Excerpt from Pastor Rick’s message: “Called and Empowered” (Series: If God Could Use Peter)
“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:5-8).
These disciples became apostles (messengers, sent ones), and immediately we find Jesus sending them out on a kingdom mission, primarily to the Jews at this point (vs. 5-6). He then gives them a detailed list of instructions. Their first priority at all times was to preach the Gospel (vs. 7). They were now “fishing for men,” reaching the lost, sharing the Gospel.
Notice the phrasing: “as ye go, preach” (poreuomai kerusso). The imperative command is the word preach, and the present participle is the going. It is the same structure you find in the Great Commission, which is translated “Go ye therefore, and teach” (poreuomai matheteuo). The present participle is the going, but the imperative command is to make disciples. In other words, whether we “go” or not is not the question. It is not open for discussion. It is assumed that as followers of Christ we will reach out to others. That is what Christians do. And as we go, we must share the Gospel and disciple believers.
Jesus then gave them some powerful words of challenge and encouragement as they made their way into cities and towns, sometimes received with open arms, other times going out “as sheep in the midst of wolves” (vs. 16). He warns them of being delivered before governors and kings for cause of Christ, and even tortured (vs. 17-18). But even then the Holy Spirit of God would give them words to speak (vs. 19-20). Being a follower of Jesus Christ, sent out on a kingdom mission would at times divide their families, cause others to hate them, and bring about suffering and rejection, just as their Lord and Master would endure. But despite the risks, challenges, and opposition of serving the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus urges them not to fear others, but to fear God (vs. 28, 31). Serving Jesus Christ means putting everything and everyone in our life on the table, even our life itself, in order to take up our cross to follow our Savior (vs. 37-39). We die to ourselves, so that we may live for Him!
This challenge was not just for that first mission. It would guide Simon Peter the rest of his life. These words ought to challenge anyone who is serious about serving the Lord Jesus Christ, whether in vocational ministry or as a volunteer. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be discouraged. Whom God calls, He empowers. “Where God guides, He provides.” God will give you anything and everything you need in order to carry out His will for your life. It may mean sacrifice, it may disappoint or anger your family, it may cost you things that you dearly love, but friend,
“It will be worth it all when we see Jesus! Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ. One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase. So bravely run the race ’til we see Christ!”