26 November 2013

BSF 2013-2014: Matthew 9:35-10:42

I apologize upfront if this post is a little convoluted. I was feeling really distracted while studying this lesson, so I didn’t get really deep into the applications.

At the end of Matthew chapter 9 and throughout chapter 10, Jesus explains the cost of discipleship to His followers. Being a disciple of Christ is extremely costly but eternally rewarding.

He sees the people as sheep without a shepherd. He not only sees the people, but He sees their hearts.

Jesus tells us to pray for God to supply the workers. And be warned that I may be the answer to my own prayer!

Next Jesus commissions his 12 apostles. While disciples are any people who follow Jesus, He appoints 12 specific men whom He chooses to represent Jesus to others. Jesus gives them the authority to heal people and cast out demons besides the power to speak the Gospel. This authority was the credentials they needed to prove their work was from Jesus.

Jesus also gives the apostles some specific instructions:
  • Don’t go to the Gentiles and the Samaritans.
  • Don’t take extra money, clothes or shoes.
  • Do go to the lost sheep of Israel.
  • Do proclaim Jesus’ message of repentance and the kingdom of heaven.
  • Do heal people and cast out demons for no cost.
  • Do be as shrewd as snakes (tough-minded) and as innocent as doves (tenderhearted).
Finally, Jesus prepares His disciples for persecution. Jesus calls His apostles (and us!) to endure to the end. He tells us to fear not for seven reasons:
  • We should expect suffering.
  • God will bring everything into the light one day.
  • We should fear God only.
  • God cares for His own.
  • Christ honors those who confess Him.
  • We cannot escape conflict.
  • We can be a blessing to others.
Things to Think About
  • Who is in my crowd of sheep without a shepherd? Who in my life is confused and walking around aimlessly?
  • Am I willing to be tough-minded and tenderhearted?
  • Stay committed in the face of suffering and even death. Jesus did not promise ease but warned of trouble in the Christian life.