Jesus Sends Out His Apostles
1Jesus called his twelve followers together and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and sickness. 2These are the names of the twelve apostles: Simon (also called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew, the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who turned against Jesus.
5Jesus sent out these twelve men with the following order: “Don’t go to the non-Jewish people or to any town where the Samaritans live. 6But go to the people of Israel, who are like lost sheep. 7When you go, preach this: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ 8Heal the sick, raise the dead to life again, heal those who have skin diseases, and force demons out of people. I give you these powers freely, so help other people freely. 9Don’t carry any money with you—gold or silver or copper. 10Don’t carry a bag or extra clothes or sandals or a walking stick. Workers should be given what they need.
11“When you enter a city or town, find some worthy person there and stay in that home until you leave. 12When you enter that home, say, ‘Peace be with you.’ 13If the people there welcome you, let your peace stay there. But if they don’t welcome you, take back the peace you wished for them. 14And if a home or town refuses to welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake its dust off your feet. 15I tell you the truth, on the Judgment Day it will be better for the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah than for the people of that town.
Jesus Warns His Apostles
16“Listen, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. So be as clever as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17Be careful of people, because they will arrest you and take you to court and whip you in their synagogues. 18Because of me you will be taken to stand before governors and kings, and you will tell them and the non-Jewish people about me. 19When you are arrested, don’t worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given the things to say. 20It will not really be you speaking but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21“Brothers will give their own brothers to be killed, and fathers will give their own children to be killed. Children will fight against their own parents and have them put to death. 22All people will hate you because you follow me, but those people who keep their faith until the end will be saved. 23When you are treated badly in one city, run to another city. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through all the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
24“A student is not better than his teacher, and a servant is not better than his master. 25A student should be satisfied to become like his teacher; a servant should be satisfied to become like his master. If the head of the family is called Beelzebul, then the other members of the family will be called worse names!
Fear God, Not People
26“So don’t be afraid of those people, because everything that is hidden will be shown. Everything that is secret will be made known. 27I tell you these things in the dark, but I want you to tell them in the light. What you hear whispered in your ear you should shout from the housetops. 28Don’t be afraid of people, who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul. The only one you should fear is the one who can destroy the soul and the body in hell. 29Two sparrows cost only a penny, but not even one of them can die without your Father’s knowing it. 30God even knows how many hairs are on your head. 31So don’t be afraid. You are worth much more than many sparrows.
Tell People About Your Faith
32“All those who stand before others and say they believe in me, I will say before my Father in heaven that they belong to me. 33But all who stand before others and say they do not believe in me, I will say before my Father in heaven that they do not belong to me.
34“Don’t think that I came to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35I have come so that
‘a son will be against his father,
a daughter will be against her mother,
a daughter-in-law will be against her mother-in-law.
36A person’s enemies will be members of his own family.’ #Micah 7:6
37“Those who love their father or mother more than they love me are not worthy to be my followers. Those who love their son or daughter more than they love me are not worthy to be my followers. 38Whoever is not willing to carry the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Those who try to hold on to their lives will give up true life. Those who give up their lives for me will hold on to true life. 40Whoever accepts you also accepts me, and whoever accepts me also accepts the One who sent me. 41Whoever meets a prophet and accepts him will receive the reward of a prophet. And whoever accepts a good person because that person is good will receive the reward of a good person. 42Those who give one of these little ones a cup of cold water because they are my followers will truly get their reward.”
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.