One of the longest chapters in the marvelous gospel of Matthew is before us this day. Wading through all 42 verses we come away with one note: Jesus did not believe in a static ministry but one that kept moving so that all of the lost sheep of Israel would be without excuse. They would see, hear, experience and have to make a decision: would they choose his message of peace which would mean commitment and perhaps a sword that would divide? If Christ is not first then we are not committed to Him.
Meet the men who would move to minister: the 12 disciples he would name and now call apostles. In Matthew, Mark, Luke and Acts the apostles are noted but only here do we find the author revealing his profession “the tax collector.” In this we see his humility and his note that although unworthy Jesus called and Jesus equipped him for ministry that we might see the same call is upon us. The apostles were to move about all of Israel to carry his message beyond Capernaum. They were to live and work among those in cities all around the nation so that they would be available to preach the good news: the kingdom of heaven is at hand. They were to offer the cup of healing and minister to the needs of those around, bless those who offered hospitality to them and go without any provisions trusting God alone.
All of these steps are ours today. We have His authority; we have His instructions to go and make disciples, [Matt 28] and we have His warning. We will meet unsavory characters, the enemy’s servants, and those who would persecute us for the message we bring and lifestyle we live. As the apostles so we too must be as wise as a serpent, that is prudent and shrewd, and yet innocent or inoffensive as a dove. Our character must have both sides of the coin to meet all and any situation we will meet. But this is not all: we have His reward for faithful service. Matt 10:42 “whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple, I tell you the truth, he will never lose his reward.”
Are you satisfied in to stay in one location or are you ready to step out and move so that you may be His ministering servant? Freely you have received therefore freely give trusting in this fact: Our God will supply all we need for the work that He has planned for us. [Phil 4] If He calls, He will equip.