06 January 2011

Matthew 10-11

Jesus gives very clear instructions to his disciples as he sends them out:

1) do not go to the Gentiles (10.5)
2) heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers (10.8)
3) do not take any gold, silver or copper (10.9)
4) do not take an extra shirt, pair of sandals, or a staff (10.10)
5) stay in the same home the entire time you are in a town (10.11), etc.

Jesus also clearly tells him that being in ministry in his name will not be a walk in the park, but spiritual warfare. How many times does ministry in the church look like flowers and candy instead of swords and shields? Anybody want to sign up for this committee?

Jesus' words in 11.16-19 give me pause as a clergy member of the itinerant kind. Jesus speaks about how the people complained about John the Baptist because he did not do certain things, but those same people complained about Jesus because he did do those certain things. It seems in the course of Christian ministry (even in the first century) there will always be people who complain about the sun coming up and complain about the sun going down. They will never be happy no matter what we do, so I have to stop putting so much stock in complaints from those folks.

I find comfort in 11.28-30 as I ponder resting in my Lord, learning from him, and taking his yoke upon my shoulders. I am weary at the end of difficult seasons of ministry and the rest that Christ gives is like springtime to my soul.

What verse(s) stuck out the most to you in Matthew 10-11?

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