Jesus Empowers and Sends the 12 Apostles to Teach, Heal, and Serve

Matthew 10:1-42

At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, he called twelve disciples to follow him.  Since then, they had been with Jesus, witnessing amazing miracles and learning so much from him.

At this point, the Bible calls these twelve disciples the twelve apostles.  Jesus gave them power to heal, preach, and serve.

He instructed them to go throughout all of Israel and said to them, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”  These twelve definitely had received a lot from Jesus in the experiences they have had with him.  Now they were being told to share these wonderful experiences, and to create their own experiences with the people they were to teach and serve.

The Primacy of Saint Peter by James Tissot

Jesus told them that there would be places where the people would not want to hear them. They would be hated at times.  They would even be harmed because of the work Jesus was asking them to do.  Jesus explained that if some people would not listen to Jesus and would want to do harm to Jesus, the servants of Jesus would not be treated any better.

But Jesus promised them that God the Father would give them what they should say and also promised that if they were faithful to the end, they would be saved.

Jesus told the twelve that they should not fear anyone who can do harm to their bodies, but always be careful to keep their soul safe from spiritual harm.

Jesus told them that God the Father knows even when a small sparrow falls to the ground, so if God pays attention to that, He will certainly pay attention to the lives and work that God’s servants were doing.

Jesus said that anyone who will tell others of the goodness of Jesus, then Jesus will tell of that person’s goodness to his Father in heaven.

He taught that we must not put ourselves first, but put serving Christ first in our lives and then our lives will be happy.  He said, “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

Jesus told the twelve to serve.  He said that even by giving a small child a cold drink of water because you are trying to serve Jesus, you will earn a reward.

What do you think?

  • Why would Jesus want the twelve to go teach and heal others?
  • Do you think it would be hard for Jesus to send his apostles to people who would do them harm?
  • Why would it be more important to protect your soul than to worry about harm to your body?
  • How can we put service to Christ first in our lives?
  • What does Jesus mean when he says if we endure to the end we will be saved?  What kind of rewards come to those who serve others?

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