The Disciple & His Lord
The Sending of the Messiah’s First Missionaries
6 April 2008
TEXT: Matthew 9:36-38; 10:24-42
AIM: To show the relationship, the loyalty and
the sacrifice of a disciple.
READ >> Matthew 9:36-38; Matt. 10:1 – “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power
against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness
and all manner of disease. 2] Now the names of the twelve
10:5 – “These
twelve Jesus sent forth…”
10:16 – “Behold,
I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves…”
10:24-33 Note the apostles are one again referred
to as “disciples.”
The work of salvation could ONLY be
accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ, AND He did it alone. BUT the witness of this
salvation could ONLY be accomplished by His people, those who have
trusted Him and been saved. King Jesus needed ambassadors of
the message—and He still needs them. “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (Isa.
6:8) It is not enough that we pray for labourers as in Mt. 9:36-38). We MUST also make
ourselves available to serve Him.
As you read or study this chapter you will
note that there is a change in the instructions at vs. 16 & 24. If you apply this entire chapter to the 12 apostles,
you will have confusion for in vs. 15-23
Jesus leaps over centuries and deals with the message of the Kingdom during the
Before Jesus sent His ambassadors out to
minister, He preached an “ordination sermon” to encourage and
prepare them. In this sermon, the King had something to say to all of His
servants—past, present, and future. Unless we recognize this fact, the
message of this chapter will seem hopelessly confused.
This chapter gives instructions to the
apostles of the past (1-15)—the apostles of the future Tribulation period
(16-23)—the disciples and servants of today (24-42).
Past Apostles (10:1-15)
Christ had asked the apostles to pray bout
the harvest in 9:36-38; now He send them into the harvest to serve. It is a
serious thing pray for the lost, because God will want to use you to help
answer those prayers.
A. God uses four names in addressing His labourers in
The first name Jesus mentioned in Vs. 1 “disciple.”
Also found in 24, 25, 42.
is a learner, one who follows a teacher and learns his wisdom.
It should be
obvious that a person is a disciple only as long as he is loyal to the teacher
and faithful to his teachings.
Being a disciple
was not the same as bring saved, but you no one was saved who wasn’t a
Jesus had many
disciples, some of whom were merely “hangers-on,“ and some who were
informs us that after understanding some of the hard teachings of Jesus “many of his
disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”
Can we truly call
Do we take the
time to learn from our Lord?
Do we follow
after Him obeying His teachings, no matter how difficult?
Along with disciple we find a comparison being made
with the “servant”
in Vs. 24, 25
A servant is not
only one who serves, but one who serves menially, under orders.
The word means,
in the old use of the term, a slave, a bond-slave.
Have you not
heard Jesus say, “Take
My yoke upon you, and learn of Me”? (Mt. 11:29). He never thought
being God a thing to be grasped at, for He was God. Yet He learned obedience to
the Father’s will.
He gladly humbled
Himself and took upon Himself the form of a servant, even the form of man.
If He, our Lord
one with the Father, could truly say, “I am meek and lowly in heart,” (Mt.
11:29) should we not also be meek and lowly?
d. Should any of us hesitate to bear this name concerning
our Lord Jesus Christ? If the Lord could say, “Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it
is written of me,) to do thy will, O God” (Heb. 10:7) should
we not gladly say the same?
In Vs. 10 the 12 apostles are described as “workman.”
We read in 2Tim
to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman
that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”
A good workman knows his tools, and the chief tool with which we serve is THE
A workman should
shun every tool not approve—profane and vain babblings, worldly
philosophies, and traditional teachings of men should not be found in our too
kit. It is these kinds of words that eat away our spiritual lives as a canker.
Formulating his disciples, Jesus handpicked a small
group of 12 men; these He called “apostles.” —
His first missionaries.
This word comes
from the Greek word apostello, which
means, “to send forth with a commission.”
The word apostello — “sent
ones” was used by the Greeks for the personal representatives of the
king, ambassadors who functioned with the king’s authority. To make light
of the king’s envoys was to be in danger of insubordination.
was clear: preach the Kingdom of heaven was at hand and go only to the Jew – Vs. 5-7.
