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Jesus -- the Guru #18

Instructions for Disciples

Read Matthew 10:5-16

5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans.6Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.7As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.9Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts;10take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.

11“Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave.12As you enter the home, give it your greeting.13If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.14If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.15I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.16I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.


v. 5 – The word “instructions” is the Greek word for a general’s battle plan for his troops. As we will see, Jesus’ disciples will need a soldier’s courage and discipline in the task set before them.

Jesus tells His twelve apostles:

vv. 5-6 – to whom they should go. God remembered His call to Israel to be the “light to the world,” so they are His first focus.

7 – what they should say. The disciples carry forward their Master’s work, so they are His heralds to announce what He announced (4:17)

8 – what they should do. The disciples do what their Master did, by His authority (v. 1).

vv. 9-10 – what they should not do The disciples are to prove useful to people and enjoy their support. They go humble and dependent on others. (see v. 11)

V, 16 – The disciples are being sent out like soldiers. They will be vulnerable, like “sheep among wolves.” They will need to be shrewd, careful, aware. Yet, they must be innocent, honest, ethical.

This is a different kind of soldier because it is a different kind of battle. It is a battle for people’s hearts. It is a battle not to conquer the world but to build up the world. It is a battle not to change a culture but to develop its greatness.


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