Then he summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. The names of the Twelve Apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him. Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus, “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ (Matthew 10: 1-7)
Jesus commissioned his disciples to carry on the works which he did – to speak God’s word and to bring his healing power to the weary and oppressed. In the choice of the twelve apostles, we see a characteristic feature of God’s work – Jesus chose very ordinary people.
Jesus wanted ordinary people who could take an assignment and do it extraordinarily well. He chose these men, not for what they were, but for what they would be capable of becoming under his direction and power.
Likewise. when the Lord calls us to serve, we must not think we have nothing or very little to offer. The Lord takes what ordinary people, like us, can offer and uses it for greatness in his kingdom.
The world the apostles were commissioned to serve was as tumultuous, as fractured and as topsy turvy as the world that faces us every day.
The world we inhabit needs us involved in His Kingdom just as the Apostles did.
The challenge for us today is to stand in our faith that our God is recreating the world and calling us to participate. We are called to believe that God through Christ is establishing the kingdom. How Christ is going to lead us into that kingdom is not entirely clear. But this much is clear: If we are going to follow Christ, we have to begin by claiming his vision—we need to see the world as God sees it.
It would be a world where peace triumphs over war, where people are liberated rather than exploited, where there is compassion and mercy for everyone. It would be a world that shuns violence and cares for the vulnerable first, a world of generosity over greed, a world of humility over arrogance, a world that embraces rather than excludes, a world where truth prevails over lies—the world as God sees it.
I once wrote that the Christian Church is a field hospital in the midst of battle. That could not be any more correct than it is today. It’s a trauma unit for all those who are wounded physically, emotionally, relationally, spiritually.
You and I are sent out as his apostles to try to care for people in their illnesses and to let Jesus and his healing into their lives, remembering that Jesus never healed just for healing’s sake, but to bring people to the deepest type of healing of all, spiritual healing by faith.
There it all is. You and I are called to triage in today’s world. Every small step we take to heal, to put on a band aid, to offer comfort and hope, to love in spite of another’s differences, to dry the tears of another, to offer our arms as an emotional sanctuary are all steps to building His kingdom.
What a great way to live our lives.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, you have chosen me to be your disciple. Take and use what I can offer, however meager it may seem, for the greater glory of your name.”
Those who follow Jesus must be people of hope because God cares for us in our need. We must also be people of solidarity, solidarity with the poor and oppressed. If God is close to those who struggle, if God is close to those who are persecuted or in need, we must act towards them in the same way. We cannot worship God and ignore those for whom God cares. We must as followers of Jesus be people who are committed to eliminating poverty and injustice and oppression because those are the very things that our God is also committed to eliminate.