The Scriptorium

Mission Mandate

In theirs is a foreshadowing of ours. Matthew 10.5-15

Matthew 10: The First Sending (2)

Pray Psalm 126.4, 5.
Bring back our captivity, O Lord,
as the streams in the South.
Those who sow in tears
shall reap in joy.

Sing Psalm 126.4, 5.
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
Restore our fortunes, Lord our King!
Let grace like flowing streams prevail.
All they with tears of joy shall sing
who sow while yet they weep and wail.

Read Matthew 10.1-15; meditate on verses 5-15.

1. Where did Jesus send His disciples?

2. What did He send them to do?

This first mission of the disciples was a limited one. They were only to go to Jewish towns and homes (vv. 5, 6). As Jesus had come unto His own people (Jn. 1.11), so the disciples must limit their ministries to the people of Israel, at least for now. The time for reaching out to the Gentiles would come, and Jesus will foreshadow that time in His own ministry. For now, the disciples were to stay on home turf.

But what a mandate they were given! Preaching the Kingdom, healing, cleansing, raising the dead, casting out demons – all the works they had seen Jesus do, now they were empowered to do as well (vv. 7, 8).

They were not to worry about their daily needs (vv. 9, 10); God would take care of that, and Jesus had already taught them to look to Him for their provision (Matt. 6.1-10). The people they ministered to were used to providing for those who taught them. It was God’s Law, as Paul explained (applying that Law to himself) in 1 Corinthians 9.13, 14 (cf. Lev. 6.16, etc.). So as Jesus sent them out to preach grace and salvation, He expected them to live by the Law of God. God would honor His Word.

In verses 11-15 Jesus explained how the leading of the Spirit would work in this mission. Wherever they went, they were to look for a household that was welcoming to them and their message. They should use that as their base of ministry for as long as they stayed in that place. They would be able to discern such a household by simply knocking on the door and greeting the people with the peace of God. Those in whom the Spirit of peace was working would welcome them and care for their needs. If the house they greeted was not welcoming, they should simply move on in peace. People and towns that did not receive their message should be given a visible sign of God’s rejection: shaking the dust off their feet, so that not a trace of it remained with the men of peace. But they must not judge or condemn. God would take care of that in His own time (v. 15). They were on a mission of peace, for peace is the condition of the Kingdom, and the fruit of righteousness and faithfulness.

Like the disciples, we are sent to bring the peace of Christ and His Kingdom to the world. God will provide for us as we go into our Personal Mission Fields. We’re not looking for arguments, and we don’t pass judgment. We offer the peace of the Lord, and all the blessings that attend to that through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We cannot make people believe. Hopefully, we can help them understand. And this is all we are charged with by the Lord.

1. What can you learn from this first mission for your work in your Personal Mission Field?

2. What is the message of the Kingdom Jesus has sent us to proclaim?

3. Why is it important that our mission consist both of true words and good works?

Do you perceive the unparalleled magnificence of their ministry? Do you comprehend the dignity of the apostles? They are not authorized to speak of things perceivable by the senses. They do not repeat what Moses said or the prophets before them. Rather, they spoke of new and strange things. Moses and the prophets spoke of temporal promises of an earthly land. The apostles proclaimed the kingdom of heaven and all that this implies.
John Chrysostom (344-407), The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 32.4

Lord, make me a person of peace today, as I…

Pray Psalm 126.1-6.
The Lord has set us free from the chains of sin and fear. Look ahead to your day: What opportunities for sowing the good seed of the Kingdom await you? Commit them to the Lord even now.

Sing Psalm 126.1-6.
Psalm 126.1-6 (Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
When God restored our fortunes all,
we were like those who sweetly dream.
Our mouths with joy and laughter filled,
made Him our constant song and theme.

Then the astonished nations said,
“The Lord has done great things for them!”
Indeed, great things our God has done,
Whose Name we praise, Amen, Amen!

Restore our fortunes, Lord our King!
Let grace like flowing streams prevail.
All they with tears of joy shall sing
who sow while yet they weep and wail.

They who in tears of sorrow sow
and cast their seed on every hand,
with joy shall reach their heav’nly home,
and bring the harvest of their land.

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from
The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore