Summary: Jesus gives us everything we need to be successful in ministry.
A Messiah Who Sends Part 1: Preparing For the Journey
Text: Matt. 10:1-15
1. Illustration: “[Most people] act as if they were simply dropped down in creation and have to entertain [them] selves until [they] die. But we [Christians] were sent into the world by God, just as Jesus was. Each of us has a mission in life. Jesus prays to his Father for his followers, saying, “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” We seldom fully realize that we are sent to fulfill God-given tasks” (Henri J. N. Nouwen, Bread for the Journey, April 23 reading).
2. As Christians we have the knowledge that we are not here by mistake, but that we have a sovereign God who has a great purpose for our lives.
3. However, we also realize that He does not send us out ill-prepared. He sends us out with:
4. Read Matt. 10:1-15
Proposition: Jesus gives us everything we need to be successful in ministry.
Transition: The first thing that Jesus does is...
I. Sends Us With Authority (1-4).
A. Gave Them Authority
1. The first thing that we need to notice about our text is what words Matthew uses to refer to those Jesus is sending.
2. In v. 1 he says, "Jesus called his twelve disciples together..."
a. Matthew is the only New Testament writer to refer to the "twelve disciples", although the title "the Twelve" occurs regularly elsewhere (Wilkins, NIV Application Commentary New Testament: Matthew, 384).
b. The word disciple refers to "a person who learns from another by instruction, whether formal or informal" (Louw and Nidda, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Symantic Domains).
c. The point here is that Jesus didn’t just pick out twelve people out of a crowd and say "sick em!" They had been with him and observed how he did ministry.
d. Even Paul, the greatest Evangelist that ever lived, had to be trained to minister.
e. Galatians 1:15-17 (NLT)
15 But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him
16 to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles. When this happened, I did not rush out to consult with any human being.
17 Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to consult with those who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went away into Arabia, and later I returned to the city of Damascus.
f. Galatians 2:1 (NLT)
Then fourteen years later I went back to Jerusalem again, this time with Barnabas; and Titus came along, too.
g. Part of becoming a disciple is allowing yourself to be trained to be used by God.
3. However, I want us to notice that in v. 2 Matthew refers to the same twelve guys with a different title. He says, "Here are the names of the twelve apostles..."
a. Matthew uses the word "apostle" only here, and he is the only Gospel writer to use the expression "the Twelve apostles" (Wilkins, 386).
b. He changes their title from disciples to apostles. Why?
c. Apostle: one who has been commissioned and sent as a special messenger (Louw and Nidda, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Symantic Domains).
d. The term apostle has a significantly different meaning than disciple. The term disciple designates anyone who has believed in Jesus, while apostle designates one who has been commissioned to be his representative.
e. He changes their title because they have gone from being students to being interns.
f. Illustration: It is kind of like being a student teacher. As a student teacher you aren’t taken right from the college classroom and thrown into a classroom full of wild-eyed junior high kids. You learn first by observing a mentor, but then you are given the opportunity to put what you have learned into practice.
4. However, Jesus doesn’t send them out empty handed. Matthew tells us that He "gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness."
a. The word authority is from a verb that means "it is lawful," and it therefore refers to a right or power that is legitimately delegated (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Matthew 8-15).
b. Jesus took the initiative in calling and commissioning his disciples, and so now he gives them his authority (Turner, Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, 146).
c. The same authority that characterized Jesus’ ministry is now given to the Twelve.
d. Like Jesus, this authority enables them to drive out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and sickness.
e. The text explicitly tells us that Jesus was interested not only in proclaiming the kingdom but also in demonstrating it (Keener, IVPNT: Matthew, 199).