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Jesus and the Twelve Disciples - Artist unknown

Jesus travelled through the region (which we can presume was Galilee) teaching in synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

He told the disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Jesus called the twelve disciples and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. These are the names of the twelve disciples: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew, James son of Zebedee, and his brother John, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector, James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, Simon the Canaanite/Zealot and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Jesus.

Jesus and the Twelve Disciples - Artist unknownJesus gave the disciples these instructions:

Go to the lost sheep of Israel, not to the Gentiles or any town of the Samaritans. Proclaim this message: The kingdom of heaven has come near.

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, and drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely you must give.

Do not take gold, silver, or copper nor bag, extra shirt, sandals, or a staff for the worker is worth his keep. Whatever town you enter, seek a worthy person and stay at their house until time to leave. As you enter their home, give them your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it. If not, let your peace return to you.

If the people do not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement than for that town.

I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard, you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in their synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witness to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. You will be given what to say for it will not be you speaking but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Brother will betray brother and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

When you are persecuted at one place, move quickly to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the town of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

The student is not above the teacher nor the servant above his master. It is enough for students to be like their teachers and servants to be like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Bellzebul, how much more the members of his household!

So do not be afraid for them for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the rooftops. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn man against his father, daughter against her mother, daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. Anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

Anyone who welcomes you, welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.

What the story means to us today

Jesus’ fiery call to his disciples marks the beginning of Christianity

Jesus and the Twelve Disciples - Artist unknownJesus’ fiery call to spread the word applies the same today as it did thousands of years ago. It is our duty as Christians to spread the word either through ministering or demonstration of good works. In fact, as Jesus said, we should proclaim his word from the rooftops implying we should spread the message far and wide in a loud, confident voice.

But, as Jesus told the disciples, the task is not always easy. Today, Christians are still “sheep among wolves,” attacked around the world because of our Christian beliefs.. But like the disciples, we must be brave (“don’t be afraid of those who can destroy the body but cannot kill the soul”) and we must do this by being astute ( “shrewd as snakes”) while remaining kind (“as pure as doves”).

Jesus’ call to the disciples is heated, forceful, and strong – as our own personal ministries should be. Even today, the harvest remains plentiful but unfortunately, the workers are still few.

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Additional thoughts and considerations

The hairs on your head are numbered

Jesus tells the apostles “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” and lets them know that despite the danger he is sending them toward, God will protect them. “Even the hairs on your head are numbered” may be literal – possibly God has the means to know everything about our body’s DNA, composition, or future timeline. Or Jesus’ statement could be metaphorical.  The message however, is clear – God cares for his creations.

The Christian responsibility to spread the word – without appearing to be a loon

Although some may believe the great commission was given only to the apostles and does not apply to us today, they are in the minority. Christians often forget that part of their responsibility as a Christian is to spread the word of the gospel, to act as Christian soldiers.

On the other hand, we see non-believers cringe if a religious zealot bombards them with an aggressive push to “join the cause”. An aggressive stance towards non-believers can do more harm than good. Sometimes, ministering to others involves setting the right example and standing strong when confronted. In other words, act as heroic stewards for the gospel’s message.

For instance, we can’t ignore parts of the Bible that may offend others. Our responsibility is to proclaim the truth and stand up for what we believe. We must call sin what it is, even if it’s uncomfortable or does not fall in line with societal standards. This often sparks discussion and opens the door for ministering to others – even if the ministry is simply an offering to join us at church.

The twelve disciples or twelve apostles?

The term “apostle” is rarely used in the Bible. In fact, it is only found here, once in Mark, and six times in Luke. In most instances, the followers of Jesus are referred to as disciples – until in these verses, Jesus’ call to go out and minster transforms them into “apostles”.

Judas Iscariot - The Meaning of Regret - Artist unknownThe list of twelve disciples is found in various places in the Bible. Simon (also called Peter) is always mentioned first. The first four listed are always the same but not always in the same order. Other names may vary presumably because the authors used different forms of the name (e.g. first name, last name, or name with geographic location appended).

The twelve disciples included:

Simon (also called Peter)

Andrew

James, son of Zebedee

John (brother of James)

Philip

Bartholomew

Thomas

Matthew

James (son of Alphaeus)

Thaddaeus

Simon the Zealot

Judas Iscariot

You can check this article for an in-depth review of the disciples and other notable followers of Jesus.

