Belt of Truth
Knowing and Applying God's Truth to Real Life
Matthew 10:1-15 (NKJV) And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. 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. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food. Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. And when you go into a household, greet it. If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 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. 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!
What truth is revealed? Jesus has just established the twelve men who would be identified as His disciples. He gives them the “power” to do the work of the ministry along with some special instructions. One of those instructions has caused some heart-burn. “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But, go rather, to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Does this command make Jesus a bigot as some secularists have suggested? (“No!”) It simply means that the time for God’s plan to reach the Gentile nations had not yet arrived.
What can we learn from this story? The completed atoning work of the cross was yet to be realized, and it would be the bridge that reached across to the Gentiles. Was Jesus concerned about the Gentiles? His command to reach every ethnic group around the world stands as a monument of Jesus’ good favor towards all people. As Jesus sent His disciples to preach, He armed them with the power of God and a message of hope. These are still the most potent weapons in the work of Evangelism.
How can I apply this story to my life? Jesus talked about the “places” that did not receive the gospel as being in a place of judgment. That is universally true for everyone standing outside of God’s provision of salvation. 1 John 5:11,12 states this truth eloquently. “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
Questions to Consider:
Ask any Pastor...for that matter, ask anyone involved in the work of the ministry; "Do you have enough to keep you busy?" Contrary to some popular urban legends, "Pastors do not play spend all their week-days playing golf." This Pastor has not had the opportunity or time to play golf in years. In God's Kingdom work there are simply not enough hours, resources or people to complete everything that could be done. No wonder Jesus instructed His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to sent out laborers into His harvest."
What Truth is Revealed? This story gives us some important insight to the heart of God; Jesus was moved with compassion for the multitudes that were weary and scattered. That is what life often does to people, the circumstances of life storm on and people are over-whelmed. What a wonderful opportunity for the Church to step-in and help. "So, Lord we pray, raise up and send laborers into this great harvest!"
How Does this Apply to Me? Firstly, that I would have compassion of the multitudes of people who are weary, hopeless and in need of ministry. Too often, I am too busy. At least that is my weak excuse. So, I pray that the Lord will send laborers into the harvest--starting with me!
Questions to Consider:
As revealed by God through the Life and Message of Christ; through the wisdom of Solomon; through the letters of the Apostles; through the inspiration of God.