Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 217/260: The Apostles

Read Matthew 9:35-10:42; Luke 9:1-6

Jesus Is More Important

The world is in need. There are people all over the world hungry and homeless. Too many children grow up without fathers. Wars and struggles for power are constant at national levels. Domestic violence and abuse are all too common behind closed doors. Yet there is a need that towers over all of these needs: the need for Jesus.

As the Lord traveled and taught the multitudes, “He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). He recognized the great need of the world, but He also recognized the lack of workers to tend to that need. He said that “the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:37), and that statement is just as true in the twenty-first century as it was in the first.

Jesus commissioned twelve men to take the gospel to the masses, with the warning that they would face persecutions as they did so. This is generally referred to as “the limited commission.” It was a task assigned only to the apostles, and they were assigned only to the Jews. The Lord told them, “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:5-6). Those instructions would change later when the great commission was issued, but for now the focus was limited.

There are many principles within this commission, however, that still apply. Those who attempt to teach truth will still be persecuted. Jesus described it this way: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Always be on guard. Protect yourself from danger, but do not fear the danger. God cares about His servants. “Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31).

Division will come when someone hears the truth but refuses to accept it. The gospel will cause problems within families Jesus is more important than family. “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:37).

Your relationship with Jesus is more important than anything. Don’t neglect Him.

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