Synaxis of the Twelve Holy Apostles: Peter, Andrew, James & John the sons of Zebedee, Phillip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Jude the brother of James, Simon & Matthias
Jesus sees the crowds as shepherdless sheep. So what does he do before sending out his men to shepherd? He calls them, gives them authority and then sends them out. They turn the whole world upside down by preaching that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. I am wondering if I am working the same program that they were using? I need to preach “the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” more often than I do. I used to work for a pastor that would say heading out of the office, “I am going to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons. I’ll be back later.” I have always loved that.
At that time, when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaios, and Thaddaios; Simon the Cananaean. and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And preach as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay.” Matthew 9:36, 10:1-8
Tuesday, June 30, 2009