B. No one bears so great a title as “apostle”
today that was accorded the Twelve.
A man had to meet
certain qualifications to be an apostle of Jesus Christ.
He must have seen
the risen Christ (1 Cor. 9:1) and fellowshipped with Him from His baptism to
His resurrection (Acts 1:21-22).
He had to be
chosen by the Lord (Eph. 4:11).
The apostles laid
the foundation of the church (Eph. 2:20) and then passed from the scene.
d. While all believers are sent forth to represent the
King (John 20:21; 17:18), no believer today can honestly claim to be an apostle
for none of us has seen the risen Christ (1 Peter 1:8).
were given special power and authority from Christ to perform
and wonders and mighty deeds” (2 Cor. 12:12). God always
equips those whom He calls into His service.
were the “signs
of an apostle” —a part of their “official
credentials” (Acts 2:43; 5:12; 2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:1-4).
They healed the
sick of all kinds of diseases, cleansed the lepers, cast out demons, and even
raised the dead.
ministries paralleled the miracles that Jesus
performed in Matt. 8 & 9. In a definite way, the apostles represented the
King and extended His work.
commission to these 12 men is NOT our commission today.
Jesus sent them
only to the people of Israel. “To the Jew first” (Rom 1:16; 2:10) is
the historic pattern, for “Salvation is of the Jews” (John
ambassadors announced the coming of the kingdom just as John the Baptist had
done (Matt. 3:2) and Jesus Himself (Matt. 4:17).
Sad to say, the
nation rejected both Christ and His ambassadors, and the kingdom was taken from
them (Matt. 21:43).
depended on the hospitality of others as they ministered from town to town. Mark 6:7 tells us that Jesus had sent
the men out in pairs, which explains why their names are listed in pairs in verses 2-4.
C. The commission of the 12 apostles in this chapter is
NOT for the church, missionaries or for us today.
While we may
learn from the spiritual principles found in this portion of Scripture, we
should not apply these instructions to our lives.
We do not have
these miraculous powers since they were given only during that period when God
was offering the Kingdom to the nation to Israel.
missionaries are NOT to follow the instruction of 10:9-10. Paul appreciated the support of the churches, as do
missionaries do today.
Though no one
bears the credentials of the 12 apostles today, nonetheless we hold a special
commission of God, and are ordained as His messengers, whether we bear the name
“apostle” or not.
commission to us is to announce the Gospel of grace to “all the world” (Matt.
28:19-20), not just the nation of Israel.
We preach the
gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24). Our message is “Christ died for our sins”
and not “The
kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
The King has
come; He has already suffered, died, and risen from the dead.
Now He offers His salvation to all who will believe.
Instructions for Future Disciples
A. It is not unusual for the Bible to “leap”
from one period to another without warning. The “atmosphere” of
this section is different from that found in the previous portion of Scripture.
Here Jesus looks
down through history and sees the Jews who will be His witnesses during the
Here the Lord
spoke of persecution, but we have no record that the 12 apostles suffered
during their tour.
Vs. 5 forbids going to the
Gentiles, while in Vs. 18 Jesus also
spoke of a ministry to the Gentiles.
The Holy Spirit
had not been given, yet Jesus talked about the Spirit speaking in them – Vs. 20.
d. Vs. 22 seems to indicate a worldwide persecution, yet the apostles were
ministering only in their own land. NOTE: This verse has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SALVATION OF ONE’S SOUL. It is talking about the
faithful endurance of the Lord’s ambassadors during the time of
persecution in the Tribulation. This will end with the return of the Lord in Vs. 23.
The return of the
Lord Vs. 23 certainly moves these
events into the future.
It is difficult to escape the conclusion that these instructions apply to
witnesses at some future time.
B. BUT what time in the future?
To some degree,
some of these events took place in the Book of Acts; yet Jesus Christ did not
return at that time. And remember, the ministry in Acts was not limited to “the cities of
Israel” (vs. 23).
It seems that the
period described in this section closely parallels the time of tribulation that
Jesus described in His “Olivet Discourse” in Matt. 24-25.
