Devotion based on Matthew 10:1-42

The twelve disciples had been doing ministry with Jesus for a while. They had observed how Jesus dealt with people. They had witnessed the miracles. As his disciples, they had listened to Jesus teaching over and over again. They had learned how Jesus served the people. And then one day, for the very first time, Jesus sent them out to do ministry by themselves. It was their turn to apply what they had learned from Jesus.

I wonder how each one of the disciples reacted. Did they look at each other with confused faces and discussed among themselves, “Wait…what now….did Jesus just ask us to cast out demons? Are we doing this, really?” I imagine Peter would have responded, “Cast out demons? So cool! Let’s go, guys!” But most likely Peter was in the minority. I think most of them were equally nervous and excited to go for Jesus.

But here’s the thing: When Jesus sent the disciples, He didn’t do so without giving them tools. He made a promise to them that He will equip and empower them.

First, Jesus had to give them the authority to do ministry. The same authority that Jesus received from God the Father, Jesus gave to the disciples. The disciples needed this authority. This authority served as an identification card for the disciples. Because remember: Jesus was not going with them! So the only way for people to trust Jesus’ disciples was for to have the disciples performed the same signs and wonders Jesus did. 

Second, Jesus needed to give them Standard Operating Procedures. Go here, don’t go there, do this, preach the Word, don’t do that, heal, be careful of this, be aware of that, cast out demons, etc. The instructions were not to limit the ministry scope of the disciples but to direct the disciples about how to conduct themselves during their ministry journey.

Third, Jesus reminded them that God will be with them: the Spirit of God the Father would be speaking through them. Don’t be afraid; God would protect them! God would acknowledge them as they acknowledged God in front of people.

You and I have followed Jesus for a while now. God doesn’t want us Christians to be passive followers. God doesn’t want us to only listen to sermons, to observe music team during worship, to watch miracles happen, or to send people to pastor for counseling. Instead, God wants us to share, to teach, to pray for the sick, to lead worship, and to give counsel ourselves! He wants us to be active followers.

You and I know what God wants us to do but often times we’re afraid. God calls my friend Fabio to be a missionary – specifically in sports. It means that he had to quit his full-time job teaching to be a missionary. And so he was afraid how to provide for his family. But God spoke to him repeatedly about this sports ministry. Relying on God’s promises, Fabio obeyed. Now, he trains and sends out coaches and athletes to reach hundreds of thousands of young people to Christ through sports. God takes care of him and his family.

To be active followers can be rough. We will be outside of our comfort zone. We will be doing the things we never thought to do. But remember: the same authority that Jesus received from God the Father, Jesus gave to the disciples. Jesus gives to us as well.

Whenever God calls, God equips. But whoever God equips, God will send. Be ready.