The story of Jesus sending out the twelve disciples, found in Matthew 10, is a rich story full of many implications for today's disciples of Jesus. Let's take some time to "expose the story."
Matthew 10:1-17 NIV84 He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
(2) These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; (3) Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; (4) Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
(5) These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. (6) Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.
(7) As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.'
(8) Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
(9) Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; (10) take 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.
(12) As you enter the home, give it your greeting. (13) If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.
(14) If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.
(15) I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
(16) I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
(17) "Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues.
The story of God always has the depths of God waiting to be explored and exposed. Once exposed to our thinking, the implications of the story become calls to action that hold us accountable and draw us into service. May the exposed story of Jesus today draw you into calling and purpose.
Brett Heintzman is passionate about the spiritual formation of God's people. These writings are designed to draw us close to God and to help us live out of the riches of His presence. It's all about being in the world but not of the world.