In fact, the
statement in Vs. 22 is almost
identical to Mark 13:13; Matt. 24:13 making it definitely a part of our
Lord’s prophetic discourse.
If, then, these
instructions apply to that future time of tribulation, we can easily understand
why Jesus said so much about hatred and persecution.
C. The tribulation period will be a time of OPPOSITION to God and
servants will be like sheep in the midst of wolves. They will need to be
“tough-minded but tender-hearted.”
will come from organized religion, government, and even the family – Matt. 10:17-18; 21.
in scattered parts of the world are experiencing some of this persecution
today, the indication is that this opposition will be worldwide.
has always persecuted true believers. Even the Apostle Paul, a devout Jew,
persecuted the church when he was the unconverted Saul of Tarsus.
reveals that “organized religion” that has no Gospel has opposed
men and women who have dared to witness boldly for Christ.
In the last days,
government and religion will work together to control the world.
Rev. 13 describes
a time during the tribulation period when the world ruler —the Antichrist
will force the world to worship him and his image.
He will control
world religion, economics, and government; and he will use all three to
persecute those who stand true to Christ.
There will also
be a decay of family love and
loyalty. 2 Tim. 3:3 reveals that one
of the marks of the end times is it will be people “Without natural affection.”
Jesus quoted Micah 7:6 to prove this point in Matt. 10:21.
institutions, which God established in this world, are the home, human
government, and the church. In the last days, all three of these institutions
will oppose the truth instead of promoting it.
D. But the tribulation period will also be a time of OPPORTUNITY.
will be able to witness to governors and kings (v. 18). Their enemies will try
to trip them up, but the Spirit of God will teach the witnesses what to say.
must not use Matt. 10:19-20 as an
excuse not to study the Word in preparation for witnessing, teaching, or
preaching. These verses describe an emergency situation; they are not
God’s regular pattern for ministry today.
E. The tribulation will be a time of opposition and
opportunity; but it will also be a time of OBLIGATION.
of the King must “endure
to the end” and faithfully perform their ministry, even if it
costs them their lives.
In spite of
scourging, rejection by their families, persecution from city to city, and
trials before leaders, the servants must remain true to their Lord.
will be used by God to win others. Rev.
7:1-8 indicates that 144,000 Jewish witnesses will carry God’s Word
throughout the world during the tribulation; and as a result, great multitudes
will come to Christ (Rev. 7:9ff).
Missionary Francis Cosgrave with Broken leg in Philippines
Dear pastor Zemeski, on Wednesday 2 April
2008 I was on my Mountain bike on my way home, when I had a head on collision
with a motor bike. In the middle of the street I laid on my back in for 45
min. waiting for the ambulance come, knowing my leg was broken.
They X Ray of my body showed I had
broken both my Tibia & Fibula – the two bones in the lower leg. On
Thursday they operated inserting a metal plate, which was over a foot long
reattaching my Tibia bone together again. They said the smaller Fibula bone
would rejoin together on its own in time – Amen!
My wife, Nida & I had such a blessing
the next night as we went to the Bajau Bible Study. Nida did not want me to go,
because I had just came out of hospital that day and was finding it hard on the
crunches. But I was determined to go. I said, “Nida we have got to
go, this will be a lesson to the Bajau on the importance of being faithful to
the church.” Many Bajau do not even bother to walk a few steps to church
for some flimsy excuse. Only last Sunday, Pastor Ellmore were on visitation in
the village before services to let people know church was about to start.
As I declared to them "Simba, Simba" (which means church),
they would usually respond “Yes pastor, yes pastor, we are coming to
Simba.” But this time many of the unfaithful members would not even
acknowledge me, but rather turned their backs on me.
Our going proved to be such a blessing. We
had no car, so I hobbled down the lane way of our street, then hopped into a
“tricycle” (which is a mother bike with side car) that took us up
to the market place and then we changed to a taxi. When we arrived at the Bajau
village a crowed started to gather around the taxi as they saw I was lying in
the back seat. From there we walked to the Simba area (church) The Bajau were
clearly taken back. As we began the service some who normally don't come, came
along and with glassy watery eyes kept staring at me. The Lord really used this
situation as a lesson of loyalty and faithfulness to the Lord and his blessings
to the church—praise the Lord for an answer to prayer.