Love God more than your family

Jesus and the Twelve Disciples - Artist unknownMany may be distressed to hear Jesus’ instruction to love God more than their family. However, love cannot be measured or ranked and thus, Jesus’ instruction was less about how much to love rather than warning us that we must keep our Christian tenets as the highest priorities in our lives – whether or not our families agree to support us. Christians must adhere to their moral standards despite disagreement or pressure from others.

“I did not come to bring peace, but a sword”

Some are surprised that a peaceful soul such as Jesus would deliver such a fiery, heated speech. But the message was of utmost importance. Nothing could be allowed to stop the disciples from becoming apostles and going out to spread the word across the region. The disciples heeded Jesus’ call which led to the birth of Christianity which survives as a major religion to this day. Truly Jesus’ fiery speech worked as he intended.

Notes on Biblical translation

Did Jesus heal every sickness he encountered?

The verses say “Jesus travelled through the region healing every disease and sickness.” Did Jesus heal “every sickness he encountered” or “every kind of sickness”? The original Hebrew is difficult to translate. Some translations say Jesus healed “every sickness” but it is generally believed the corrected translation is that he “healed every kind of sickness”, a slightly more general description of his works.

The disciple Thaddaeus

Thaddaeus’ name varies amongst translations. This is because the name was phrased differently in later manuscripts. The most ancient copies simply call him “Thaddaeus”. However, later copies began to incorporate the name Lebbaeus as in “Lebbaeus, who was called Thaddaeus”. It is unclear why Lebbaeus appeared in later translations.

Simon the Zealot

Some translations render Simon’s identity as “Simon the Canaanite”. This is likely incorrect. The original Hebrew reads “Simon the Cananean” but scholars now believe “Cananean” has no relation to Cana or Canaan but rather, is derived from the Aramaic word for “enthusiast”. Thus, most translations render his name as “Simon the Zealot”.

But this is not the end of the difficulty when translating Simon’s title. It may be that Simon was identified with a Jewish national party called Zealots (however, it is generally believed that the Zealots party did not appear until a later time). Thus, Simon’s name could also refer to someone who was a strong supporter of Jewish independence from Rome.

Judas Iscariot

The meaning of the term “Iscariot” is unknown. Some believe it indicates his homeland, a region in Judea (which would make Judas the only non-Galilean in the group). Still others believe “Iscariot” refers to “man of Kerioth” since there are various villages known by that name.  More likely it could have been part of Judas’ name.

Bible Text

NIV

35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

10 Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts—10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!

26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn  ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – 36a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

Jesus and the Twelve Disciples - Artist unknownThe New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011. Print.

The NET Bible

9:35 Then Jesus went throughout all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and sickness. 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were bewildered and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 9:37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 9:38 Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”

10:1 Jesus called his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits so they could cast them out and heal every kind of disease and sickness. 10:2 Now these are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (called Peter), and Andrew his brother; James son of Zebedee and John his brother; 10:3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 10:4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

10:5 Jesus sent out these twelve, instructing them as follows: “Do not go to Gentile regions and do not enter any Samaritan town. 10:6 Go instead to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 10:7 As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near!’ 10:8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. 10:9 Do not take gold, silver, or copper in your belts, 10:10 no bag for the journey, or an extra tunic, or sandals or staff, for the worker deserves his provisions. 10:11 Whenever you enter a town or village, find out who is worthy there and stay with them until you leave. 10:12 As you enter the house, give it greetings. 10:13 And if the house is worthy, let your peace come on it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 10:14 And if anyone will not welcome you or listen to your message, shake the dust off your feet as you leave that house or that town. 10:15 I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for the region of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town!

10:16 “I am sending you out like sheep surrounded by wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 10:17 Beware of people, because they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues. 10:18 And you will be brought before governors and kings because of me, as a witness to them and the Gentiles. 10:19 Whenever they hand you over for trial, do not worry about how to speak or what to say, for what you should say will be given to you at that time. 10:20 For it is not you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

10:21 “Brother will hand over brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rise against parents and have them put to death. 10:22 And you will be hated by everyone because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 10:23 Whenever they persecute you in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

10:24 “A disciple is not greater than his teacher, nor a slave greater than his master. 10:25 It is enough for the disciple to become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house ‘Beelzebul,’ how much more will they defame the members of his household!

10:26 “Do not be afraid of them, for nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing is secret that will not be made known. 10:27 What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light, and what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the housetops. 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 10:29 Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 10:30 Even all the hairs on your head are numbered. 10:31 So do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

10:32 “Whoever, then, acknowledges me before people, I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 10:33 But whoever denies me before people, I will deny him also before my Father in heaven.

10:34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace but a sword. 10:35 For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, 10:36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.

10:37 “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 10:38 And whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 10:39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life because of me will find it.

10:40 “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. 10:41 Whoever receives a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. Whoever receives a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 10:42 And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple, I tell you the truth, he will never lose his reward.”

11:1 When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their towns.

Biblical Studies Press. The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press, 2006. Print.

New King James Version

35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

10 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. 2 Now 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; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.

5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. 9 Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, 10 nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food.

11 “Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. 12 And when you go into a household, greet it. 13 If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!

16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. 18 You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

21 “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household! 26 Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.

27 “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 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. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

40 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”

In Remembrance of Me - Walter RaneThe New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.

The Message

35–38 Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!”

1–4 10 The prayer was no sooner prayed than it was answered. Jesus called twelve of his followers and sent them into the ripe fields. He gave them power to kick out the evil spirits and to tenderly care for the bruised and hurt lives. This is the list of the twelve he sent:

Simon (they called him Peter, or “Rock”),

Andrew, his brother,

James, Zebedee’s son,

John, his brother,

Philip,

Bartholomew,

Thomas,

Matthew, the tax man,

James, son of Alphaeus,

Thaddaeus,

Simon, the Canaanite,

Judas Iscariot (who later turned on him).

5–8 Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge:

“Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.

9–10 “Don’t think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.

11 “When you enter a town or village, don’t insist on staying in a luxury inn. Get a modest place with some modest people, and be content there until you leave.

12–15 “When you knock on a door, be courteous in your greeting. If they welcome you, be gentle in your conversation. If they don’t welcome you, quietly withdraw. Don’t make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and be on your way. You can be sure that on Judgment Day they’ll be mighty sorry—but it’s no concern of yours now.

16 “Stay alert. This is hazardous work I’m assigning you. You’re going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don’t call attention to yourselves. Be as cunning as a snake, inoffensive as a dove.

17–20 “Don’t be naive. Some people will impugn your motives, others will smear your reputation—just because you believe in me. Don’t be upset when they haul you before the civil authorities. Without knowing it, they’ve done you—and me—a favor, given you a platform for preaching the kingdom news! And don’t worry about what you’ll say or how you’ll say it. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words.

21–23 “When people realize it is the living God you are presenting and not some idol that makes them feel good, they are going to turn on you, even people in your own family. There is a great irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate! But don’t quit. Don’t cave in. It is all well worth it in the end. It is not success you are after in such times but survival. Be survivors! Before you’ve run out of options, the Son of Man will have arrived.

24–25 “A student doesn’t get a better desk than her teacher. A laborer doesn’t make more money than his boss. Be content—pleased, even—when you, my students, my harvest hands, get the same treatment I get. If they call me, the Master, ‘Dungface,’ what can the workers expect?

26–27 “Don’t be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are. So don’t hesitate to go public now.

28 “Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.

29–31 “What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.

32–33 “Stand up for me against world opinion and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven. If you turn tail and run, do you think I’ll cover for you?

34–37 “Don’t think I’ve come to make life cozy. I’ve come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don’t deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don’t deserve me.

38–39 “If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.

40–42 “We are intimately linked in this harvest work. Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God’s messenger. Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.”

Peterson, Eugene H. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005. Print.

King James Version

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

10 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. 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; 3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. 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: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. 9 ||Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, 10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. 11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. 12 And when ye come into an house, salute it. 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. 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. 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.

16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the gcouncils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. 21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. 24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? 26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. 27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. 28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. 32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

The Holy Bible: King James Version. Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009. Print.

Sources: NIV, The Message, The NET Bible, King James Version, NET Bible Notes, Faithlife Study Bible, The Apologetics Study Bible, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary, The Bible Reader’s Companion, Matthew Henry’s Commentary, Holman Concise Bible Commentary, The Bible Exposition Commentary, The Teacher’s Bible Commentary, The Teacher’s Commentary, The Bible Guide, Word Studies in the New Testament, Holman Bible Handbook, Calvin Commentaries, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines, The New Manner and Customs of the Bible, Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, The Lexham Bible Dictionary, Easton’s Bible Dictionary, Harper’s Bible Dictionary, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, The Archaeological Encyclopedia, Biblical Archeology Review, The New Bible Dictionary, The Lexham Analytical Lexicon, Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database
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