“Authority of Jesus over His Followers”-Matthew 9:35-10:4
Psalm 82:3-4 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
Scripture: Matthew 9:35-10:4
And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
This passage summarizes Jesus’ ministry of compassion. It also highlights the mission of the twelve apostles during Christ’s earthly ministry, a mission that has application for His entire church as well. Christ has enlisted many to help care for His people, as we also see in today’s passage. This passage once again reminds us of the need for us to be a light, a witness and a compassionate hand for Christ.
A thought from Max Lucado
There are many Bible believing Christians in this world that want to make a difference on society and their earnest prayers are to be used by God in magnificent and extraordinary ways. What we must always keep in mind is that God does not call every believer to be an evangelist or Missionary to travel the world, but He does call every believer to love His neighbor as themselves. The way we can reach the world with the saving and healing message of Jesus Christ is for each of us to care for and take interest in those around us who are in need. (John 1:10-12) (Mark 12:30-31) Imagine the impact on this world if every believer looks to their left and to their right and made a conscious decision to reach those people who are so near with the life changing message that Jesus Christ Loves them and died and rose again, so they may live eternally. (Ezekiel 36:25-27)
GOD, I WANT TO DO GREAT THINGS!
(Scene – Sunday A.M. assembly, silent prayer)
Max: God I want to do great things.
God: You do?
Max: You bet! I want to teach millions! I want to fill the Rose Bowl! I want all the world to know your saving power! I dream of the day…
God: That’s great Max! In fact, I can use you today after Church.
Max: Super! How about some radio and TV work or…or…or an engagement to speak to congress?
God: Well, that’s not exactly what I had in mind. See the fellow sitting next to you?
God: He needs a ride home.
Max: (quietly): What?
God: He needs a ride home. And while you’re at it, one of the older ladies sitting near you is worried about getting a refrigerator moved, why don’t you drop by this afternoon and…
Max; (pleading): But, God, what about the world?
God (smiling): Think about it. (By Max Lucado)
We are all called to the great commission, to serve one another, and to meet needs when we can. We don’t need billboard signs to see where the need is, it is all around us. Wherever you look you will see a person in need of a loving touch from the savior. Be encouraged and be open to be stretched in your service to our Lord and to one another. God tells us to do this without murmuring or complaining but with cheerfulness singing praise and thanksgiving in your heart for the privilege of serving the Most High God. (Philippians 2:13-15) (Colossians 3:16-17)
Personal Reflection: Use the following questions to help review the application of God’s Word to our Head (What does God want me to know?), to our Heart (What does God want me to desire/value?), and to our Hands (What does God want me to do?)
· Looking back at Andy’s message, is there anything that especially resonated or challenged you?
· Can you recall a time when your heart was especially “moved with compassion” for lost people? What caused you to feel so deeply?
· Read Philippians 2:1-8• Why is it so hard to not merely look to your own interests?
· What practical steps are suggested in these verses for how we can adopt the “attitude” of Jesus?
· How do we show compassion to needy people without creating an unhealthy situation where they become dependent on us? What guidelines apply here?
· Explain how you understand Jesus’ three-fold ministry of teaching, proclaiming the kingdom, and healing.
· Do these establish a pattern for us and, if so, what would that look like in your everyday life?
· What is the relationship between seeing, feeling, and acting?