‘Freely We Have Received…’
In Matthew’s Gospel, this is the introduction of the disciples. And immediately disciples (verse 1) are named apostles (verse 2). As we follow Jesus as disciples, we are inevitably sent out by Jesus as apostles (but make sure that you don’t mix up the order, because that’s a recipe for all kinds of mishaps).
Here’s Jesus commission (v7-8): “As you go, proclaim this message: “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Heal those who are ill, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”
So, we’re sent to evangelize. Our evangelism is meant to be accompanied by signs and wonders; specifically, here, healing, dead-raising, driving out demons.
And it is all to happen within the context of a ‘pay-it-forward’ freedom. Freely we have received. And freely we are to give.
This is generous evangelism.
In other words, we don’t only go to people who deserve it, by their lifestyle or conduct.
We don’t only evangelize people who are ‘socially acceptable’, or who hold politically-correct views, or support the proper sports team (!).
We don’t only evangelize people who have been nice or kind to us or might be expected in the future to be nice or kind to us.
We generously evangelize.