No doubt these
words in Matthew 10 will become very precious and meaningful to witnesses
during that time.
We, today, can
learn from these words, even though their primary interpretation and
application are for God’s servants at a future time.
No matter how
difficult our circumstances may be, we can turn opposition into opportunities
for witness. We can trust the Spirit of God to help us remember what the Lord
has taught us (John 14:26).
fleeing and looking for an easier place, we can “endure to the end,”
knowing that God will help us and see us through.
III. Instructions for Present Disciples – 10:24-33.
While the truths in this section would
apply to God’s servants during any period of Bible history, they seem to
have a special significance for the church today.
The emphasis is, “Fear not!” – Vs. 26, 28, 31. The particular
fear Christ discussed is explained in Vs.
32-33—the fear of confessing Christ openly before men.
God has no “secret service.” The public confession of faith in
Christ is one evidence of
true salvation (Rom. 10:9-10). Several
reasons show why we MUST NOT be afraid to openly confess Christ.
Let’s examine these reasons that are
found in this portion Matthew 10.
A. Suffering is to be expected – 10:24-25.
Jesus Christ when He was ministering on earth, so why should we expect anything
different? We are His disciples, and the disciple does not
“out-rank” the Master.
They said that
Jesus was in league with Satan (Beelzebub: lord of the dung; lord of the
house); so they will say the same thing about His followers. However, we should
count it a privilege to suffer for
Him and with Him (Acts 5:41; Phil.
B. We must not be afraid because God will bring
everything to light – 10:26-27.
The enemies of
Christ use secret and deceptive means to oppose the Gospel.
But true believers are open and courageous in their lives and witness.
We have nothing
to hide. “In
secret have I said nothing,” said Jesus (John 18:20).
lied about Jesus during His trial, but God saw to it that the truth came out.
We have nothing
to fear because the Lord will one day reveal the secrets of men’s hearts
(Rom. 2:16) and expose them and judge them.
Our task is not
to please men, but to proclaim God’s message. The present judgment of men
does not frighten us, because we are living in the light of the future judgment
C. We must not be afraid because we fear God alone
All that men can
do is kill the body; and, if they do, the believer’s soul goes home to be
with the Lord. But God is able to destroy both
body and soul in hell!
The believer is
promised He “shall
not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life”
(John 5:24). Praise God, there is “no condemnation to them which are in Christ
Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).
The person who
fears God alone need never fear any man or group of men.
The fear of God is the fear that cancels fear.
D. We must not be afraid because God cares for His, own
It did not cost
much to purchase sparrows in the market.
If we compare
these verses with Luke 12:6, we discover that sparrows were so cheap that if
you bought four the dealer threw in an extra one!
Yet the Father
knows when a sparrow falls to the ground.
Since God cares
for sparrows in such a marvellous way, will He not also care for His own who
are serving Him? He certainly will!
d. To God, we are of greater value than many sparrows.
Yes, the song is true, “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He cares
The sparrow may
be the most insignificant of birds, and the most despised by man; yet God says
that not one of these little things falls without His seeing, and knowing, and
What, then, about
saints? They are most precious unto Him because for them He sold all He had, to
To our Lord, we
are His jewels, His pearls of great price.
We are His own
workmanship, created in His own image, and recreated in new birth into His
likeness. Sure God cares for the sparrow, but are we not of much more value
God is concerned
about all of the details of our lives.
Even the hairs of
our head are numbered—not “counted” in a total, but numbered
God sees the
sparrow fall to the ground, and God sees when a hair falls from the head of one
of His loved ones.
When He protects
His own, He protects them down to the individual hairs (Luke 21:18). There is
no need for us to fear when God is exercising such wonderful care over us.
E. We must not be afraid because Christ honours those who
These words are
indissolubly linked with our present SUFFERINGS for His sake, and with the
Father’s watchful eye. He had been saying something like this:
If they called Me
Beelzebub, they will so call you.
Fear them not,
for I know it all, and I am watching from above.
