Meeting the need

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‘Lord Jesus, work in my mind and my heart today that I might care about the world the way that you do.’

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Bible passage Matthew 9:35 – 10:16

The Workers Are Few
 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.”

Matthew 10

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
 1 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.

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Audio Bible passage

The audio version of the passage is taken from the Contemporary English Version (CEV).

Explore the Bible

Human need
Jesus’ ministry schedule looks exhausting (9:35–38). The scale of the need was huge (9:36,37) and Jesus’ humanity had limitations: he could only be in one place at one time.

As Jesus presents the problem to his disciples, he also signals where they will find the answer (v 38). When we see a need which is too big for us to handle we are to pray. Is there a need that comes to mind now? If so, take time to pray about it.

Disciple deputies
Interestingly, God’s ministry solution to the problem was a motley bunch of novices (10:2–4)! Their effectiveness did not lie in their skill or practical experience but in their willingness to act on the spiritual authority given to them (10:1). As Jesus’ ambassadors, they were to pass on Jesus’ message and do exactly what Jesus had been doing (10:1,7,8).

Tucked in amongst Jesus’ instructions to them is a great ministry principle that holds for all Jesus’ followers: ‘Freely you have received; freely give’ (10:8).

If we have heard the good news, how can we help more people hear? What has God given you that he wants you to share?


‘Lord of the harvest, I see people who need your word, your peace, your restoration. Send me and send others in the power and the authority of your Holy Spirit to meet the need and bring glory to Jesus. Amen.’

Penny Boshoff

Deeper Bible study

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Freely ye have received, freely give’. (Matthew 10:8b, AV)

Matthew recorded no verbal reply from Jesus to the Pharisees’ charge of blasphemy. His unspoken answer was to continue ‘proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and illness’ (v 35). This bridging statement placed the disciples’ ministry in continuity with Jesus’ own ministry: Jesus resumed his preaching and healing; Jesus saw the suffering people who needed healing and direction; Jesus sent the disciples to continue this task, proclaiming the same message and performing the same healings.

For the disciples’ field training, Jesus gave strict rules. Their initial mission was to Israel. Although Matthew had already recorded Jesus healing Gentiles, only after Easter did the great commission extend the mission to all nations (Matthew 28:18–20). Matthew wanted to stress how radical discipleship is. The prohibitions on money, bag, sandals and staff were not a mere injunction to travel light, nor a call to asceticism. Jesus had already pointed out how little he owned and how little comfort he enjoyed on his itinerant ministry (Matthew 8:20). For him, and now for his disciples, these were prophetic signs similar to the symbolic actions performed by the prophets of old.

They should not profit from their mission. Some translations mask Jesus’ stern severity. They had received without charge, so now they must give without pay (v 8). They do not deserve financial payment but merely their food (v 10, Greek trophe, nourishment). Churches today need to take note of this. Popular TV preachers often amass considerable wealth but, even in more modest denominations like mine, synods heatedly discuss clergy conditions – not just basic salaries but rooms, carpets, furnishings, heating, cooling and the rest. Yes, church workers do deserve their ‘keep’ (v 10), but they have earned no right to luxurious lifestyles.

John Harris

Bible in a year

Read the Bible in a year.

Exodus 29,30

Psalm 18


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Come to Jesus
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  • Rachael Hampton | Thursday, 08 February 2018

    I wonder if any churches or missionary organisations commission their workers with the words of v8 ‘Use my power to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers and force out demons. And announce the Kingdom of God.’ Whew! I don’t remember that instruction ever being revoked, but ..... Be wily as serpents and harmless as doves. That’s a line that is hard to find at times. We need to be aware, careful, use common sense and imagination to avoid trouble yet still assume the best of everyone and be prepared to take the risk of suffering if we got it wrong. Hmmm. Is that that something like what it means?

  • Rachael Hampton | Thursday, 08 February 2018

    Yes, Sara, such healing is often a long process. Joyce Meyer is a great resource for learning how to work with God in this area. (Books and tube teachings.). I am excited today that another friend has joined us on WL. Hello and welcome to Rachel!

  • Oakley Bookworm | Thursday, 08 February 2018

    I am wary of Joyce Meyer, and others like her, not for what they say but how they live. She is a classic example of a servant of the Gospel who has amassed great wealth and lives lavishly. Contrast that with Jesus instructions here, or the example of John Wesley. Towards the end of his life, he was earning an enormous income but he never upscaled his life style. He continued to live at his original level. So much so, that he lived on a fraction of his income and gave the rest away. I feel Joyce Meyer's words would be all the sweeter if they were not spoken from such a lavish and gilded cage. This text is not just for the super wealthy though. It speaks to us all.

