Being a Disciple of Christ


Jesus Sent Men on a Mission

Book of Matthew Chapter 10

Who is a disciple of Jesus Christ?

1) They will believe His doctrine.
2) They rest upon the sacrificial works of the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation.
3) They are full of the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
4) They will follow according to His example.

You cannot be a disciple of Jesus Christ if you reject any of these things!

There were many who followed Jesus at the first, but Jesus chose 12 specific men for His own reasons.

*Mat 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

We can say that Jesus chose twelve men because there were 12 Tribes of Israel.
At the time of Jesus the separation of the tribes of Israel did not exist in the fashion as determined by Moses.

It is the Church who will “Judge” the twelve tribes of Israel during the 1000-year reign of the Lord Jesus.

Mat 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Notice men have no power before they are given power by the Lord Jesus Christ.

These men were given only the same powers that Jesus had already shown to the world!

Mat 9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

Jesus considered all humans as spiritual sheep:

Mat 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

Jesus also said many more would become disciples if there were enough laborers with His message:

Mat 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few;
Mat 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.

These powers were amazing powers to be given to men.

At this time they could only preach the same message as John the Baptist except to say the Messiah had come.

1) They had power to heal all manner of sickness and disease.
2) They had power to cast out evil spirits.

If you do not have the Holy Spirit living in you, then you have an evil spirit living in you!

Then we see the names of these 12 disciples who are now called apostles.

The 12 Apostles were men specifically chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ.

We know that the traitor Judas is in this first group, but he is later replaced by the Apostle Paul, still because every Apostle had to be specifically chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ.

We know Paul, then Saul, was chosen as he traveled the Damascus Road.

There were no other apostles then nor can there ever be.

The Church is the one and only group chosen to spread the Word of God throughout the world today!

Their names:

*Mat 10:2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
Mat 10:3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
Mat 10:4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

We must understand that when the Lord Jesus allocates power to individuals, it is not about ranking it is only about His ministry.

It is not about position, it is not about wealth, it is not about fame, it is not about earthly dominion.

Those given the power of Jesus Christ are given that power to reach and help people.

The soul of man is the most important commodity to the Lord.

The power of God is to be always directed against the evilness and wickedness in this world.

It is not the power to judge, the Lord holds that power to Himself.

Jesus Christ in the flesh could only be in so many places.

The Lord Jesus taught men to carry on His work after He completed that work and returned to Heaven in all His glory.

These 12 men were not administrators, they were always just ministers.

The Church has only one Head and that Head is the Lord Jesus Christ!

It is not the Pope or any other religious leader.

Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

The Church is that “body”, the Body of Christ.

Israel was first called the people of God, but they rejected the Lord.

Remember, the Lord Jesus will not force Himself upon anyone. When you say leave He will leave as Jews insisted before Pilate.

Mat 27:22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.
Mat 27:23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.
Mat 27:24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
Mat 27:25 Then answered all the people, and said, “His blood be on us, and on our children”.
Mat 27:26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

Why would they still believe they are God’s people?

The Church is now God’s chosen people!

1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

It is these Apostles who taught the message given to them by the Lord Jesus, how can we reject their message?

Jer 3:15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

An apostle belongs to the One who sent them.
An apostle is commissioned to be sent out.
An apostle possesses the authority and the power of the One who sent them.

These powers were given to these 12 men and to Paul and no others.

Because these men died, then their apostleship died out.

At first these men went only to the Jews, but we must also remember, the Lord Jesus is all-knowing, and He already knew what would happen, Jesus came to die for all sinners in every land!

*Mat 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
Mat 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

These disciples were undergoing a training program that they did not really even understand at this point.

This was a temporary mission.
They were to go only to certain places.
They had a specific message.
They had a specific manner in which they were to conduct themselves.
They had specific powers given under the authority of the Lord Jesus.

We should completely understand that no one is given the power to preach the Word of God unless they are called and then sent by the Almighty Living God.

Much of the problems in the Church today is because of so-called men of God were not truly called of God.

The message to the Jews was a message of repentance as John the Baptist preached.

The difference being John preached Jesus was coming.
These 12 would preach that Jesus the Messiah was now here.
These 12 after the death of Christ and after the Holy Spirit gave them full power would preach, Jesus is coming again and their message would be to all people, in every nation, Jew, Gentile, and Samaritan alike.

