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Finding Compassion in Matthew

Chapter 10 - A Word for the Lost Sheep

Matthew 10 - Observations

  • The disciples are chosen, given power to heal and cast out demons and sent to the tribes of Israel. God was making one last attempt to reclaim his chosen people. Ultimately Jesus had been sent as the kinsman-redeemer and so his mission was focused on getting the Israelites to accept their identity in God.
  • Jesus warns about the persecutions to come. As Christians we need to be very familiar with this passage of scripture because a lot of us think that we ought to be living the “good life” here on earth. The truth is, we weren't promised wealth and fame as the world defines it. We were promised persecution. Our reward comes if we endure to the end.

“Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:5-8

The twelve disciples are sent out on their first mission trip. After training with Jesus it was now time for their on-the-job training. Were they nervous? Excited? Scared? This was a big deal and their task was great. For the first time they would be given the opportunity to heal the sick as they had seen Jesus do. They could drive out demons, cleanse leprosy…. Such power had not been given to man since the days of Elisha.

But what I find most compassionate about this act is this:

Jesus sent the disciples to the “lost sheep of Israel”.

The same people who had rejected the designation as “chosen people”. The same generation of people who had just thirty years before tried to have him killed, the same people who would scourge and mock and crucify him. Did you get that?

Even knowing that they would kill him, Jesus was still trying to save the children of Israel.

He does the same thing today. He doesn’t want any of us to perish so he constantly allows us to be tested so that we can build our character. He allows us to be put in situations hoping that while we’re going through the problem we will call on him. He will never leave us nor forsake us and he tries his very best to get us to recognize and appreciate that fact.

Prayer:

Lord thank you for always trying to save us from our sins. Thank you for sending your word so that we can have guidelines to follow. Help us to trust you and to hear, understand and live by your teachings. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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