TEXT: Matthew 10:5-10
5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,
10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.
Charles Finney said, “It is the great business of every Christian to save souls. People complain that they do not know how to take hold of this matter. Why, the reason is plain enough; they have never studied it. They have never taken the proper pains to qualify themselves for the work. If you do not make it a matter of study, how you may successfully act in building up the kingdom of Christ, you are acting a very wicked and absurd part as a Christian.”
As we continue looking at the lifestyle of the messengers of Christ, we have seen the sending forth of the messengers, the audience of the messengers, and most importantly, the message of the messengers. Some refer to the messengers as Jesus’ agents, the term implying that they are not only to speak but to act on His behalf and in His name. And that is what we see Jesus commanding them to do in verse 8. He says, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils.”
Now, the gospels do not record the disciples or apostles performing any miracles themselves. (The closest they come in the gospels is their failed to attempt to cast a demon out of a mute and deaf young man.) However, it is clear that Jesus gave these twelve the power — His power — to perform the same works that He was performing. In fact, in John 14:12, Jesus said, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.” And the Book of Acts reports the apostles healing the sick and casting out devils. In our day and time, we occasionally hear of miraculous healings and the dramatic casting out of devils. We have heard once or twice of someone who was clinically dead returning to life. However, we do not hear of such events at the frequency with which they are reported in the gospels. And this begs the question: Are the messengers of Christ today expected to perform such acts along with the preaching of the Gospel?
While we do not doubt the power of God to work miraculously through the people of Christ today, many theologians believe that these miraculous works were designed to be more prevalent in the ministry of the original apostles. Warren Wiersbe writes, “A man had to meet certain qualifications to be an apostle of Jesus Christ. He must have seen the risen Christ and fellowshipped with Him. He had to be chosen by the Lord. The Apostles laid the foundation of the church and then passed from the scene. While all believers are sent forth to represent the King, no believer today can honestly claim to be an apostle; for none of us has seen the risen Christ. These Apostles were given special power and authority from Christ to perform miracles. These miracles were a part of their ‘official credentials.’ They healed the sick (and note that this included all kinds of diseases), cleansed the lepers, cast out demons, and even raised the dead. These four ministries paralleled the miracles that Jesus performed in Matthew 8 and 9. In a definite way, the Apostles represented the King and extended His work.”
Miracles are still being worked today, and God can and does work in miraculous ways in response to the prayers and faith of His saints. Jesus’ word is still true: “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” However, in His wisdom, God has not poured out an easily apparent demonstration of miracles as He did during the ministry of Jesus and the Apostles. This might be because some who are bestowed with miracle-working power will use it for their own fame or financial gain; and also because many, as they did during Jesus’ day, will desire miracles or signs for their own gratification or curiosity, but have no interest in true faith.
Be that as it may, every messenger of Christ (whether first-century or twenty-first century) must take heed to the latter part of verse 8, where Jesus says, “Freely ye have received, freely give.” This command can be taken in two senses. The first sense is a monetary sense. We did not pay for the Gospel in any way, and we should not charge others in any way for the hearing of the Gospel message. Our song ought always to be, “Jesus paid it all.”
The second sense in which this command is to be received is in an attitudinal sense. We ought not to be grudging givers of the Gospel message. We ought not to have a holier-than-thou or better-than-you attitude when sharing the Gospel. We ought not to try to make people jump through hoops or meet some arbitrary benchmarks (join our church, attend this small group, fill out this visitor form) in order to hear the Gospel. The messengers of Christ received the Gospel freely and we ought to give the Gospel freely as well.
Carol Owens wrote:
God forgave my sin in Jesus’ name
I’ve been born again in Jesus’ name
And in His name I come to you
To share His love as He told me to
All power is giv’n in Jesus’ name
In earth and heav’n in Jesus’ name
And in His name I come to you
To share His power as He told me to
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.