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Jesus Sends Out the Twelve

With Detailed Instructions

(Chapter 10, verses 1-15)

       (1) So he gathered his twelve disciples and gave them new powers. They now had the authority to exorcize demons and cure people of every sort of dreadful disease and debilitat­ing infirmity. 

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       (2) Here are the names of the twelve apostles: First, there's Simon (or, Peter), and his brother Andrew. Then there's another set of brothers, James and John, Zebedee's boys. (3) [Though not fleshly brothers], Philip and Bartholomew are the next two; then there's Thomas, and Matthew the tax collector; the other James (the son of Alphaeus), and Thaddaeus. (4) The last two are Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who later betrayed Jesus.

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       (5) These twelve Jesus sent forth with the following instructions: "Don't go into nearby non-Jewish areas to preach the good news; and don't go into Samaritan cities. (6) Just keep going to Jews. (7) As you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of the heavens has approached.' (8) Cure the sick, resurrect the dead, make lepers clean, and oust demons. You weren't charged money for the good news so don't charge anyone else. (9) Don't try to work and save up a lot of money for your preaching trip. (10) Don't prepare a lunch or other meal, or pack any extra clothes for the tour, because the preacher of the good news works for, and deserves his food.

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       (11) "Whenever you go into a city or village, make sure you carefully search for deserving ones. When you find them, stay with them until you assist them into the way of the truth, then you can leave. (12) When you're entering into a house, greet the household. (13) If the family deserves it, let the peaceful atmosphere you desire settle upon it. But if it doesn't deserve it, leave with peacefulness about yourself. The household will be as you found it. (14) Wherever anyone isn't receptive to the message and doesn't show this by inviting you in or by listening to you, upon leaving, don't soil the road with the dirt from that city. (15) I'm telling you the truth, as bad as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were, even they will be a cut above the inhabitants of that city when Judgment Day comes.

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Exercise Caution, Expect Trials

(Chapter 10, verses 16-23)

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       (16) "Beware, it's a jungle out there! And where I'm sending you you'll be like sheep among wolves. So, prove to be sneaky as snakes, yet docile as doves. (17) Watch certain men closely because they'll drag you to court and bad mouth you in their places of worship. (18) Why, they'll haul you before governors and kings just for being my followers, but it'll be a witness to them and the rest of the world. (19) However, when they issue you a subpoena or summon you to court some other way, don't get excited and start worrying about what you're going to say, or how you're going to say it. What you need to know will be given you when you need to know it. (20) For those just aren't your words coming out of your mouth. It's the spirit of your Father talking through you. (21) You'll have to endure more than court battles though. Your own family will turn against you. One brother will turn over another brother to be killed, and a father will turn in his own child; and children will rebel against parents and will have them killed. (22) This hatred for you won't be confined to the family. All sorts of people will make you their object of hatred because of being my followers. But he that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved. (23) When they persecute you in this city, escape to another. As sure as I'm talking to you right now, you won't complete the circuit of Israelite cities until the Son of man arrives [in heaven].

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Don't Fear Temporary Death

For My Name's Sake

(Chapter 10, verse 24-31)

       (24) "A disciple isn't greater than his teacher, nor is a slave above his master. (25) But, a disciple can himself become a teacher, and a slave can be a master. I'm telling you this so that you can know to expect trouble. If people have labeled the householder ‘King of the Demons' (referring to me of course), what do you think they'll call members of his house­hold? (26) So don't be afraid of them even though in their plots to get you they have elaborate cover-ups. But what was covered up will be revealed; their schemes will be exposed. (27) We won't have such secrets. What I tell you under cover of darkness say in the light. What things I whisper to you say in public. (28) People will have deadly hate for you, but don't be afraid of those who can put you to death on a temporary basis. Rather, fear him who can destroy you permanently. (29) At the marketplace, sparrows are pretty inexpensive, right? Despite this, they're so impor­tant to your heavenly Father that he knows when even one of them dies. (30) In fact, God knows you so well he knows how many hairs you have on your head! (31) So don't worry. You're worth much more that many sparrows.

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Close Relatives Will Be Your Enemies

(Chapter 10, verses 32-39)

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       (32) "Everyone, therefore, who has overcome his fear and publicly discloses his affiliation with me I'll also declare affiliation with him before my heavenly Father. (33) But whoever disavows any association with me before men I'll disinherit him before my heavenly Father. (34) Don't think I came to bring peace to a world alienated from God. No, I came as a warrior to break up families. (35) Yes, I came to cause chaos in the family; a man opposing his father; a daughter opposing her mother; a young newly wed woman opposing her mother-in-law. (36) Yes, a man's enemies will be born from his own family. (37) But don't cave into family pressures! He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. And he that loves son or daughter more than me is not fit for discipleship. (38) And whoever doesn't accept the tortuous emotional pain, stress, and suffering that comes with following me is not worthy of discipleship. (39) He that loves his life so much that he lives it as he wants in alienation from me will eventually lose it. But he that loses his life because of association with me will eventually obtain everlasting life.

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Jesus Offers Rewards

(Chapter 10, verses 40-42)

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       (40) "He that welcomes you into his life welcomes me also. And if he welcomes me, he welcomes him that sent me. (41) He that welcomes a prophet because he is a prophet will get a prophet's reward. He that welcomes a righteous man because he is a righteous man will get a righteous man's reward. (42) And whoever provides one of my seemingly insignificant disciples with a cup of cold water on the merit of his being a disciple will most certainly not lose his reward.