Tuesday, July 6, 2010
JESUS AND HIS 12 APOSTLES – JULY 7TH WEDNESDAY (Mt 10:1-7)
1. Having portrayed Jesus’ power in chapters 8 and 9, Matthew portrays Jesus as sharing these powers with disciples. Jesus gives them the power to heal the sick, cast the demons, and raise the dead. Only here in Matthew are the twelve collaborators called ‘apostles’.
2. The theme of Israel as the mission field of Jesus should be understood in right perspective. Jesus does not deliberately avoid the Gentiles, He just want his disciples not to lose their focus. The images of flock, shepherd and the number 12 denoting twelve tribes of Israel again stresses the mission field of Jesus.
3. Criteria for choosing disciples: His selections prove to all spiritual generations to come that he will use anyone for his kingdom. The credit goes to Him not to human beings. Jesus looks at their availability than ability.
4. Symbolic meaning in the list of apostles, Peter the first (privileged position) and Judas the last.
5. Jesus is sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The turning point is marked by his death and resurrection after which the mission field extends to the whole of the world.
It might seem that Jesus narrows down the mission field only to the people of Israel. We should understand it in perspective. It was the belief among the people of Israel that the Messiah would come only to redeem them. In the initial stages if our focus is too wide we may not do justice to our duty. It is obligatory for all us to know our target audience properly before we preach the good news. The disciples were Jews and therefore they should stick only to Jews. After a period of formation they will be sent to the ends of the earth for the same mission.
Sacra Pagin Series
Holman’s Commentary on the New testament
Believers Bible Commentary