Sent: As you go
As You Go
Readings: Matthew 10:1-15
Speaker: Matt Steele
6 May 2018
Matthew’s gospel is full of surprises. Not only is a baby born to a virgin. Not only is God born in a stable. Not only do wise men travel from distant lands to acknowledge a Jewish king who was largely overlooked by his own people. But Matthew’s gospel is written by the most unlikely person - a tax collector who, as a flunky for the Roman empire, would have been despised by his fellows Jews.
Back in 2016 we spent 6 weeks exploring chapters 8-9 of this surprising gospel and we heard Jesus calling his disciples - including Matthew - to follow him. Now we are launching back into this gospel and we’ll find it is no less surprising.
In chapters 10-11 Jesus sends his twelve disciples out to continue his mission. They are to preach to the Jewish people, proclaiming that “the kingdom has come near”. They are also given authority to perform exactly the same kinds of earth shaking miracles that Jesus himself has been doing.
And Jesus makes it clear that this mission will not be safe or easy. These two chapters are full of some of Jesus’ most confronting one liners:
- I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves
- You will be hated by all because of my name
- Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth
- Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me
That Jesus would send such an ordinary group of people on such an important mission is surprising. That Jesus would also entrust such an untrustworthy man as Matthew on this mission is extraordinary.
And yet as we explore Matthew 10-11 we’ll hear something that is perhaps even more unexpected. We’ll hear the voice of Jesus sending us on mission too.