Jesus chooses his twelve apostles
(Mark 3.13-19; Luke 6.12-16)
1Jesus called together his twelve disciples. He gave them the power to force out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and sickness. 2The first of the twelve apostles was Simon, better known as Peter. His brother Andrew was an apostle, and so were James and John, the two sons of Zebedee. 3Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew the tax collector,#10.3 tax collector: See the note at 5.46. James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus were also apostles. 4The others were Simon, known as the Eager One,#10.4 known as the Eager One: The Greek text has “Cananaean”, which probably comes from a Hebrew word meaning “zealous” (see Luke 6.15). “Zealot” was the name later given to the members of a Jewish group which resisted and fought against the Romans. and Judas Iscariot,#10.4 Iscariot: This may mean “a man from Kerioth” (a place in Judea). But more probably it means “a man who was a liar” or “a man who was a betrayer”. who later betrayed Jesus.
Instructions for the twelve apostles
(Mark 6.7-13; Luke 9.1-6)
5Jesus sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions:
Stay away from the Gentiles and don't go to any Samaritan town. 6Go only to the people of Israel, because they are like a flock of lost sheep. 7As you go, announce that the kingdom of heaven will soon be here.#10.7 will soon be here: Or “is already here.”#Lk 10.4-12. 8Heal the sick, raise the dead to life, heal people who have leprosy,#10.8 leprosy: See the note at 8.2. and force out demons. You received without paying, now give without being paid. 9Don't take along any gold, silver, or copper coins. 10And don't carry#10.9,10 Don't take along…don't carry: Or “Don't accept…don't accept”. a travelling bag or an extra shirt or sandals or a walking stick.#1 Co 9.14; 1 Ti 5.18.
Workers deserve their food. 11So when you go to a town or a village, find someone worthy enough to have you as their guest and stay with them until you leave. 12When you go to a home, give it your blessing of peace. 13If the home is deserving, let your blessing remain with them. But if the home isn't deserving, take back your blessing of peace. 14If someone won't welcome you or listen to your message, leave their home or town. And shake the dust from your feet at them.#10.14 shake the dust from your feet at them: This was a way of showing rejection. See Acts 13.51.#Ac 13.51. 15I promise you that the day of judgment will be easier for the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah#10.15 Sodom and Gomorrah: During the time of Abraham the Lord destroyed these towns because the people there were so evil. than for that town.#Mt 11.24; Gn 19.24-28.
Warning about trouble
(Mark 13.9-13; Luke 21.12-17)
16I am sending you like lambs into a pack of wolves. So be as wise as snakes and as innocent as doves.#Lk 10.3. 17Watch out for people who will take you to court and have you beaten in their meeting places.#Mk 13.9-11; Lk 12.11,12; 21.12-15. 18Because of me, you will be dragged before rulers and kings to tell them and the Gentiles about your faith. 19But when someone arrests you, don't worry about what you will say or how you will say it. At that time you will be given the words to say. 20But you will not really be the one speaking. The Spirit from your Father will tell you what to say.
21Brothers and sisters will betray one another and have each other put to death. Parents will betray their own children, and children will turn against their parents and have them killed.#Mk 13.12; Lk 21.16. 22Everyone will hate you because of me. But if you remain faithful until the end, you will be saved.#Mt 24.9; Mk 13.13; Lk 21.17; Mt 24.13; Mk 13.13. 23When people ill-treat you in one town, hurry to another one. I promise you that before you have gone to all the towns of Israel, the Son of Man will come.
24Disciples are not better than their teacher, and slaves are not better than their master.#Lk 6.40; Jn 13.16; 15.20. 25It is enough for disciples to be like their teacher and for slaves to be like their master. If people call the head of the family Satan, what will they say about the rest of the family?#Mt 9.34; 12.24; Mk 3.22; Lk 11.15.
The one to fear
26Don't be afraid of anyone! Everything that is hidden will be found out, and every secret will be known.#Mk 4.22; Lk 8.17. 27Whatever I say to you in the dark, you must tell in the light. And you must announce from the housetops whatever I have whispered to you. 28Don't be afraid of people. They can kill you, but they cannot harm your soul. Instead, you should fear God who can destroy both your body and your soul in hell. 29Aren't two sparrows sold for only a penny? But your Father knows when any one of them falls to the ground. 30Even the hairs on your head are counted. 31So don't be afraid! You are worth much more than many sparrows.
Telling others about Christ
32If you tell others that you belong to me, I will tell my Father in heaven that you are my followers. 33But if you reject me, I will tell my Father in heaven that you don't belong to me.#2 Ti 2.12.
Not peace, but trouble
(Luke 12.51-53; 14.26,27)
34Don't think that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came to bring trouble, not peace. 35I came to turn sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, and daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law.#Mic 7.6. 36Your worst enemies will be in your own family.
37If you love your father or mother or even your sons and daughters more than me, you are not fit to be my disciples. 38And unless you are willing to take up your cross and come with me, you are not fit to be my disciples.#Mt 16.24; Mk 8.34; Lk 9.23. 39If you try to save your life, you will lose it. But if you give it up for me, you will find it.#Mt 16.25; Mk 8.35; Lk 9.24; 17.33; Jn 12.25.
40Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me. And anyone who welcomes me also welcomes the one who sent me.#Lk 10.16; Jn 13.20; Mk 9.37; Lk 9.48. 41Anyone who welcomes a prophet, just because that person is a prophet, will be given the same reward as a prophet. Anyone who welcomes a good person, just because that person is good, will be given the same reward as a good person. 42And anyone who gives one of my most humble followers a cup of cool water, just because that person is my follower, will be rewarded.