Every human being will fall into one of these categories!

There were at this time many others who were following the Lord but most of them followed Him because of the miracles He had shown.

You see a ministry for the Lord is not a profession with retirement plans and salaries and all such things.

A ministry for the Lord is a commission!

Without the power of a calling to serve, you would have to serve in your own strength.
Without the power of a calling, you will try to serve with your own ideas of God’s plan.
Without the power of a calling, you will always come up short in proclaiming the Gospel.
Without the power of a calling, you will always wonder if you are doing any good at all.

We find these problems in many a house of God today.

These 12 went only to Israel at this time and not to the lost world.

Only after the death of Christ and the Holy Ghost came down to these disciples at Pentecost, would their message be a true salvation message!

Rom 9:30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
Rom 9:31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Rom 9:32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
Rom 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

We must understand that Israel will always hold a special place in God plans.

God made certain promises to Israel and He will keep those promises.

If we truly understand the plan of God for our salvation, then we should also understand once we are saved our first priority is to reach out to our family.

These Jewish disciples were reaching out first to Jews a lesson to them for the future and a lesson for us once we come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as our own personal Savior.

We also see that those who are lost are as sheep. Sheep have to have a Shepherd to survive!

What was their message?

*Mat 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

They were not sent to “discuss” the Kingdom of Heaven, they were sent to preach!

They were to proclaim the Kingdom of God is at hand.

They were to preach the message that the Lord Jesus gave to them, not some message of their own.

What did God tell Jonah?

Jon 3:2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, “and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee”.

This is another problem in the modern church. The modern Church has forgotten “to preach the message of Jesus Christ”.

This is the message given to the Apostles after Pentecost when they were filled with the Holy Spirit and sent out to the World!

We are never to preach or teach our own ideas about the Gospel, we are simply to preach and teach the Gospel of salvation and then all the Word of God as it is written.

2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

These disciples preached repentance and this repentance message is forgotten today!

We have to stop our sinful ways and turn toward Jesus Christ and His ways.

We cannot say God made me the way I am and refuse to repent, this is what the meaning of being “Born Again” is all about!

We must turn from our old ways and turn to the ways of Jesus Christ!

These disciples were given other powers that are not given to the workers of Christ today.

The Jews always had to have proof.

Mat 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

This same sign that was shown to the Jews was shown to the world!

Mat 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

The Lord Jesus Christ remained in a borrowed tomb for three days and three nights just as He said!

*Mat 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

These disciples were given great powers from the Lord, these powers do not exist on this world today.

These things cannot be done without the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Mat 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

We should understand all powers for the ministries of Christ come by Christ!

Notice the differences in the powers given to the Church and the powers given to these disciples who were to go strictly to the Jews.

1Co 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
1Co 12:29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
1Co 12:30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
1Co 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

The greatest trait we can be given from the Lord is a giving love!

1Co 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, “and have not charity”, it profiteth me nothing.

The message of Jesus Christ is nothing without “love”!

These disciples had to go to the house of Israel based upon their faith in Jesus Christ!

*Mat 10:9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,
Mat 10:10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

If we place our faith in any of these things, then we cannot say we have true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Most missionaries today do not go to the field until they have established a fund of support for themselves and their families, but the Lord Jesus did not allow these 12 disciples who would become the 12 Apostles, after Paul joined them, to carry these things with them.

The only thing they had, was their faith that Jesus was the Messiah, and the Kingdom of God was surely at hand.

These disciples were not allowed to accumulate great estates through their ministry, and they were not allowed to spend their own money on the ministries of the Lord.

1) Their minds and their hearts had to be centered on the Gospel and ministering to the people. Not buying, selling, or accumulating.
2) They were to trust God to meet their needs and teach dependence upon the Lord.
3) They were to depend upon God’s people to provide.
4) They were to allow God’s people to be a part of the Lord’s ministry by the act of giving to that ministry!

The true servant of God is worthy of our support!

These Apostles were to give full time to the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, and they could not do this without support from God’s people!

*Mat 10:11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.
Mat 10:12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.
Mat 10:13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.