I observe you,
care for you to the extent that I have numbered the hairs of your head.
d. Now, in the light of His call to us to suffer for His
sake, He says, “Whosoever
therefore shall confess Me before men, Him will I confess also before My Father
which is in Heaven.”
In other words,
God is saying, “There
is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; and hid that shall not be
known” (vs. 26).
He is telling us
that He is keeping tab on our service and our faithfulness to Him and His Word.
He is watching
our confession of His Name.
What does all
this mean to us?
It means this: if we confess Him, He will confess us.
It means if we
confess Him before men, He will confess us before the Father; if we confess Him
here, on earth, He will confess us there, in Heaven.
In other words,
it means, “Behold,
I come quickly; and My reward is with Me” (Rev 22:12).
God is not and
cannot be unforgetful of our work and labour of love, which we have showed in
If He could be
unmindful, He would be unrighteous toward us.
There is no way
that will happen!
b) He is watching, and watching sympathetically and
appreciatively, and He will, with great joy, confess us before the Father and
the holy angels.
To confess the
Lord Jesus means much more than to make a statement with the lips. It also
means to back up that statement with the life. It is one thing to say
“Jesus Christ is Lord” and quite another thing to surrender to Him
and obey His will. The walk and the talk must go together.
Denial of Christ
on earth will be repaid with denial before the Father in heaven.
If one side is
true, the other side is necessarily true.
The 33rd verse tells us that God
not only knows the witnessing of the faithful, but He knows the denials of the
unfaithful, and of those who fear.
Talk of sorrow in
Heaven? —What could be a greater sorrow than to hear Christ’s
denial of us up there in the Glory?
It is ONLY those
who suffer for Jesus who will reign with Him; those who deny Him, He will deny.
To deny Christ in
this sense means to refuse to recognise His claims over one’s life.
Those whose lives
say in effect, “I never knew You” will hear Him say at the last,
“I never knew you.”
The Lord is not
referring to temporary denial of Him under pressure as in Peter’s case
before the crucifixion, but to that kind of denial that I habitual and final.
confesses us before the Father, He is securing for us the benefits of His
sacrificial work on the cross. When He denies us before the Father, He is
unable to share these graces with us. The fault is ours, not His.
IV. What is the guts of A TRUE CONFESSION? – Matt.
A. We need to realise if we confess Christ we cannot
escape conflict – 10:34-39.
Some speak as
though this was the hour of peace on earth, and of good will among men. Not
so—is not the time of the Prince of peace – Vs. 34.
Once we have identified
with Jesus Christ and confessed Him, we are part of a war. We did not start the
war; God declared war on Satan back in Gen. 3:15.
On the night our
Lord was born, the angels declared “on earth peace” (Luke 2:14). But
Jesus seemed to deny this truth in Matt. 10:34.
accepted Him, He would have given them peace.
But the people refused Him, and the result was “a sword.”
There is a peace
to those who know and obey the Lord. Jesus said to the disciples, “Peace I give
unto you” (Jn. 14:27). There is a peace of men of good will. “Therefore
being justified by faith, we have peace with God” (Rom. 5:1).
Jesus has made
peace through the blood of His cross (Col. 1:20) so that men can be reconciled
to God and to each other.
generally speaking, this is an age of war and rumours of war.
It is an age of
conflict between the true and the untrue, between Christ and Belial, between
the right and the wrong.
Instead of peace
among men, Christ brings separation into the homes of the saved.
B. The ONLY way a believer can escape conflict is to deny
Christ and compromise his witness—this would be sin. BUT THEN the believer would be at war
with God AND with himself.
We will be
misunderstood and persecuted even by those who are the closest to us; yet we
must not allow this to affect our witness.
It is important
that if we suffer, we suffer for Jesus’ sake, and for
righteousness’ sake, and NOT because we ourselves are difficult to live
There is a
difference between the “offence of the cross” (Gal. 5:11) and
C. This is an age of contrasts and variances, one against
enters into the very home itself –
What is the depth
of all this? It suggests that there is an unavoidable chasm between the life of
the saved and the unsaved.
Even family ties
cannot span this chasm.
In many homes the one is living
for this life, and the other
for the life to come; the one has Satan for his master, and the other has Christ,
his Master; the one
sets his affection on the things beneath, and the other on the things above.
