What Jesus says in Matthew 10 is prefaced in the end of chapter 9. Matthew 9:35-36 reads, “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. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” The Father shifted Jesus’s focus and ministry at this time; instead of Him doing the majority of the work, an army of laborers needed to be raised up. A dysfunctional society without leadership needed a group of people to become salt and light and lead them into truth. This meant that some would lose their family (Matt 10:21), they would be hated (Matt 10:22), and they would be like sheep among wolves as they faced opposition (Matt 10:16). They needed to “endure to the end” (Matt 10:22), they would be persecuted just as Jesus was. If we don’t pick up our cross and follow Him, we are not worthy of Him (Matt 10:38). Jesus doesn't send out His people into the world to say things to make everyone happy; He didn't come to bring peace but a sword (Matt 10:34). Maybe this is why there were so few “laborers;” they must stand for the truth at all cost. There is still a great harvest that is ready to be taken as more people rise up in the love of God to be ambassadors of the truth. “Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest" (Matt 10:38). Pray they would have the compassion of Jesus, pray they would be bold, pray God would make them effective and open great doors of opportunity.
Read through the Bible with us in 2012! The reading plan can be downloaded below; we are reading in chronological order. Check back often to read the blog posts on the Bible readings and discuss things in the "comments" section.
2012 Bible Plan