TAKE PART IN MISSIONS
Matthew 9:35-10:42 September 30 2007
The previous section of Matthew illustrated Jesus’
power, authority and teaching. This section, the
subject of which is missions, chronicles the
application of His power, authority, and teaching to
the disciples. His mission became their mission. By
extension it also becomes ours.
The twelve disciples became the first group to
receive Jesus’ authority (Matt. 10:1-4). Jesus enabled
them to perform every task He thus far had
under taken .They had been trained and were then to go
into the world with His message. This commissioning
will be repeated at the end of the Gospel
( Matt. 28:18-20), where is clearly applies to all
1. Need for Mission work (Matt.9:35-38)
Matt. 9:35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of
the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 9:36
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them,
because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without
a shepherd. 9:37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest
is plentiful but the workers are few. 9:38 Ask the Lord of
the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest
The opening paragraph of this section (Matt. 9:35-38)
describes the extent and content of Jesus’ ministry.
Jesus did not limit His mission and thus demonstrated
His message is intended for all people. His great love
and concern for people became the driving force for
His prayer that God would call and send others to
extend the work.
2. Scope of Mission Work (Matt.10:5-8)
Matt. 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the
following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles
or enter any town of the Samaritans. 10:6 Go rather
to the lost sheep of Israel. 10:7 As you go, preach this
message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ 10:8 Heal the
sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,
drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
The rest of the passage may be called "The Missions
Sermon." Jesus first underscored the urgency of the
mission by describing the supplies a disciple should
and should not take (Matt. 10:5-10).
The good news about the kingdom was to be proclaimed
first to Jews only. After his death and resurrection,
Jesus commanded the message to be taken to all nations
(Matt.28:19; 21:43). Samaritans. A mixed-blood race
resulting from the intermarriage of Israelites left
behind when the people of the northern kingdom were
exiled and Gentiles brought into the land by the
Assyrians (2Kiing 17:24). Bitter hostility existed
between Jews and Samaritans in Jesus’ day (John 4:9).
3. Guidance for Mission Work (Matt.10:9-14)
Matt. 10:9 Do not take along any gold or silver or copper
in your belts; 10:10 take no bag for the journey, or extra
tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his
keep. 10:11 “Whatever town or village you enter, search
for some worthy person there and stay at his house until
you leave. 10:12 As you enter the home, give it your
greeting. 10:13 If the home is deserving, let your peace
rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 10:14
If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words,
shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or
Jesus also described how a disciple should respond
to those who may be reluctant to hear the message
(Matt. 10:11-15). The need is so great that Christians
are to be zealous in sharing the message.
The mission is not easy. Jesus next described the type
of persecution and opposition the disciples would
encounter (Matt. 10:16-25). The language anticipates
future persecution also when Christians would be
handed over to government authorities.
Shake the duct off your feet. A symbolic act practiced
by the Pharisees when they left an “unclean” Gentile
area. Here it represented an act of solemn warning to
those who rejected God’s message ( Luke 9:5;
Acts 13:51; Acts 18:6).
4. Encouragement for Mission (Matt.10:26-31)
Matt. 10:26 “So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing
concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will
not be made known. 10:27 What I tell you in the dark, speak
in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim
from the roofs. 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the
body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One
who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 10:29 Are not
two sparrows sold for a penny ? Yet not one of them will fall
to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 10:30 And
even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 10:31 So
don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
In the face of such opposition a Christian can rely on
God’s care and support (Matt. 10:26-31). Christians have
never been promised an easy task, but they are promised
the companionship and approval of God .
The Christian message is inherently divisive, and we
cannot blunt that reality. Jesus certainly did not; instead,
He described His task as bringing a sword that will divide
people. This portion (Matt. 10:32-39) is harsh, but Jesus
ended the mission message with a comforting promise of
reward (Matt. 10:40-42).
The major theme of Jesus’ preaching was the kingdom
of God. Matthew’s Gospel uses the phrase "kingdom of
heaven," perhaps due to Matthew’s Jewish background and
a reluctance to say or even write out words for God. Both
phrase refer to the same reality.
The kingdom of heaven first refer to God’s sovereignty.
In fact the word "kingdom" can be translated as "reign". When
Jesus said the kingdom is near, He did not mean God was
exercising His sovereignty for the first time. Rather, Jesus
meant He was manifesting the full extent of God’s reign in
His ministry. In this regard the kingdom is already present
but not yet fulfilled.
Second, the kingdom refers to the society established
under God’s reign by people committed to His rule. In this
sense, the kingdom does expand as other submit to God’s
reign. In mission work we help usher people into God’s