Summary: A study of the Gospel of Matthew 10:5-16
The Coach’s Pep Talk
“5 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. 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. 9 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! 16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”
There were two other Gospels written on this incident. The disciples Mark and Luke recorded this same situation. So, let’s see what they say and then compare all three to gather more information.
Mark 6: 7 – 13, “7 And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits. 8 He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts— 9 but to wear sandals, and not to put on two tunics. 10 Also He said to them, “In whatever place you enter a house, stay there till you depart from that place. 11 And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!” 12 So they went out and preached that people should repent.
Luke 9: 1 – 6, “Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. 2 He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 And He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece. 4 “Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. 5 And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.
For all of you who have ever served in the military, then you are familiar with the term ‘OJT’. I have already given to you in the title what the term means – On The Job Training. Our Lord is now in the process of getting His special twelve apostles ready to begin their lives of ministry on His behalf. He calls His close selected group together and says, ‘men, now is the time for you to get a dry run of what your future ministry will be. So, I want you to pair off. Yes, one of you has to go with Judas.’
“5 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. 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
The apostles received from the Lord ‘power and authority’ to preach that the Messiah has arrived on the scene and that His kingdom is now accepting citizens. To prove that their message is true, then are given His power to heal all physical infirmities and His Authority to cast out evil spirits.
How come we do not see the same spectacular effects from men and women who serve our Lord today? I have heard it said from some teacher’s that the power and authority was only given to the apostles and was only for their ministry. That doesn’t seem to jive with what other Scripture reveals. For example, in the following verses;