Vs. 36 – “A man’s foes shall be they of his own
obstacle to spiritual life often lies in the home.
foes to Christian service are often in the home.
will be used by Satan to put every possible obstacle in the way and walk of the
Satan has no
greater delight than in dividing households.
He will seek to
keep the citadel of the home as the fulcrum of his strongest hindrances to
prayer, and spiritual life.
V. What then is the believer to do?
A. There can be but one conclusion, and Christ makes that
plain: The Christian is called to forsake all, even his dearest loved ones, to
must make the decision once and for all to love Christ supremely and take up
his cross and follow Christ.
In Matt. 8:21,
when one said, “Suffer
me first to go and bury my father,” Christ said, “Follow me;
and let the dead bury their dead”
and added in Lk. 9:60 “but go thou
and preach the Kingdom of God.”
In following Christ
fully—He—JESUS must take the pre-eminence over any and all loved
ones at home. In all things He must be first! His
call supersedes all other calls, His love all other loves.
The love in Vs. 37 is the motive for the cross in Vs. 38.
To “carry the cross” does not mean to wear a pin on
your lapel, or to wear necklace around the neck, or put a sticker on our
It is the thing
that runs directly over and against the will of the flesh, and the will of men.
It means to
confess Christ and obey Him in spite of shame and suffering.
It means to die
to self-daily. If the Lord went to a cross for us, the least we can do is carry
a cross for Him.
B. Vs. 39 presents us with only two alternatives:
spare your life or sacrifice your life. There is no middle ground.
If we protect our
own interests, we will be losers; if we die to self and live for His interests,
we will be winners.
conflict is inevitable in this world, why not die to self and let Christ win
the battle for us and in us? After all, the real
war is inside—selfishness versus sacrifice.
C. Not everyone will refuse the disciples' message
– Vs. 40.
Some will recognize us as representatives
of the Messiah and receive us graciously. Most disciples would have limited
ability to reward such kindness, but they need not fret; anything done for them
would be reckoned as being done for the Lord Himself and would be rewarded
When your life is being spent as a living
sacrifice for Christ, when your all is on His altar, and someone receives you,
such a one also receives your Lord; and, in receiving your Lord, was the same
as receiving the Father who sent Him, since the one sent represents the sender.
To receive an ambassador, who stands in the place of the government that
commissions him, is to enjoy diplomatic relations with his country.
D. No kindness shown to a follower of Jesus will go
unnoticed – Vs. 42.
Even a cup of cold water will be grandly
rewarded if it is given to a disciple because he is a follower of the Lord.
The Lord closes His special charge to the
twelve in this chapter by investing them with regal dignity. It is true that
they would be opposed, rejected, arrested, tried, imprisoned, and perhaps even
killed, But we never forget that we are representatives of the King and that our
glorious privilege is to speak and act for Him, just as it was for those of
The question that all of us should ask ourselves, is this:
Do we serve OUT LORD for love or pay?
A number of years ago, a lad named Sydney,
who had reached the age of ten, overheard a conversation about certain bills
which his parents had to for work done on the home, and conceived the idea of
making out a bill for what he himself had done. The next morning he quietly
laid on his mother’s plate at breakfast the following statement:
“Mother owes Sydney: For getting coal six times, 6d. For fetching wood
lots of times, 6d. For going errands twice, 4d. For being a good boy, 2d.
Total, 1s. 6d.” His mother read the bill, but said nothing. That evening
Sydney found it lying on his own plate, with the 1s. 6d. as payment; but
accompanying it was another bill, which read as follows: “Sydney owes
mother: For his happy home for ten years, nothing. For his food, nothing. For
nursing him through illness, nothing. For being good to him, nothing. Total,
nothing.” When the lad had looked at this, his eyes were dim and his lips
quivering. Promptly he took the Is. 6d. out of his pocket, and rushed to his
mother, flung his arms around her neck, and exclaimed: “Mammy, dear! I
was a mean wretch! Please forgive me, and let me do lots of things for you
Jesus gave His all for us. How do we answer
His question—”Lovest thou Me?” (John 21:15).