At the end of Matthew 9, Jesus prays for harvesters.
At the beginning of Matthew 10, Jesus answers his own prayer. From his many male and female disciples, he selects twelve men to be his Apostles. With special authority and power, they are sent out to perform Kingdom work in his name and on his behalf.
However, before sending them out, Jesus gives them a word. The Master gives them instructions; he tells them the objective they are to pursue. In addition, Jesus also gives them insight; he does not wish for them to be surprised at what is coming around the bend.
These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. As you enter the house, greet it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town. (Matthew 10:5-15)
Some of Jesus’ instructions are particular to the situation and calling of the Twelve. It is not to be expected that every individual, ministering in the name of Jesus, is to “heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons.” God is not limited today; he can still do such miraculous work through men, women, boys, and girls. However, that being said, such ministry practices are not normative.
Yet, all of Jesus’ instructions are profitable for those performing Kingdom work on his behalf. All Christians, who are all gifted by the Holy Spirit and called to be a part of his holy priesthood, are to be ministers of the book and ministers of the people.
All of us are to go and teach the truth of Jesus. We are to be engaged in evangelism, discipleship, counseling, admonishing, comforting, and defending. This is the Great Commission. Not just ministers, but all Jesus’ disciples are to be busy heralding his truth.
All of us are to go and touch the untouchables. In former times Israelites are commanded to stay away from those who are sick,dead, leprous, and possessed. However, Jesus’ New Covenant disciples are to seek out such people. They are to minister to mind and soul; they are also to minister to emotion and body.
All of us are to go and trust the Spirit. As a baby, Simon looks at Jesus and prophesies he is destined for the fall and rising of many. As a toddler, Jesus is the one who evokes praise from the magi and hatred from Herod. Now as a man, Jesus is polarizing; some love him; others hate him. The same is true of the Twelve; they are to go into the various villages and expect both reception and rejection. And the same is true of us who minister in the name of Jesus Christ today. Teach the Word! Touch the untouchables! Then, do not be overly-enthralled with success or overly-depressed with rejection. Some will love those ministering in the name of Christ. Some will respond with vehement hatred. Do not be offended. Do not be scared. Do not be deflated. Do not quit. With pity, shake the dust off your feet and go find the next opportunity to teach, touch, and trust the Holy Spirit. Such is life for those who have found the Way, the Truth, and the Life.