Sunday, October 2
Matthew 9:35-10:15 TNIV
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
“Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts—no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for workers are worth their keep. Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at that person’s house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”
The Greek philosophy tried to make a man invulnerable, but there was always an Achilles heel exposed where life would wound. The gospel begins at the cross, so that a man chooses to be utterly vulnerable—he wounds himself to death. Then he is impervious to wounds. You cannot defeat a man who has already accepted defeat; you cannot break Brokenness; you cannot kill a man who has chosen to die—he is now deathless. Buddha saw that the end of life was death and that it stopped there; Jesus saw that the beginning of life was death, and that it did not stop there but went on to an Easter morning.
E. Stanley Jones, The Christ of the Mount.