2013-05-12 Determining the Mission Strategy | Matthew 10:5-10
Christ’s Strategy for the Mission
Theme verse: All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
5 These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. 9 Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food.
- Matthew writing this after Jesus’ res when first Xians already beginning to preach throughout Gentile world,
- so M’s chief concern was how they were to do it and what they could expect.
- As we proceed into the mission field, what strategy would Christ give to us?
- Principle: Since Christ gave his first disciples such a strategy for their gospel mission,
- we should use it as a model for our own mission
- trusting that God will just as surely work through us and provide for us as we do.
First, Jesus tells apostles to whom they should go…
- The PEOPLE of the mission: (vv. 5-6)
5 These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans…”
- “…but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
- In this initial missionary for limitation is set for their labors: cannot go among the Gentiles or the Samaritans. But rather to the lost sheep of Israel.
- No one can do everything at once. This was merely a starting place.
- The restriction kept them from wandering into the Gentile territories to the north and east or Samaria to the south.
- As we see in john chapter four verse 22 “salvation is from the Jews.”
- Jewish heritage was the true and only source of God’s revelation in past days and it was the proper that the work of calling fallen man in women to choose Jesus should begin there.
- Jesus himself said that he was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel – Matt 15.24.
- The same words are used in Matthew 10.
- Paul would say the same later on Romans 1:16, “The gospel is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes for the Jew first and then for the Greek.”
- Where and to whom should we GO on our mission?
-Desire to grow in evangelism: Start Locally. Start in Familiar places – 3 places spend most of your time outside the church
- Your Home/Neighbors (First Place) – map with red pins for your neighborhoods those who live closest to you
- picture a birds-eye view of your immediate neighborhood, development, apartment or condo complex,
- those you might see morning, evening, weekends in the yard, on a walk, as you drive in and out
- where you can walk or ride your bike and pray for the people who live there
- to whom you might send a personal invitation to attend church, a neighborhood Bible study, a neighborhood cookout or yard sale, workday for an elderly neighbor
- Your Work or School/Co-Workers or Class-Mates (Second Place)
- those with whom you work, go to school or volunteer during daytime hours
- pray for the people, pray for opportunities to share your faith
- Your Hangouts in the Community (Third Place)
- wherever you go in the community regularly or periodically
- hang out with: a sports team; band or chorus; clubs or groups; coffee shops, restaurants, stores
Second, Jesus tells apostles what they should say as they go, that is…
- The PREACHING of the mission (v.7)
7 And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
- They were to preach the same message as John the Baptist is found in Matthew 3 – repent for the kingdom of heaven is near – verse 2.
- It was the same message preached by Jesus in Matthew 4 – repent for the kingdom of heaven is near – verse 17.
- That is what the disciples are told to preach – the kingdom of heaven is near – verse 7.
- In that chapter 24 Jesus will prophesy that the same “gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations and then the end will come” – verse 14.
- The only difference between the early preaching and our preaching today is that then the kingdom of God was just near.
- Today the kingdom is not only near, it is realized and we proclaim the crucified, risen and returning Christ.
- According to this teaching the gospel is good news of the kingly role of Jesus Christ
- If we ask, “How do we get into his kingdom?” The answer is what the disciples were to say “repent of your sin and believe on Jesus Christ.”
- We are to preach the same until Jesus returns.
- Paul says in Rom 1:16, “it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…”
-Desire to be known in our community for our reformed faith = our distinctive in this community
- What does reformed theology teach?
- What makes it distinctive?
- How does it help a person come to faith and live the Christian life?
- How does our reformed understanding of theology inform the way we share the gospel, lead a Bible study, live our lives in the community?
Third, Jesus tells them of the powerful signs that will accompany their preaching, that is
- The POWER for the mission (v.8A)
8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons…
- They are to use their power in doing good: not “Go and move mountains,” or “call down fire from heaven,” but, Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers.
- They are sent to be blessings, to indicate to the world that love and goodness are the spirit and wisdom of the gospel which they came to preach,
- and of the kingdom which they were sent to set up.
- By doing so, they would be identified as servants of the God who is good and does good, and whose mercy is over all his works;
- and that the intention of the message they preached was to heal sick souls, and to raise those that were dead in sin;
-Desire to be known in our community for our love for Christ and one another
- We demonstrate love for Christ by our good deeds, not as basis of salvation but as evidence of it. “if you do it unto the least of these my brethren…have done it to me”
- We demonstrate our love for one another by “speaking the truth in love,” going to one another when we have conflicts, preferring and serving one another in love
Fourth, Jesus tells them about
- The PROVISION for the mission: (vv. 8B-10)
- they might have been thinking if Jesus is not going along with us who will provide food and money as we go?
- In this first missionary journey they are to travel light and trust God for their provisions.
- In the later journey they will be instructed to take along a purse and a bag and sword.
- Things will be different after the resurrection.
- Though they differ from one journey to the next the same principles apply in all similar missionary journeys. First principle is
- Everyone should offer the gospel without price.
8 You received without paying; give without pay.
- We are all to offer the gospel freely as God himself offers it, as in Isa 55.1, “without money and without cost.”
- Even salaried or compensated ministers who are employed by the church or a ministry should either accept no honorariums or not ask for honorariums eg, weddings and funeral services.
- Outside occasional events such as preaching for local television and radio stations should be done for free.
- It is good for ministers to do some of their work for nothing to remind them that preaching the gospel is different from running a business that they have been sent by Jesus not to make money but to offer the gospel freely.
- Christ’s freedom in doing good to us, should make us free in doing good to others.
Second principle is
- God’s People should support God’s ministers.
10 for the laborer deserves his food.
- On the other hand, ministers to need support just like everyone else – they need food to eat and places to live and have families to support.
- And God’s people should support them. “those who are worthy” as in verse 11.
- Worthy people see to it that God’s workers are supported and when they give their support the ministers are not to refuse it.
- This is how Paul operated, never asking for money but gratefully acknowledging the gifts he received from those who responded to the gospel – Philippians 1:4-5; 4:10-20.
The third principle is
- Ministers need to trust God for their support.
9 Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff…
- Sometimes God’s people are negligent in their duty.
- When that happens to minister has the opportunity to show that ultimately his trust is in God who cares for his workers more than anyone else could.
- This is the main point Jesus makes when he tells the disciples not take money or extra clothing or shoes for the journey.
- The disciples needed these things.
- They were not to refuse replacements for these necessary items when they were offered.
- But they are not to take extras in order to show that they are God’s messengers and are genuinely trusting him for their needs.
Of what should we repent and believe?
- Repent of notion that Jesus’ strategy was only for the first disciples, that we have to come up with a new one;
- Believe that Jesus’ strategy is the same and that he will enable us to implement it in our mission as he did the first disciples
- Repent of the notion that we must necessarily go overseas to find people who need gospel
- Believe that Christ has outlined our boundaries right where we are – at least for starters – and will guide us to the people we should reach each day
- Repent of the notion that no one will believe the gospel message we preach
- Believe that the gospel IS the power of God unto salvation for all who will believe
- Repent of the notion that our actions don’t have consequences
- Believe that the way we act toward one another and unbelievers either confirms or contradicts the message we are preaching
- Repent of the notion that God will not make adequate provision for our mission
- Believe that because it is Christ’s mission, he will provide everything we need – when we need it