The Gospel of Matthew: a commentary & meditation 
"Jesus gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out"

Scripture:  Matthew 10:1-7

1 And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and  every infirmity. 2 The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zeb'edee, and John his brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. 5 These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, "Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And preach as you go, saying, `The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'
Meditation: Do you know and experience in your life the power of the gospel?  The core of the gospel message is quite simple: the kingdom (or reign) of God is imminent! What is the kingdom of God? It is that society of men and women who submit to God and who honor him as their King and Lord. In the Lord's prayer we pray for God to reign in our lives and in our world: May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus' preaching of God's kingdom was  accompanied by signs and wonders. People were healed not only spiritually, but physically as well. Jesus' words are just as relevant today, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. We cannot buy heaven; but those who know the love and mercy of Jesus already possess heaven in their hearts! Do you believe in the power of God's kingdom?  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. They were non- professionals, had no wealth or position.  They were chosen from the common people who did ordinary things, had no special education, and no social advantages.  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.  When the Lord calls us to serve, we must not think we have nothing to offer.  The Lord takes what ordinary people, like us, can offer and uses it for greatness in his kingdom.  Do you believe that God wants to work through and in you for his glory?

"Lord, 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."


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(c) 2002 Don Schwager