His Eye Is On The Sparrow
“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 affliction. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. As you enter the house, greet it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town. “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household. “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:1–33)
Jesus sent His disciples into the world to serve Him and give evidence that the Kingdom of God was advancing. Jesus gave the disciples instructions and encouragement for their mission, describing how these followers were to serve their King. This section begins with the names of the twelve disciples to whom Jesus delegated authority and commissioned them to strike Satan's kingdom as He was doing. These men were sent out, which in the original Greek is the verb that gives us the word "apostle." Peter is listed first, and two sets of brothers are included as well. Matthew identifies himself as the tax collector, and Judas is recognized as the one who betrayed Jesus. These apostles were ordinary people through whom Jesus would do extraordinary things.
It is puzzling why Jesus commanded his disciples to only go to the house of Israel, yet he went to Gentiles and Samaritans. What could have been the motive behind this apparent contradiction? Jesus instructs his followers to begin their mission at home, particularly the Jews who have been preparing for Christ's coming since ancient times. The covenant people must be the first focus of this new mission, as they were already set up to receive him as Messiah in God's plan. God was their sole provider, and they did not need to bring silver, gold, or even a staff. His divine grace would supply them with the hospitality of those who accepted their message—bringing peace to places where they were welcomed, yet departing from locations and people who rejected their words; for God will deal accordingly with such people in due course.
Jesus makes it clear that following Him is far from effortless. His people often feel like sheep among wolves, enduring suffering and persecution at the hands of their community and those in power - governors, kings, and Gentiles alike. Success requires a balance between wisdom and innocence; they must be brave enough to confront dangerous forces while remaining naive enough to stay true to God's will. With no escape in sight, Jesus encourages His disciples to stay courageous and trust that the Holy Spirit will speak through them when they feel overwhelmed by their trials. Knowing full well that faith in Jesus would cause division even amongst close family members, these apostles are called to work and witness from an eternal perspective—for He who endures until the end will be saved.
Do Not Fear
Jesus cautions his followers that they will suffer similar treatment as he has endured. He refers to the accusation by the Pharisees in 9:34, alleging Jesus performs exorcisms through the prince of demons. Jesus urges his disciples not to be afraid, for God's people will ultimately be vindicated. Though they may suffer mistreatment or even death, Jesus reminds them that all will come to light in the end, and their ultimate safety is secured with Him. God's servants are of great worth to the Almighty, and if He is so devoted to His creatures—not even one can fall unnoticed—how much more will He care for them? Jesus commands the disciples to boldly proclaim what they have learned from Him without fear of men. Moreover, Jesus emphasizes that those who obey His warning not to be afraid and declare this truth will gain acknowledgment before God at the final judgment; conversely, if one denies Christ's teachings, it will result in a denial from Jesus Himself.
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