August 18, 2010

Matthew 10 (Part 2 of 6)

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

Previously we saw Jesus call out a small group of men to become an active part of growing the Kingdom of God with Jesus, and they accepted.

Next Jesus gave these 12 guys authority to 1) drive out evil spirits, 2) to heal every disease and sickness.

Notice it wasn’t until after he had given them authority that Jesus gave instructions. What would have happened if they went out with the AUTHORITY but without the INSTRUCTIONS? It could have been a mess. Have you done that before?

Also notice, even though these 12 guys had been with Jesus and previously witnessed first hand Jesus doing these things, he still gave them specific instructions of where & how he wanted THEM to do it.

A lot of people can read books about leading a new church start. They may have been in the congregation of another church start. Some might have witnessed Jesus first hand doing phenomenal things through the leadership of another church. But even with all our life’s experience, we each need to HEAR what Jesus is instructing each of US to do right now where we are!

Are you leaning on your past experiences with Jesus more than what you are currently HEARING Jesus instructing you to do now as the part of the leadership of LifeSpring Church?

Jesus gave SPECIFIC instructions of WHO (the target) he wanted the disciples to reach!

He told them who NOT to go to, and who TO go to. Does this mean that Jesus doesn’t care about the “Gentiles” or the “Samaritans”? Nope, just means it wasn’t who he wanted THESE 12 guys to go to at this time (BTW, later Jesus will give them new instructions of who to go to…so, don’t get ticked when Jesus updates your instructions!). Jesus wanted them to focus on a specific target, not just a general direction.

Who are the people Jesus is instructing LifeSpring Church to go to?

Who are the people that Jesus is instructing you to go to?

Are they the same people?

(Is this a trick question, since LifeSpring Church IS made up of people like you?)

Jesus gave SPECIFIC instructions of WHAT TO DO as the 12 guys go to the specific people (the target). Notice the order of the WHAT TO DO list of instructions they were given. (There is ORDER in what Jesus instructed them to do, matching the authority he gave them to do it -Matt.10:1-4.)

  1. Preach a message. (A specific message that “the kingdom is near." You ask, "Me a preacher?!? I’m in the band, on hospitality team, lead the production team, etc. I’m not a preacher! That’s Dorsia’s job." WRONG… BUSTED… SMELL THE COFFEE!)
  2. Heal the sick. (Cool, he gave them authority to do that earlier.)
  3. Raise the dead. (WHAT?!? Jesus didn’t say anything about giving them the “authority” to raise the dead earlier. I wonder what kind of dead he’s speaking about… physically dead… or spiritually dead… ? The things that make you go hmmm.)
  4. Cleanse those who have leprosy. (Ok, got that, it’s like the disease thing Jesus gave them authority to do.)
  5. Drive out demons. (Yep, same as above.)

To wrap things up here, I’ll ask you a couple of reflective questions…

What has Jesus freely given you that he EXPECTS and INSTRUCTS you to freely give away to a specific group of people?

Jesus refers to “the worker” (Matt. 10:10). Who are you working for?

Are you worth your keep?

1 comment:

  1. o Sent to a specific group with a specific message. Jesus sends these 12 to people who were much like them (not that Jesus' message wasn't or isn't for ALL people, but He sends them to this particular group at this particular time). I think when most people think of "being sent by Jesus" they think of missionaries who move to far away countries. Instead, we should see ourselves as missionaries who start in our own backyard.

    o v8: These weren't light-weight tasks he gave them to do. People would be (are) jaw-dropped-on-the-floor-amazed at things like that happening today. I wonder sometimes if we see the same fruit of our labor or if we even aim at the same targets Jesus set for these disciples.

    o Jesus seems to be pushing them toward simplicity; don't take this, don't take that, keep it light, keep it simple. How often do churches tend to make following Jesus way more complicated than it should be? How often do Jesus followers complicate their lives by chasing material things or power and position, fame and popularity?