John Walvoord had this to say about the gospel of Matthew.
1 “Matthew includes five major discourses in his gospel. Each of the five ends with a similar phrase, i“’ And when Jesus had finished…’ (Matt. 7:28; 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1). The five discourses are as follows: • The Sermon on the Mount—the main principles of Christ’s teaching (Matt. 5–7) • The “missionary instructions” to the Twelve (Matt. 10) • The discourse on the mysteries of the kingdom—a response to rejection (Matt. 13) • The “community instructions” to the disciples (Matt. 18) • The Olivet Discourse—the end time preceding the second coming (Matt. 24–25).”
Back in 2018, I completed a series of articles that appeared in the Blue Ridge Christian News from the Sermon on the Mount. The time has come to revisit the discourses of Christ. With that said let’s settle in for a new series on the “missionary Instructions” given by Christ to His twelve and learn how they apply to every saint of God.
We begin by seeing Christ call His disciples by name. This may look like a simple naming of people by Christ. I see more, Christ knows His own, He has called them, saved them, trained them, and equipped them for His service. Now He calls them by name. Notice from God’s word Matthew 10:1-4,
2“21 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. 2 Now 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; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.”
Why missionary instructions? First, we like the disciples have been called to fulfill the great commission. To do this we must understand how we are prepared theologically, doctrinally, and spiritually to go about the Lord’s work daily. I fear we have become distracted by social, political, and financial issues taking place in our nation and the world. I’m not saying we should not be aware of, understand, and be involved with them. However, if they become such a distraction that we set aside our commission from Christ, we have become sidelined concerning the Lord’s work. Second, Through the exposition of Matthew chapter 10, I hope to awaken or reawaken our zeal to serve the Lord as His disciples to spread the gospel around the corner and the world.
Notice from Matthew chapter 10 verse one how Christ prepared them, He gave them power!
3“1And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.”
Power translates the Greek word exousia which is defined through the Blue Letter Bible as; “the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege).” This power was specific, unclean spirits, sickness, and disease. A word of warning, Jesus’ words here are for these disciples and their task. I intend for us to learn that just as Jesus called, prepared, and equipped these twelve He will do likewise for us.
A disciple of Christ, those who are genuinely born again according to the inerrant word of God, will be called to represent Him and carry the gospel. To do this the Lord will provide the power that is necessary for the task ahead. Take a moment and let that sink in. The Saints of God are saved to glorify God and that includes being a disciple of Christ and sharing the gospel. But how do we accomplish this? Being a disciple and presenting the gospel isn’t within our ability. Discipleship is the Grace of God imputed to us through the blood of Jesus Christ. Just as Adam’s sin was imputed to us at birth, Jesus’ righteousness was imputed to us the moment we accepted His invitation to be born again. It is through that righteousness we obtain Grace and through that Grace, we find Faith in Christ. From all of this, we have everything we need to accurately proclaim the gospel, as a personal witness of its life-changing eternal impact. Saints, we should be prayed up and prepared for the Lord’s service. Whether it is in the pulpit, in the community, or the workplace. May we grasp discipleship the way our Lord intended it to be.
Until we meet again, in person or print may God Bless you is my prayer.
1 Walvoord, John F.; Dyer, Charles H.. Matthew (The John Walvoord Prophecy Commentaries) (p. 70). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.
2 MacArthur, John. NKJV, The MacArthur Study Bible (pp. 5706-5707). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Dr. Terry Cheek
Dr. Terry Cheek has over 20 yrs experience in ministry with 16 of them exclusively in the pastorate. Having an earned BA, MA, and Doctorate in Theology he is a...