“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,” Matthew 10:1.
Jesus chose His disciples from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences. None of them were privileged or from backgrounds of high status. Jesus did not only call the ‘12’; He also gave them power to do what He had called them to do. The same principle holds true today: whom God calls, God equips. The equipping may not be completely evident before the ministry begins, but it will be evident along the way.
“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. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” Matthew 10:6-8.
Jesus was touring around the region of Galilee teaching, preaching, and helping needy people with miraculous power. The sending of ‘the 12’ was a conscious expanding of that work. Now the work of Jesus was being done by many more than simply Jesus Himself, but also by His 12 apostles. “For behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as servants and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to counsels and scorn you in their synagogue. You will be brought before governors and kings for my sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But go!” Matthew 10:16-18.
The word ‘apostle’ literally means “one who is sent out.” It is the word for an ambassador who is assigned to a certain mission. The apostles were to preach the same message Jesus preached. Their message was to be a display of power, not just words. They were truly followers of the master. The authority of these apostles is the same authority that we can have today. It is wise for Christians today to both believe in Gods power and do such miracles that set the captives free.
“Freely ye have received, freely give,” Matthew 10:8. Jesus charged His disciples nothing and He expected them to give ministry unto others without charge. This is the fundamental principle for the commands that we are to follow as believers. Ministry is designed to be an example of who Jesus is. When we come among others, we are to be workers among them. The disciples would work among them in both spiritual work and practical work. One should never require their needs to be met as a payment, because the fundamental principle is when doing the work of the Lord, people will sow into your life.
(Dr. Monterey D. Lee, Sr. is the Pastor of Celebration Christian Center located at 1215 9th Ave N. Nashville, Tenn. 37208. Visit the website at www.celebrationchristian.online.)