Wednesday, December 29, 2021
9-10 “Don’t think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.
11 “When you enter a town or village, don’t insist on staying in a luxury inn. Get a modest place with some modest people, and be content there until you leave.
12-15 “When you knock on a door, be courteous in your greeting. If they welcome you, be gentle in your conversation. If they don’t welcome you, quietly withdraw. Don’t make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and be on your way. You can be sure that on Judgment Day they’ll be mighty sorry—but it’s no concern of yours now.
16 “Stay alert. This is hazardous work I’m assigning you. You’re going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don’t call attention to yourselves. Be as shrewd as a snake, inoffensive as a dove.
-Matthew 10:9-16 The Message
Verse 9: Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts,
Verse 10: or a bag for your journey, or even two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is deserving of his support.
Verse 10 study: Those who minister should be cared for according to Jesus. The disciples could expect food and shelter to help those in spiritual need for the services they provided. Who ministers to you? Take care of those pastors, missionaries, and teachers who serve God by serving you (1 Corinthians 9:9-10; 1 Timothy 5:17).
Mark’s account in 6:8 says to take a staff aka, walking stick, and in Matthew and Luke in 9:3 tells not to. Jesus could have meant not to take an extra pair of sandals, staff, and bag. The main idea is to be prepared for duty and travel unencumbered by excess material goods.
Verse 11: And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city.
Verse 12: As you enter the house, give it your greeting.
Verse 13: If the house is worthy, see that your blessing of peace comes upon it. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.
Verse 14: And whoever does not receive you nor listen to your words, as you leave that house or city, shake the dust off your feet.
Verse 14 study: Jesus told the disciples to shake off their feet in a city or home who didn’t welcome them because pious Jews often shook the dust off their feet to show separation from Gentile practices. If it happened, the disciples shaking the dust would show separation from Jews who rejected their Messiah. This action would show the people that they were making the wrong choice, and the opportunity probably won’t show again. Are you hesitant to teach about God? It’s a good chance that if you ignore the Spirit’s prompting, you probably won’t get another chance.
Verse 15: Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that city.
Verse 15 study: If you go back to Genesis 19:24-25, it mentions that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire from heaven because of their wickedness. Anyone who rejects the gospel when they hear it will be far off more than the wicked people killed in those cities who never heard the gospel.
A Hard Road Ahead of Them
Verse 16: “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be as wary as serpents and as innocent as doves.
Verse 16 study: The opposition of the Pharisees would be like ravaging wolves. The disciples’ only hope is to look to their Shepherd for protection in this case. We may face similar hostility. The disciples were not to be sheeplike in their attitude, just like we shouldn’t be. We should be sensible and prudent. We shouldn’t be gullible pawns but not deceitful connivers either. We should find the balance between wisdom and vulnerability to accomplish God’s work.
Luke 10 :3; Genesis 3:1; Matthew 24:25; Romans 16:19, Hosea 7:11
Father, let us be reminded not to ignore the opportunities you present to us. Let us be wise in our thinking and decision-making. In Jesus’ name. Amen.