A worthy house would be a hospitable house. A person who was willing to entertain strangers.

There was most always someone like this in every town, city, or village, it was in the Jewish culture.

These people would have good reputations for their hospitality to strangers and have good morals according to the Word of God.

These disciples were to stay in this home until their work was done in this area.

A worthy host would normally not be the rich nor the leading citizens of a city.

In many cases, the worthy host may not have the best accommodations, but this was not important.

God’s people are never to seek more comfort and luxury over a Godfearing home!

All these things were to test the sincerity of these soon to be Apostles.

Once established they were to go house to house with the words of Christ.

Pro 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Col 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

If they were accepted into the home, then they were to share the peace of God.

If they were not accepted, then their salutation would be enough, and they would go elsewhere.

They were to say nothing else at all.

It iss called being courteous no matter what that person did to you.

We are not ambassadors for Christ to make enemies!

If they reject the message of Christ, then they have rejected Christ!

These were all Jews but no matter what was served at mealtime was not to be rejected!

They were to be content with their accommodations!

If the house be worthy of it, God shall give them the peace you wish them. If not, He shall give you what they refuse.

The same will be the case when we pray for them that are not worthy.

*Mat 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
Mat 10:15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

What is discernment?

Mal 3:18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

As witnesses of the Lord Jesus we must discern and make “righteous” judgment, of the people we witness to.

We are not their personal judge, but we can judge according to the Word of God!

Jas 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

1Pe 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

1) Are they kind and gracious or cold and hard?
2) Are they just shy and bashful or really not interested?
3) Are they truly receptive or just kind and gracious to everyone?
4) Are they spiritually sensitive or just interested in religious questions?

In reality, we are not to waste our time on those who will never trust the Lord.

1Th 4:8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

How did the Apostle Paul react to these things?

Act 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
Act 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

Jesus put things a little harsher!

When we are rejected as witnesses for the Lord, just trying to tell someone about Jesus, the Lord Jesus says Hell will be hotter for those people.

If we consider the people of Sodom and Gomorrah to be some of the worst of all sinners, then we are thinking wrong.

Gen 13:13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.

We see many living in this lifestyle today and they will suffer in a like manner of Sodom and Gomorrah but those who have rejected the simple witness of the child of God, will find the “Judgment” of God to be even more severe!

Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Sodom and Gomorrah rejected the truth of God!

Lam 4:6 For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.

Today those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ, reject the “Grace” of God who sent His only begotten Son to die for them.

All sin brings death of the soul and eternal damnation and eternal separation from a loving God, but to reject the Son of God brings with it an even harsher judgment!

At this time, these 12 men were witnessing to the Jews, but it will be the same for all those who reject God’s Son!

The witness for Christ is just the messenger as is every true Pastor and Preacher.

Those that reject the messenger also reject the message, and that message is the salvation plan for this world.

This rejection brings the condemnation of God!

Jud 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
Jud 1:15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and “of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him”.

As the messengers of God we are God’s sheep, and our Shepherd is the Lord Jesus Christ.

*Mat 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

The Lord Jesus has told us we would face persecution for becoming His sheep.

Joh 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

It is only the Lord Jesus Christ who can send true messengers of Heaven.

We as disciples are commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ, and we should have great comfort in this fact because we go forth with the power of God.

The Lord Jesus is fully aware of the persecution we will face!

Persecution teaches us about God’s care for us.
Persecution matures us as believers.

God sometimes uses persecution to touch the hearts of the persecutors.

We must also consider that if we are persecuted to our death, we will be in Heaven before our dead body hits the ground.

Death holds no power over God’s children!

We must not be caught off guard when persecution comes.

It is almost impossible to walk upon a snake, they can feel your presence as you walk.

A snake will get out of your sight as quickly as possible.
A snake is very quiet!
A snake does not expose itself needlessly.
A snake always seeks to preserve itself.

A dove is mild and meek.
A dove bears no ill or hurt.
A dove is innocent and inoffensive.
A dove is a symbol of peace and not war.

When we have the love of God, we will act like we have the love of God!

1Co 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1Co 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
1Co 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1Co 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
1Co 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
1Co 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
1Co 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

There is much more to be being a witness for Jesus Christ than just walking around with a Bible in your hands!

Amen

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