Matthew 10:6-8

6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: “The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.  Freely you have received; freely give.


But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel: God’s intention was to reach the whole world, but beginning with Israel. There was certainly enough work to do among the lost sheep of the house of Israel to keep the twelve busy until God directly commanded them to expand their ministry.

  1. Who were the lost sheep of Israel? In a sense, all of them were. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way. (Isaiah 53:6). Yet in another sense, there were also lost sheepthat were abused and neglected by their spiritual shepherds, the scribes, priests, and Pharisees. This is the sense of Jeremiah 50:6My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray.
  2. Because so many were so spiritually neglected, Jesus sent these apostles out. “The beginnings of the mission to the neglected ‘lost’ sheep of Israel may be found in the Capernaum feast (Matthew 9:10). As time went on Jesus felt increasingly the pressure of the problem and the need for extended effort.” (Bruce)

(7-8a) What they are to do: go out preaching and healing.

“And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons.”

  1. As you go, preach, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand”: Earlier (Matthew 4:17) we were told that Jesus’ message was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The disciples brought the same message Jesus preached, simply bringing it over a much broader area than Jesus could just by Himself….
  2. There is no mention of them preachingin the synagogues, only being scourged in them (Matthew 10:17). This was a house-to-house, open field, street preaching ministry.
  3. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons: The disciples both had a message to preach and a power to display. In this, they were truly followers of their Master.
  4. The authority for these disciples to raise the deadis remarkable; yet the later fulfillment of it was recorded in both Acts 9 and 20, and there were no doubt other unrecorded instances. We have no evidence that either such a thing was common, or that this authority has been permanently withdrawn. It is wise for Christians today to both believe in God’s power to do such miracles through His people, and to not be too quick to believe unsubstantiated reports of such miracles.

Excerpt from Enduring Word Bible Commentary: Matthew 10


Two things that struck me as I read this morning… 

God’s love is big and wide and to be shared with all; even so, sometimes he desires our focus to be specific.

While the ultimate mission as Christ followers is to multiply Christ followers without discrimination (ie there is not one person that God does not want to have relationship with, so we should share His message and love with all those we can), there are times where God calls out – or lays upon our hearts – a specific person or group of people.  Here it was Israel. 

The kingdom of heaven is still near for those who believe and, as a result, God’s power is still present among us…meaning miracles still happen.

As we prepare to send another group to India, it’s with anticipation of wonders being done and a knowing that God will work in and through them and that MIRACLES will happen.  I can’t wait to hear the stories of how God moves.  But those stories are not just for Bible times or for faraway lands or for mountain top experiences; God’s kingdom is alive in us, meaning we can live with an expectancy to see God move in our everyday. 

Life Application

Who is your/my Israel?  Who has God laid upon your/my heart to minister to? 

Do you/I believe that we serve a God of wonders and miracles?  How might my life look different if we took a bold step forward in that belief?

God, I love the way you stir my heart, the way you lay upon my heart people, places, causes.  While I CANNOT wait to go home, I love the space and time I’ve had while away on travels…always reminded that you are not in a building or a place, but everywhere around me – regardless of city, state, country. 

May I walk with a boldness, knowing that “wonders are still what you do.”  Guide my steps, show me your heart for those I meet and continue to stir my heart and embolden my steps towards the people and places you’ve called me to. 

In your name I pray, Amen.

PS Check out this song…


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