For Them or For Us?
by Pr. Dave Mann
When we read the Bible faced with the question: Is what Jesus says applicable only to his twelve disciples or are Jesus’ words directed to all modern-day disciples as well?
vv. 2-4—Jesus calls and names the twelve disciples. This surely applies to us.
Jesus knows us. He calls us by name. He wants us to follow him.
vv. 5-6—Jesus sends out his twelve disciples only to the lost sheep of Israel. This applied specifically to the original twelve disciples.
The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 1:16 that the gospel is for the Jew first and then to the Gentiles. Matthew 10 was in “the Jew first” portion of the strategy. We currently live in the latter portion.
v. 7—Jesus commands the disciples to go proclaim the gospel. This applies to all disciples.
From the Great Commission until Jesus returns, this is the mandate to the Church. Some are called to go, some are called to pray, some are called to give.
v. 8—Jesus commands the twelve to work signs and wonders in his name. This applies to select disciples both then and now.
Certain believers are used by God to perform miracles for the good of people and the glory of God. In 1 Corinthians 12, we read that there are different gifts distributed as the Spirit wills.
vv. 11-12—Jesus commands his peace to reside on some homes and to return to his servants in other cases. This applies to all.
We are to give the blessing of peace to all—to those who welcome the gospel and even to those who reject it. Jesus decides where his peace will reside.
Most of the time there is nothing lost in the English translation of the original Greek. This is one of the rare exceptions. You know that in English we can give commands to others. In Greek, there are such second person imperatives, but there are also third person imperatives in which a person talking to you can give a command to a third party. We have no easy way to express this idea in English, but most of the time, translators use the word “let” to introduce a third party command. But this wording does not mean that we have the authority to allow the action to happen. Jesus, the speaker in this case, is the one giving the orders. As he is speaking to his disciples (both then and now), he is directing his peace to reside in the homes of those receiving the gospel—your peace rest on it—or to return to the disciples — your peace return to you.
Summary for what applies to us today:
Jesus knows us by name and calls us to follow him.
Jesus commands us to share the gospel globally.
Jesus empowers some of us to work signs and wonders.
Jesus charges his peace to flow freely through us to others whether worthy of it or not.
O Lord, thank you that you call me by name. By grace, grant me the willingness to obey your commands. In Jesus’ name, Amen.