Our scripture this week is Matthew 9:35-10:8.
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. Matthew 9:35-10:8
In our lesson this week we hear of Jesus sending the twelve out into the world. He tells them of the need for them to minister to the people with the statement “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” (9:37). Jesus wants them (and us) to understand how important it is for us to share God’s love in our world.
We are all called to do as they did, to go and proclaim “The kingdom of heaven has come near” (10:7). Jesus has a double purpose in this assignment for them – He wants His message of peace spread among the people that they may know God’s love, but He also wants the disciples to see how effective they can be at sharing the Good News.
Today, ask God to give you the strength and courage to share your faith by telling someone about His love. Help make the world a better and softer place. It is up to each person to accept the offer of relationship with Him, but it is up to us to carry the message.
Loving Lord, help us to go into the world to let people know how much You love and value them. Make us the disciples of today to share the message of hope with everyone. Amen.