Introduction: Our current series of studies on the great missionaries
is focused on the life and actions of these missionaries. Our goal?
To deduce how their lives and actions apply to ours. Our lesson this
week starts out much differently. Instead of trying to deduce the
specific principles from our missionary examples, Jesus just states
the principles to His disciples. Our only question is whether these
same principles apply to our missionary efforts? Let’s dive into the
Bible and consider this!

  1. The Call

    1. Read Matthew 10:1. Notice that the twelve are both called
      and authorized. Are you called by Jesus? (Read Romans
      8:28-30. Do you want to advance the Kingdom of God? Do
      you respond in love to the love Jesus first showed you
      when He died for your sins? If so, you are called.)

      1. When you are called are you also automatically
        authorized to drive out evil spirits and heal disease
        and sickness? (The text makes it appear that
        authorization to do these things is a separate

      2. Who is authorized to do these things? I’ve spent
        years praying for various people and their various
        medical problems. But I’ve never driven out an evil
        spirit or had someone who was obviously and instantly
        healed by my prayers alone. Am I just not authorized
        for those things? (Read John 14:11-14. These verses
        say that if I have faith, I am authorized to do these
        miracles. I do not know if it is a matter of a lack
        of faith on my part or if it was not God’s will to
        heal a sickness at that moment. Perhaps I’m not
        paying close enough attention to what God is doing in
        response to my prayers. For example, in the last
        month I was in the hospital praying for an 85 year-old man who was a life-long smoker and who was going
        in for a heart procedure that might end his life. It
        turned out his arteries were clear. Did my prayers
        clear his arteries, or were the already clear?)

  2. The Instructions

    1. Read Matthew 10:5-6. Do these instructions apply to us?
      (Read Acts 1:8. We see that with time the target audience
      has expanded.)

    2. Read Matthew 10:7. Is this our message? Or, was this a
      message directed only to a Jewish audience? (If you look
      at Acts 1:4-7, the discussion that Jesus had with His
      disciples just before He left for heaven, it was about the
      restoration of the kingdom. Jesus did not say that they
      had a new message to go along with the broader audience.)

      1. What is the “Kingdom of Heaven?” What do you think
        the disciples thought it meant when they referred to
        the “kingdom” in Acts 1:6? (The disciples quite
        clearly thought that Jesus was going to establish a
        kingdom on earth. The language in Acts 1:6 about
        “restoring” the kingdom “to Israel” leaves little
        doubt. Jesus refers to the heavenly kingdom – that is
        something else – at least in the short run.)

      2. Read Luke 17:20-24. This coming of the kingdom was
        obviously a hot topic in Jesus’ day. How does Jesus
        describe the Kingdom of God? (He describes it two
        ways. First, He says it is “within you.” Second, He
        describes it as coming like lightening that lights up
        the entire sky. Jesus was not only with them (He
        brought in the coming kingdom), but He was imparting
        kingdom knowledge to the disciples. However,
        ultimately Jesus will come again and usher in the
        physical Kingdom of Heaven.)

      3. What, then, should you be talking to others about to
        fulfill the command to tell others ( Matthew 10:7)
        “The Kingdom of Heaven is near?” (Both. The kingdom
        within us and the Second Coming.)

    3. Read Matthew 10:8. How does this instruction about
      healing the sick, raising the dead, and curing medical
      problems relate to the message that the Kingdom of Heaven
      is near? (Are these not all “kingdom” solutions? In the
      elimination of death, sickness, mourning and pain we see
      the Kingdom of God. Revelation 21:3-4.)

      1. What is Matthew 10:8 talking about when it says what
        has been freely received should be freely given to
        others? (The message of salvation and the
        availability of the power of the Holy Spirit. We do
        not pay for these things, so why not share them
        freely with others?)

    4. Read Matthew 10:9-10. How should a missionary’s efforts be
      financed? Should you pay for your own expenses? (No. You
      should be paid to do this.)

      1. What if you have the money, and can afford to pay for
        your own expenses? (The text seems to assume that the
        disciple could bring his own money and extra

      2. What do you say about Paul, who in 1 Corinthians 9
        says that he has the right to be paid to do his
        missionary work, but that he boasts (1 Corinthians
        9:15) about earning his own way? If Jesus tells us
        not to pay our own way, how can Paul boast about
        paying his own way? (If you look at the 1 Corinthians
        9, you will see that Paul considers support from
        others a right which he has waived.)

    5. Read Matthew 10:11-13. What benefit can we obtain by
      giving lodging to a missionary? (Peace will rest on your

      1. What do you think it means to have “peace” resting on
        your home? (Adam Clarke’s Commentary on this text
        reveals that among the Hebrews this term had a very
        “extensive meaning: it comprehended all blessings,
        spiritual and temporal.”)

      2. If the missionary had this peace to give (or take
        back), what does this suggest about the life of the
        missionary? (These blessings were part of the
        missionary’s life!)

    6. Read Matthew 10:14-15. What lesson do we learn about the
      times when others reject our missionary message?

      1. How do we distinguish between wasting our time and
        giving others a second chance?

        1. Is giving others a second chance a waste of our
          time – in the sense that we could be presenting
          the gospel to someone else? (For me, building a
          relationship is important for sharing the
          gospel. If I have been building a relationship
          and get a neutral reaction, I need to be sure
          that my message will not ultimately be accepted
          before I turn away.)

    7. Read Matthew 10:16. What role does the Holy Spirit play in
      this process of converting others? ( John 16:7-9 tells us
      that the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, righteousness and

    8. Can we confuse our role with that of the Holy Spirit?

      1. Is the reverse possible? (Our efforts need to be
        bathed in prayer and we need to ask for the
        direction, aid and blessing of the Holy Spirit. But,
        that is not where things end. Jesus tells us to use
        our brains when working to convert others.)

  3. The Warning

    1. Read Matthew 10:21-22 and Romans 2:9-10. How can you
      reconcile these two texts? How can “all men” hate us when
      at least some are being converted? (I think that Jesus was
      warning His disciples (and us, as a secondary matter),
      that just because we are doing “God’s work,” it does not
      mean that all will be peaceful and calm.)

    2. Read Matthew 10:23. Was Jesus just giving them false hope
      about His Second Coming? If I heard this, I would think
      that if I spread the message throughout my country, that
      Jesus would come back during my lifetime! (There are at
      least a couple of theories on this. One is that the “Son
      of Man comes” refers to the destruction of Jerusalem which
      took place about 40 years later. Another is that the text
      would be better translated as saying the cities will be
      “perfectly instructed.” Israel is not yet perfectly
      instructed. My thought is that Jesus is sending the
      disciples out on a practice run. Jesus came to them in
      power when He died, was resurrected and spent time with
      them. This all happened before they had finished their
      work in Israel.)

    3. Read Matthew 10:32-33. Are you embarrassed about
      witnessing? About being a missionary? What promise and
      warning are we given if we refuse this mission?

    4. Friend, how about you? Are you willing to be a missionary?
      How about just witnessing to your neighbors? If you are
      embarrassed about standing for Jesus, think about the idea
      of Jesus being embarrassed about standing up for you!

  4. Next week: The Compassionate Savior.