MISSION OF THE APOSTLES
Mission Of The Twelve -Matthew 10:1-15; Mark 6:7-13; Luke 9:1-16
After Jesus had taught his disciples both privately and publicly, he decided to send them out to practicalise what they had learnt.
The three synoptic gospels recorded the mission of the twelve disciples.
Matthew stated that the mission of the twelve was limited to the Jewish territories but Luke and Mark did not record it. Matthew alone stated the names of the disciples that were sent out but not recorded by the two other gospels. Mark stated that the disciples were sent out in pairs, that is, two by two, but Luke and Matthew did not state it. Matthew stated that Jesus called the twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity.
Jesus charged the disciples to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons without collecting any money. However, Jesus announced rules guiding their mission- a code of conduct. The first was that they should not go with money or two tunics or bag. They should stay only in places where they were received with open hands. As they enter the house, they were expected to salute it and if the house is worthy, then their peace would come upon it, but if it was not worthy, their peace would return to them. In any case where they were rejected, they would shake off the dust from their feet as they leave the house or town, this will stand in judgement against such people.
The important fact here is for christians to understand the practical preparation experience they must in becoming undergo in a terms priest, of evangelist, sound teaching ministers and of God and other ministerial assignments.
Mission Of The Seventy -Luke 10:1-24
Luke alone gave the account of the mission of the seventy. According to Luke, seventy others were appointed by Jesus. He sent them ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself would go later He told them:
“The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; pray therefore the Lord of harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. Go your way, behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves .”
A major difference between the mission of the seventy and that of the twelve is that in the case of the seventy, Jesus did not discriminate on areas to go into, e.g. Jewish or Gentile territories.
Again, on the mission of the seventy, Jesus warned them to be very cautious in their mission, as he was sending them out as “lambs in midst of wolves.” He charged them not to carry purse, bags, sandals and to salute no one on the road. Wherever they enter a town and they are received, they should eat what is set before them and heal the sick in the town. Just like the twelve, the seventy went in twos and returned, giving account of a very successful mission.
The seventy returned, recounting how they were able to cast out demons in the name of Jesus; how demons obeyed them, hearing the name -Jesus. Jesus was thrilled and even conferred on them more powers, especially over serpents, scorpions and even Satan himself.
However, Jesus admonished them not to rejoice as a result of the success of their mission, especially their triumph over demons, but because their names had been written in the book of life in heaven.
Lessons To Learn From The Two Missions And The Significance
- Jesus’ charge against taking money, two tunics, bag and saluting people on their way meant that the mission was urgent, hence, unnecessary luxuries should be avoided.
- Jesus’ warning that he was sending the disciples out as lambs in the midst of wolves meant that they were bound to face persecution and stiff challenges in their ministry.
- Jesus’ decision to send out the seventy on the same mission he had earlier sent the twelve points to the importance of the assignment.
- Sending them out was a way of exposing them to what they would do after his death, hence, Jesus needed to assess their ability before hand.
- Just like he sent out his apostles and disciples, Jesus, today, can also send us on assignments.
- Whatever success we achieve in our task of spreading the gospel, credit goes to God not us.
- By spreading the gospel or carrying out other scriptural assignments, our names are being written in heaven.
- The gospel or spreading it should not be a do or die affair. Whoever rejects it, we should leave God to judge him.
- By sending out the apostles as well as the disciples, Jesus did what every leader or master who knows his onions should do, knowing that he was going to leave them sooner or later.
- This act was to ensure that the apostles mastered the act before time.
- With the stories of successful missions, Jesus was happy that the mission will continue after him.
- More than that, he was convinced that he was leaving behind worthy servants who can step into his shoes when the time comes.