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MATTHEW - Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand!
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Matthew
PART 2 - Christ teaches and Ministers in Galilee (Matthew 5:1 - 18:35)
C - The Twelve Disciples are Sent out to Preach and Serve (Matthew 9:35 - 11:1)
3. The Methods of Spreading the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 10:5 - 11:1) -- The Second Collection of the Words of Jesus

a) The Fundamental Principles of Preaching (Matthew 10:5-15)

MATTHEW 10:5-6
5 Jesus sent these twelve out, and commanded them, saying, “Don’t go among the Gentiles, and don’t enter into any city of the Samaritans. 6 Rather, go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
(Matthew 15:24; Mark 6:7-13; Luke 9:2-6; Acts 13:46)

In the beginning of His ministry, Christ directed His twelve disciples not to go to the whole world, but to their own countrymen, for other nations were still not prepared for the preaching, and the Holy Spirit had not yet dwelt worldwide. Christ presented His kingdom to the lost Jews first, according to the promise of God to their fathers, and called them into true repentance and living hope.

Christ had a particular and tender concern for the house of Israel; they were “beloved for the sake of the fathers,” (Romans 11:28). He looked with compassion upon them as lost sheep, whom He, as a shepherd, had to gather out of the by-paths of sin and error, into which they were gone astray, and in which, if not brought back, they would wander endlessly.

The objector says that Matthew 10:5-6 mentions that Christ advised His twelve disciples to preach the lost sheep of he house of Israel. Matthew 15:24 mentions that He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”; though Christ said in Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

We reply that the rule that Christ made for His apostles was to preach the house of Israel first that they might not err, thereafter preach the rest of the world. The Bible speaks, from beginning to end, that the people of the covenant should be looked after first and other nations next. It was proper that the children of Jacob should be given priority over others.

7 As you go, preach, saying, ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!’ 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons. Freely you received, so freely give. 9 Don’t take any gold, nor silver, nor brass in your money belts. 10 Take no bag for your journey, neither two coats, nor shoes, nor staff: for the laborer is worthy of his food.
(Matthew 4:17; Mark 16:17; Luke 10:1-12)

The content of the apostles’ preaching was twofold: preach and heal. The subject of their speeches was Christ Himself with His authority, truth, spirit and love. The disciples were impressed, deep in their hearts, by the personality of their Master, His compassion and His power. They testified of what they saw and experienced. They recognized that it was in the person of Christ that the kingdom of God began, came true and became tangible and apparent. Therefore, their good news differed from the Baptist’s speech, with respect to the kingdom at hand, for they had experienced that Jesus was the capable divine king. They did not preach a distant kingdom, but declared that the beloved king has already come.

Christ’s disciples did not only speak, but they communicated to others the authority of His power dwelling in them. The Gospel signifies a divine power and not empty words or a lifeless doctrine.

This truth shows that preachers will become nothing if they just present echoing words instead of power. Christ today is willing to triumph through His servants as He, then, triumphed through His apostles; but because of their little faith, pride and hard-heartedness, He cannot do many of His works, for miracles are wrought where perfect love is united with simple faith. Christ wants to do the same miracles through his sent followers as He Himself had done while He was on earth. This call leads us to repent that we may learn to serve out of His compassion!

MATTHEW 10:8-10
8 Freely you have received, freely give. 9 Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, 10 nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food.
(Numbers 18:31; Acts 20:33; 1 Corinthians 9:14; 1 Timothy 5:18)

An employed servant wishes to receive his wages after his faithful performance of a duty. He also desires a regular job, but the heavenly king prevented His apostles from receiving any wages or salary, or making a business or gain out of His word. He ordered them to render their services freely, live from their faith in Christ, and not to put their trust upon money, property and endowment. Christ frees us completely from the love of money that you will love Him alone and trust His constant providence.

Those that had power to heal diseases had an opportunity to enrich themselves. Who would not purchase such certain cures at any price? Therefore they are cautioned by Christ not to make a gain of the spiritual power they had to offer miracles. They must cure freely, further to exemplify the nature of the New Testament kingdom, which is made up, not of mere grace, but of free grace.

Christ, also, prevented His apostles from purchasing additional clothes and shoes, that they could minister without heavy bags and walk freed from the burdens and worries of the world. Go to the service of the Lord as you are. You need no weapon, nor special protection, for the angels of God shall guard you. Wherever you offer the power of God to your listeners and they experience the salvation of their soul and their body, the thanks should not return to you but to God. He will feed you and dress you. Yet, you should not make much of provisions, nor design to accumulate money in the bank, that your faith may not become weak, for the kingdom of God remains spiritual and not material.

They, who go upon Christ’s errand, have, of all people, most reason to trust Him for all necessary provisions. Doubtless, His will is to provide for those that are working for Him. Christ’s servants shall have bread enough and to spare. While we abide faithful to God and our duty and are careful to do our work well, we shall cast our other care upon God. Let the Lord provide for us and ours as He thinks fit.

They that serve might expect that those to whom they were sent would provide for them what was necessary, for the workman is worthy of his meat. They must not always expect to be fed by miracles, as Elijah was, but they might depend upon God to incline the hearts of those they went among, to be kind to them and provide for them. Though they who serve at the altar may not expect to grow rich by the altar, yet they may expect to live and to live comfortably upon it. It is fit they should have their maintenance from their work. Servants are, and must be, “laborers,” and they that are faithful are “worthy of their meat,” so as not to be forced to other labor in order to earn it. Christ expects from His disciples that they trust God, and not their countrymen, to provide everything necessary for them to live. If you preach to them and endeavor to do good among them, surely they will give you bread and drink sufficient for your needs: and if they do, don’t yearn for more. God will reward you in due time, and until then accept His provision. However, the Apostle Paul suggested that every servant for the Lord also work with his hands to secure his daily living and not depend on donations. So every servant of the Lord should ask His Lord how he or she would best serve Him according to His guidance.

PRAYER: O Heavenly Father, we are ashamed of our little faith and our little love to You and regret our inclination to unrighteous mammon. Please forgive our selfishness and teach us to follow Jesus faithfully, without any personal interest or gain. Help us to receive from Him power and love to help the needy, the weak, those imprisoned under the might of Satan and all those whom the Holy Spirit guides us to. Call many people from our nation to serve, for the harvest truly is plentiful, but the faithful laborers are few. Therefore, Lord, send out many laborers into Your harvest.


  1. What are the first five commands that Christ gave to His disciples with respect to preaching?


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