Mt9 35-10:23 - Workers to the Harvest - Jesus Commissions the Twelve


Matt. 9:35-10:23 - Workers to the Harvest - Jesus Commissions the Twelve This section begins with Jesus’ example for his disciples of preaching the good news of the kingdom of God accompanied by healing, a ministry filled with compassion. There’s something about the word “harassed” in Jesus’ description of the condition of the people that gets to me [5035 [4660] sku/llw, skylloœ, v. [root of: 5036]. to bother, annoy; (pass.) to be harassed; (mid.) to trouble oneself]. Thus Jesus commissions the twelve and sends them out with “equal” authority to drive out the enemy and heal (Matt. 10: 1, 8). The question for me then becomes whether that commission is extended to us today some two-thousand years later. Clearly there are parts of this passage that are linked to the specific “project” that the disciples were sent to accomplish at this specific time (for example, the prohibition against preaching the gospel to either the Samaritans or Gentiles, that would clearly be something related to brevity of this specific mission of the Apostles, Matt 10: 5). But there is, at the very least a model given to how the disciples were to behave and the relationship between this commission and how they were to “live” (or more properly, make a living). The economy of this ministry seems to be based on the idea: “Freely you have received, freely give.” This lends itself to his instructions about what to take with them on this mission/journey. Basically, they are to be unencumbered with “stuff.” Beyond their normal walking gear they are not to pack much. And as they work they are to fasten themselves (“community” themselves) with someone within the village they are working in who will provide for their modest needs (a roof, a meal, friendship....). But all of this is meant to serve the work of preaching the good news of the kingdom of God. The simplicity of the “work” and the worker’s relationship with the community is amazing. “Freely you have received, freely give.” JBB 5/18/2004