]hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a [i]copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Confess Christ Before Men

32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

Christ Brings Division

34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set[j] a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

A Cup of Cold Water

40 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”

Footnotes

  1. a Matthew 10:3 NU omits Lebbaeus, whose surname was
  2. b Matthew 10:4 NU Cananaean
  3. c Matthew 10:7 has drawn near
  4. d Matthew 10:8 NU raise the dead, cleanse the lepers
  5. e Matthew 10:8 M omits raise the dead
  6. f Matthew 10:16 innocent
  7. g Matthew 10:25 NU, M Beelzebul; a Philistine deity, 2 Kin. 1:23
  8. h Matthew 10:28 Gr. Gehenna
  9. i Matthew 10:29 Gr. assarion, a coin worth about 1⁄16 of a denarius
  10. j Matthew 10:35 alienate a man from

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

I’m going to rewind, as I realized we haven’t discussed the book of Matthew completely as a whole. We know who Matthew is, he is the tax collector who became one of the twelve. He and John were the only two disciples to write a gospel (that we have today and included in our Bible).  I did talk about how he is a Jew and was writing to Jews and concerned with arguing and showing proof that Jesus is the Messiah and fulfilled the prophecies. I looked back to last year and I do not see where I discussed his audience further (maybe I did).  Matthew wrote this AFTER Mark wrote his gospel. And it seems to have the layout and exact words of Mark laying under, as the structure of the book with Matthew adding his own experience in as well as the genealogy and birth of Christ. Since it is so similar, why did Matthew write it? Mark had a successful ministry and many came to believe on Mark’s gospel, it did not seem to need changing. This book was also written before Paul’s letters as Paul refers to it and John refers to Matthew in revelations.  So that places the writing of this book somewhere between 70 ad and 100 ad.  Matthew was writing to the Jews and still trying to convert them and the Jews were being scattered because of the great 911 moment of their time… the destruction of the temple and part of the city. The romans took the spoils from the Holy Temple and even some of its brinks (architectural elements) and used it to build the colosseum (a huge blight on the city and nation spiritually yet still one of the first things we think of when we think of Rome).  The colosseum held the games – where Jews were killed just for entertainment. The Christian were killed there because of their defiance in collecting offering to fund their missions trips, support each other, pay for lawyers for legal trials, etc.  (It was against Roman law for anyone to collect money except Rome and the agreement with the Jews that the temple could. They were also different and their lives brought conviction and their signs and wonders were unexplainable and frightening. The Romans were civilized, so they could not just do a witch hunt. Once they had legal reason to persecute the Christians, them collecting money, they went overboard and over-reached quite a bit. They were legally held for giving or receiving – kind of makes you think of why the giving messages were so important. And how the enemy oppressed the desire for the amazing spiritual blessing of giving.) Anyway, these were scared people leaving Jerusalem and the area and fleeing for their lives and Matthew is still trying to reach them for Jesus.  Matthews argument is: Jesus is the Messiah because he fulfilled prophecy, gentiles have always been in the plans, but the Jews hardened their hearts more and more over the course of Jesus’s ministry so Jesus started preaching more and more in parables so only those who believed could understand. And then Jesus mourns over the city and predicts its destruction and basically the Israelites face an “in the wilderness” moment of Jesus saying this generation doesn’t get the Promised Land – the Warrior Jesus. But Matthew makes sure we understand that it is all ok, because there is a next generation! Jesus will return for them and restore the temple!

Well, let us not get too far ahead of ourselves today. Today is the second major sermon in the book of Matthew formally known as the Mission Discourse.  Basically Jesus call the twelve and lets everyone listen in as He lays out the ground work and structure of HOW to evangelize. Step one is grossly missing from US churches – When was the last time the pastor called us to the altar and anointed us specifically to go out Monday through Saturday and reminded: “He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.” Verse 1. 

To have the anointing and told to: go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, praise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” Verses 7-8

So Jesus, gives them the rules of what to bring and do and act and to let their peace fall (what, their peace – ok so we better get us some of that before we go) and so on with the little rules.  

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Verse 16

Then Jesus prophecies the future of the Apostles about being delivered to councils to be scoured and dragged before governors and kings. What have we said about prophecy – it is always outside of time. The past bears witness and confirms it, but it was for the Apostles including Paul who was not there. It was for Stephen who was stoned. It was for other members of the early church and those who were dragged to the colosseum.  And it is for all who speak of Him through all ages, to various degrees. We discussed last year that some of the letters about brotherly love was because church members were turning each other in, literally to die.  And that has not stopped in our world. There has always been somewhere where someone is being martyred.

I have heard about this in future tense and watch families divide even now – the Vaccine is NOT the mark of the beast and many including myself have said repeatedly that this is just a trial run – and so many of us filed.
Ya see many are saying this is a trial run by the enemy, trying to set up his kingdom. BUT what if it is God showing us IF we are strong and able to truly withstand.
When you fail, do not say it wasn’t a fair test, because you knew it was a test and took the poison because nothing shall harm you because lying to yourself is still lying. The student is not wiser than the teacher. So repent of it and your pride. The truth is you trust poison that flat out said it can kill and harm you over the word of our precious Lord, in order to continue to reap provisions from earthly labor not seeking the provider – but the comfort of provision. Will you endure? Or take the easy way like you did with this last test? I love you, but you need to hear the uncomfortable truth. There was a reason there was a check in your spirit – get back to listening and obeying it. Let me have Jesus himself explain it:

Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Verses 26-31

Jesus was radical and controversial. They would label him conspiracy theorist today. And unlike the Mama bears the FBI is picking up at the PTA, He actually made a difference and radicalized many. It is too bad a few spiritually blind people of Jesus’s time failed to see He came as a warrior/savior even then. Yes, Jesus do not bring peace, as the crowds yelled loudly to crucify him. There was no peace in the town when Stephen was stoned. Jesus spoke of spiritual peace – but he did not bring the hippy dippy peace we have become accustom to thinking of. Maybe it is the flawless glowing painting of the perfect man of every time period, which lulled us to sleep. Rise. Wake up.

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” Verse 34.  And if we make the connections Jesus is the word, the word is the sword, Jesus is the sword. And now that he has reminded you there is a real battle, and need of sword – there is also a price to pay – they price is your life. Jesus never sugar coated it.

Therein is the Mission Discourse. Go, you’ll probably die when you do not conform to this world and have inner peace about it. Oh wait, let me give you a blessing to take with you… If they receive you, they receive me and so on and so forth they will be blessed according. (So the blessing is on those who receive and those who are sent will surely die?

Imagine a pastor in a small local church in Comfortville saying Jesus has called you and it will be difficult and you’ll probably die – but others will be blessed. Go!

But it is what Jesus said. And here I am, going. You are here, are you also going? Are you asking Him for more opportunity to share Him? But are you even being obedient in the opportunities you have? Here I am Lord, help me serve you. Please help me be obedient to your will. Help me, I am willing to go.

And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:7-8 NKJV

Repent, get humble, the kingdom of heaven is at hand!

 ***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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