  • Angela Munday | Thursday, 08 February 2018

    Jesus gives each of us the work He needs doing on earth; the 'twelve' were chosen to assist Him in this physically demanding task. Simplicity is the answer to a faith that shows itself to be alive and active, doing God's will. May we be wary of those people who enjoy a wealthy lifestyle that does not reflect our Lord Jesus and His instructions to His disciples......'be as harmless as doves and go in peace to love and serve the Lord.'

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Thursday, 08 February 2018

    v 38. So, what do we pray concerning others coming to the Lord? Jesus said to pray that the Lord would send labourers across their paths. God is more motivated to save our loved ones than we are. As well as praying for them perhaps we need to become a better channel for Him to flow through to reach them and praying that other Christians will come across their paths who will do the same. Prayer is very important, but it is not a substitute for the Gospel. I pray regularly for my unsaved neighbours and am ashamed that apart from one neighbour, I have never mentioned God or faith in their hearing.

  • carl jhonson | Thursday, 08 February 2018


  • Ruth Chisholm | Thursday, 08 February 2018

    Great news yesterday from the spinal consultant, there is no need for any intervention at this time, but i have reassurance that I will see him regularly for monitoring. In line with V8, "freely you have received, freely give" this afternoon I've open house, inviting folk in to listen to worship songs and share and write out promises, trying to create an atmosphere of Christ-centred chat to give thanks and feed on his word. Please pray that what is experimental on my part will be all God wants it to be, and the Spirit will bless those who come.

  • Angela Munday | Thursday, 08 February 2018

    RUTH - What wonderful news! "Thankyou Heavenly Father and may You Bless Ruth as she moves forward in love to introduce others to our Saviour, Jesus." Amen.

  • Barbara Sabin | Thursday, 08 February 2018

    How times have changed. I remember our Church Minister and his wife and children lived in accordance with the scriptures -frugally. As a girl I remember my Mother making clothes for the children and sending tins of baking to the Manse as she knew how poor they were. Today Ministers have a home provided with floor covering, furniture and white goods, they have a car, and a respectable salary and pension fund. A lady remarked to me that she worked in a food shop and when most people were trying to budget and live within their means the Priests and Vicars spent lavishly. We do have to be good stewards of God's provision. I agree with OAKLEY much as I love Billy Graham he has lived a very comfortable lifestyle. The Women's World Day of Prayer Service this year is very challenging it suggests we try to make one change as to how we live and what we waste. It is food for thought.

  • Roger Hall | Thursday, 08 February 2018

    I have to give praise to the Lord for this passage! I've undertaken to preach as reader, at my home church. I have had laid on my heart the words of Matthew 16; 24 - 26. "Deny himself, take up his cross." In this passage Matthew 10, the chosen twelve are sent out with No Plan B. They have nothing to fall back on. Somehow, I see that going utterly without status, and totally reliant on God for keeping them alive, but with His authority, Is that not self-denial in practice?

  • David Chipchase | Thursday, 08 February 2018

    I assume Judas Iscariot had personal experience of the power of God working through him whilst he was on the disciples' mission. In spite of presumably powerful supernatural experiences, within three years Judas had slipped so far away from God that he betrayed Jesus to death. For me, this is a scary warning against complacency.

  • Keith Singleton | Thursday, 08 February 2018

    I am in no way an advocate of the so-called prosperity preachers, and I personally have a problem with the apparent excesses of some of them. However, I think we have to be careful not to become self-righteous because we live frugally. Paul talked about the workman being worthy of his hire. The issue for me isn't about being prosperous, but about what we do with it. I believe God can and does bless us materially, but that is so we can be a blessing to others. I have known Christian millionaires but I know they use their wealth wisely for the Kingdom.

  • Roger Hall | Thursday, 08 February 2018


  • Roger Hall | Thursday, 08 February 2018

    This conversation bored me so much I fell asleep, hence the 0! Job had everything; God tested him. It became obvious that his comforters thought his affliction was due to sin. We also know that, when the king of Sodom offered all the spoils to Abram, he said he would not have it said that the king of Sodom made him rich! I believe God put Billy Graham where He wanted him within reach of the high and mighty.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Thursday, 08 February 2018

    I'm with KEITH on this one. Meyer and Graham have touched countless lives. Jesus said we'd be known by our fruit and I believe their ministry is still bearing fruit today.

  • Hannah Watson | Thursday, 08 February 2018

    I found it interesting that Mike Thomas's blog focussed on just the first two verses of today's passage and I completely missed them, yet they were so full of encouragement.

  • Hannah Watson | Thursday, 08 February 2018

    My link for some reason takes you to the comments bit at the bottom of the blog, if you click on the link, scroll up for Mike's blog ☺ technology baffles me!

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