Mentoring 5 ďGo!Ē

Before Easter we were looking at a series on mentoring and we had discussed all sorts of stuff about apprentices, walking along side newer people to the faith, helping people to grow in the faith and the like.

In the gospels we get read an account of Jesus sending out the disciples to do his work.

It should be remembered that the disciples had been with Jesus awhile that they had been taught by him. They were learned in his way of doing ministry and it was time for them to be off doing the thing that Jesus had trained them for. Now I donít know about you but this I reckon would be a bit of a nervous old time. Letís read the account! Matthew 10:1-10.

Now Jesus sent the twelve disciples out and we know them by name, it is thought that most of these men were young with only Jesus and Peter having to pay the temple tax which was paid by men over twenty. So here they are, they have been following their Rabbi Jesus and itís time for them to go and carry out the Rabbiís work without him. So he sends them out with the following instructions, ďDo not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.Ē

Now there seems to be a bit of concern about this. Hereís Jesus telling the disciples that they are to ignore the gentiles (thatís non Jewish bods like us) and the Samaritans who were mixed blood people of Jewish decent and just to talk and work with Jewish people. Sounds a bit on the nose, a little exclusive you could even say a bit racist. What is this about?

Well letís have a think about why Jesus would say this, we see him revealing who he is to a Samaritan woman in John 4: 4-42. If we read verse 40 we see that he got on alright with the Samaritans. ďSo when the Samaritans came to him they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days.Ē We also see him healing the daughter of a gentile woman in Matthew 15:28. Jesus also tells his disciples later to ďgo and make disciples of all nations.Ē He also has some reasonable dealings with Roman people as well. So we can now that Jesus isnít exclusive, he isnít about just being there for Jewish people.

So Jesus isnít a racist, thatís good news!

So why would he tell his disciples to only go and tell the Jewish people the good news?

Well William Barclay came up with three reasons, and while one doesnít relate to mentoring they are worth looking at and thinking about.

a) The Jews had in Godís scheme a very special place. In the justice of God they had been given the first offer of the gospel. It is true that many rejected Jesus, but the whole of history was designed to give them the opportunity to accept.

b) The twelve disciples were not equipped to preach to the Gentiles, they didnít have the right background, knowledge or technique. Paul was to start this ministry, and some of the disciples as well followed a ministry to the gentiles later in life. This command was only for a season, here and now they were restricted