Jason Helopoulos / Aug 25, 2019 / Matthew 10:5-15
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Sermon Summary / Transcript
In last Sunday’s sermon, we picked up again in Matthew (after a summer break) where Jason showed us from chapter 10 (v.5-15) that Jesus’ model for sending out disciples means that we should neither look down on doctrine, nor fall into inaction as resident theologians. But rather, we should both sit at his feet and stand and go.
We looked at four aspects of Jesus’ sending of his disciples…
- To whom they were sent. In verses 5 and 6, he tells them to avoid the Samaritans and Gentiles, and to stick to the Jews. This may seem very un-Jesus-like, but it’s actually an act of his faithfulness. The Jews would never have accepted God’s word coming to them from the outside. They are the people of the promise, God’s covenant people. Out of his own faithfulness, God brings his gospel message first to them. But later when Jesus ascends he instructs his disciples to be witnesses to Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. Jesus unifies the people of God. He welcomes and saves all the people of God, Jew first, then Gentile, just as he promised.
- Why he sent them. Matthew’s focus is not at all on the acts of healing the sick, cleansing lepers, casting out demons, or raising the dead. In fact, Matthew tells us nothing of their successes in signs and wonders. Rather, these things were meant to validate their words. They were to proclaim, as ambassadors of King Jesus, the message that the Kingdom of God was at hand. They were not to proclaim their own message, but only that of Jesus. It is always a hard task bringing a message that the world might find foolish, but that was their charge, and so is it ours.
- How he sent them. He told them to acquire no gold or extra clothes for the journey but to just go and testify. Rather than over-prepare they were to depend on Jesus as they proclaimed his word, and the learning would come with the going. Just as with the disciples, Jesus equips us as he sends us. We are ambassadors to Jesus Christ the King, completely dependent on him and on his message. Praise God, we don’t have to depend on ourselves, because it is Christ who will build his church.
- Why this mission is so important. Jason broke this section down into three parts: the need, the instrument, and the judgment. The need is great because there are many lost sheep. Jesus seeks the lost to have compassion on them despite their rebellion. Lord, give us the compassion of Jesus! The instrument is us, the church. God uses sinners to save sinners: “How then will they call on him whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” (Rom. 10:14,15) For sinners to call on God, someone must be sent, and Jesus sends us all. Finally, the judgment is real, and it is the only thing that matters eternally. While still in his earthly ministry, Jesus said that it will be worse on the Judgement day for those rejecting him than it will be for Sodom and Gomorah. How much more true will that be now that we are past his resurrection? The judgment of Christ on the world will be terrible because he is so good. He must be wrathful because he is holy.
Evangelism is not an elective course for the Christian. There is a great need, God has chosen his instrument, and a terrible judgment grows nearer. Most importantly Jesus says, “Go.”