Summary: Jesus shows how to Confront an Evil World through presenting 1) A Clear Message (Matthew 10:7), and confidence of 2) Confirming Credentials (Matthew 10:8)
A police investigation has been launched into the suicide of 15-year-old Amanda Todd, who last month posted a gut-wrenching video on YouTube of her treatment at the hands of relentless bullies. Simon Fraser University criminologist Brenda Morrison said that it appears no one in the community stood up for Todd when she was being bullied. In the wake of her death, thousands have taken to social media — the very venue where the bullying started — to express their sympathy and the kindness that Todd felt she did not have in life. While shock and sadness is expressed on the Facebook page, many have reacted in anger as well.
“This is really sad,” read one post written by someone identified as Taylor Sjostrand. “It was painful to see the kids who made fun of her write on her Facebook ’RIP, you will be missed, we loved you.’ Why would you say that when YOU’RE the reason she’s gone. They have no remorse, let alone any idea what they did.” (http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/10/12/b-c-police-launch-investigation-into-suicide-of-bullied-teenager-amanda-todd-as-outpouring-of-grief-grows-online/)
Those whom Jesus had called to pray for workers He then called to become workers. As they began to see the world as He sees it, looking out on lost humanity through their Lord’s eyes and with His heart of compassion, they also began to see that they themselves were called to go out and warn that lost world of the coming harvest of judgment and to invite them into the Lord’s kingdom.
This world is not a place of positive direction and affirmation. Lurking behind some outward tollerance, is real evil. Jesus demands that we not remain silent or impotent in the face of evil. The calling of every Christian is one to confront an evil world through the power of the Holy Spirit. All those who have the Holy Spirit within them through faith, and utalize the word of God, have all the tools they need. In explaining this, Jesus shows how to Confront an Evil World through presenting 1) A Clear Message (Matthew 10:7), and confidence of 2) Confirming Credentials (Matthew 10:8)
1) A Clear Message (Matthew 10:7)
Matthew 10:7 And proclaim as you go, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' (ESV)
Satan’s surest way of making the gospel impotent is simply to keep it from being understood. When the gospel is clouded with political, cultural, social, economic, environmental, ecclesiastical, and other such causes, its message is muddled and its power is diluted.
The word translated “proclaim/preach” means to herald as a crier, “to make a public proclamation with such gravity, formality, and authority as must be heeded”. This style was not a mild-mannered (person) speaking in a mild-mannered way and giving a mild-mannered message (Butler, J. G. (2008). Analytical Bible Expositor: Matthew (177). Clinton, IA: LBC Publications).
There action here to proclaim/preach came to be used characteristically for the preaching of the gospel, but it cannot have that technical meaning here (Jesus had not yet died and risen). It means here the preaching of the same message as Jesus (Morris, L. (1992). The Gospel according to Matthew. The Pillar New Testament Commentary (246). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press.)
The message is to be proclaimed “as you go;” as vv. 11–15 will make clear, this is to be an itinerant mission, not a settled ministry in one place (France, R. T. (2007). The Gospel of Matthew. The New International Commentary on the New Testament (383). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co.).
• To confront an evil world, means being ready to proclaim the realities of the gospel in every sphere that we travel. This world is not our home. We are all to be itinerant missionaries.
The message Jesus gave the apostles to proclaim/preach was simply stated: The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Please turn to Acts 3
In Scripture, the kingdom of heaven can be viewed in three aspects. First, it is manifest in conversion, when a person enters the sovereign rule of God by trusting in Christ for salvation (cf. Matt. 18:3). Second, it is manifest in consecration, as believers live out the divine principles of God’s revelation by obedience to His Word. “The kingdom of God is … righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17). Third, the kingdom will be seen in its glorious consummation when Christ returns to earth to establish and rule it in person and then sets up His eternal kingdom (Matt. 25:31; Acts 3:19–21; Rev. 11:15; 20:4).
Acts 3:19-21 Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. (ESV)