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Daily Bible Verses | Speak The Name Of Jesus | The Mission | Jesus Reassures The Apostles | Challenges To Come

Daily Bible Verses | Speak The Name Of Jesus | The Mission | Jesus Reassures The Apostles | Challenges To Come

Christian Art | The Mission Of The Apostles

Matthew 10: 16-23 – Week 14 Ordinary Time, Friday (King James Audio Bible KJV, Spoken Word)

16 ¶ Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

‘I speak the name of Jesus.’ As the Discourse of the Mission continues, Jesus prepares his disciples to face danger. They are to be as sheep. In this way again they are to imitate Jesus – to act in persona of Jesus – as they preach and heal, as they prefigure the saving sacrifice upon the cross. There is to be contention, contradiction.

Something of the meaning of the contradiction may be gleaned from Jesus’ telling his disciples that brother will be turned against brother, that families will become internally contradictory, at conflict within themselves. We may wonder: how can this be a good thing – the intention? One thought we might find is that Jesus’ message, the core, saving grace he bestows upon us, strikes at the heart of what we thought we knew – of established ‘wisdom’. It tears that old so-called wisdom apart, because such is no longer tenable in the light of the new hope of life everlasting in Jesus. The old wisdom will not, however, go without a struggle. As new life breaks through the rot of the old, so there will inevitably be contention, contradiction. Jesus dramatizes the difficult birth pains of new knowledge, the new covenant, by speaking of a family, like a mind torn asunder, as old, established custom fragments and disintegrates, and as the new is made apparent for all who dare.

In the midst of and acting as the agents of such contention, the disciples are not to fear. They are to flee where there is threat – we can imagine them scurrying through the cities as they raise a storm – and so are not to seek martyrdom at this time; and when brought before rulers, courts, tribunals, then they are to trust completely in the Spirit. There is to be a further relinquishing of egotism, self-reliance, as the Spirit shines through the disciples in their words to bear testimony that Jesus is life and truth.

Finally, the disciples are reassured: before they have gone through all the cities of Israel, the Son of man will come. People will follow Jesus. People will hear the message about Jesus Christ, and they will ask Jesus to be at home in their hearts. The Kingdom has come, and is now there for the people to ask to be a part of their lives. The Church will be born. Many shall speak Jesus’ name as disciples.


King James Audio Bible KJV | King James Version

Concluding Prayer

A pure heart create for me, O God,
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
nor deprive me of your holy spirit.

Give me again the joy of your help;
with a spirit of fervour sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors your ways
and sinners may return to you. (Psalm 50/51)