The Twelve Apostles to the Lost Sheep of Israel.!!!
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!……. Matthew 10:5-15
In our previous Study, We considered how Jesus selected His Apostles from among His Many Disciples. And we see the kind of Men that the Lord chose that they were not perfect but they were Sincere Men who acknowledged their Failures and repented of it. Here we see Jesus given them Commanding them on what they were expected to do as He sends them out.
“Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans: Why did Jesus told His Apostles not to go to the Gentiles and the Samaritans? Did He hate them? Was He trying to Hide the Gospel from them. We must recognize that the time has not come for the Gospel to be preached to the other nations of the world. Jesus said in Matthew 15:24 that “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Jesus recognized that the Father has drawn a circle of Ministry around Him. He was primarily sent to the House of Israel. And that was why He limited His ministry to the House of Israel. And So He instructed His Apostles to stay within those boundaries. But this is not Valid any longer because later on in Matthew 28:19, He says to them to go and make Disciples of ALL nations. Our commission as Christians is Found in the Great commission(Matt 28:19)and not in Matt 10:5. Let us therefore take heed to the Ministry the Lord has given unto us. If the Lord has drawn a circle of ministry around You to Minister to the Poor, Youth, Old, prisoners, and so on. Stick to It!!! Don’t jump into a Ministry the Lord has not given to You.
Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’: Jesus looked at the people of Israel as lost sheep who have wandered away in the way of Sins and His desire is to gather them as the True Shepherd. Jesus has not lost His Compassion, He still looks at Sinners with compassion with the aim of gathering them into His Kingdom even today. And the only way to get the Lost sheep is by Preaching to them. Shame on Christians who go around Joking, playing and Laughing with lost sheep when they should have been preaching to them. How will they hear of what the Lord has for them without a Preacher?(Romans 10:14). How will they respond to the Love of Christ if there is none to tell them about it? Oh How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the Gospel of peace( Romans 10:15). What were they told to preach? “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand(Mark 6:12)” The only message that can prepare Sinners for the Kingdom of Heaven is Repentance. The Day the message of Repentance stops in our lives, then it means we are saying “We are completely perfect Like Jesus”. And since none of us is perfect, then We need to Repent. So the only way to get the lost sheep is the message of Repentance. Then, the Apostles preached “The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand”. But now we are called to preach “The Kingdom of Heaven is Here!!!” For the Kingdom of Heaven came down on Earth on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out. For the Kingdom of Heaven is Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit(Romans 14:17). We are now called to preach to people that they can now live a Life where they are righteous at All times by the Grace which is in Christ Jesus. We are to tell people that they can live a life where they have peace with God and other human, and that they can be filled with Joy irrespective of the circumstances they find themselves. For this is the Kingdom of God!!! The only Kingdom which is at hand now is the Kingdom of Glory. Where the Sons of God will be made manifest to the Whole world to see. Where All those who have truly kept the Faith in their secret Life with a pure heart and a good conscience will be made known to the whole world. And guess what? All creatures are eagerly waiting for that Day(Romans 8:19). Let us therefore be Diligent to seek first the Kingdom of God and its Righteousness and let us make all effort to fulfill the conditions to be found worthy of the Coming Kingdom of Glory.
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give: Those whom the Lord sends on an errand, He definitely equips. Those whom the Lord has commissioned, He gives them power for service. Jesus gave the Apostles Authority to Heal, cleanse, raise the Dead and cast out demons so that the Hearts of the people may be opened to receive this new kingdom that is being preached to them. Let us therefore cast All fears away, for if truly the Lord has sent us, we can be sure He will back us up. Then Jesus warns His Disciples to give freely, for they also received freely. There is a Great temptation for those who have gifts of Healing, casting out of Demons and raising the Dead to enrich themselves with the gifts the Lord has given to them. So Jesus warns His Apostles to beware of the temptation of thinking that Godliness is a means of gain. Let us therefore take heed to preach the Gospel without charge and use the gifts of the Holy Spirit for the good of others without charging them lest we lose our authority and put a stumbling block on the Gospel of Christ(1 Corinthians 9:18)
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 : As we have said earlier, our commission as Christians does not come from this verses. Here we see Jesus telling His Disciples not to carry money, bags, sandals or two clothes along with them. Which implies that God will provide for their food, clothes, and their needs. The Children of Israel has been taught to respect those who come with God’s word. But Later on, when He was to commission His Apostles to go to other nations, He gave them a Different instruction saying,when I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?”So they said, “Nothing.” Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one”(Luke 22:35-36) So the situation changed after those three and half years of being with Jesus. We need to understand that this was an instruction given by Jesus for that period of time. They were to learn to Depend on the generosity of those whom they ministered to. But now, we are to go with our money, bags and clothes. We are now called to expect nothing from people when we minister to them. We are now to go with our own resources. Just like Paul laboured with his hands to provide for His own need during ministry.
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: Jesus instructed His Apostles to stay and continue in the House of only those who are worthy and people of peace. There is no wisdom in trying to give the Gospel Message to those who are not interested in it. It is a waste of time trying to preach to a person who is not interested in listening. Don’t cast Your pearls before pigs, Don’t give the Holy things to the Dogs(Matt 7:6).if they will not receive You and Your message, depart from there!!! There is a Dignity about those whom the Lord sends on an errand. They are not beggars. If they will not receive You in peace, shake off the dust of their house from Your feet!!! For they are not worthy!! Those who reject the Gospel of Christ never find peace within their Heart. Let us therefore take heed lest we ourselves reject the teachings and Exhortation written down for us in the Epistles.
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: There is a Judgement day coming where all those who have rejected the Gospel of peace brought by the Lord Jesus Christ will hear of their ruin. Those who have made themselves unworthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ will face the wrath of the Lamb. There will be different degrees of punishment in Hell. I believe some part will be hotter than the rest part. All the pains in Hell are intolerable, but some pain will be more severe than others. The punishment given to Sodom and Gomorrah will be nothing compared to the one which those who have rejected and taken for granted the Gospel of Christ will be made to face. For to whom more is given, more is expected. It is a great privilege and opportunity given to us in this generation to have the Bible distributed for free. We have the Internet to check for Christian Materials. We have a lot of wonderful Bible study applications. Indeed, if only Sodom and Gomorrah has these opportunities we have now, they would have repented when Lot preached to them. Let us therefore give more earnest heed to the things we have heard(Hebrews 2:1)lest we take it for granted and the Lord says to us “Sodom and Gomorrah was better than You”
Dear Friend, Don’t go beyond the boundary of ministry the Lord has given to You. Don’t joke with Lost Sheep, instead Preach to them. Always remember that there is a Dignity about a Man and Woman of God!!! Don’t cast your precious pearls before pigs. If they are not interested in the Gospel of peace, Go to another City!!! When Israel rejected the Gospel of Christ, God gave it to the Gentiles!! Become therefore Like Your Father!!! May His mercy and Grace work upon Us to make us worthy and people of Peace lest we reject the Gospel(Amen). God bless you. Have a blessed day.
#Everyday with Jesus
The Twelve Apostles to the Lost Sheep of Israel.!!!