Thursday, June 07, 2007



Matthew 10

We are dipping into every mention of the Kingdom in the book of Matthew. After examining the Kingdom Manifesto Jesus presented in chapters 5, 6, and 7, we have viewed chapters 8 and 9. Now, we come to one of the most fascinating scenes in the life of Jesus and His disciples.

Here in chapter 10 Jesus is sending the twelve out on a special field trip. NOTE what happens here: Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. As you go, proclaim this message: 'The kingdom of heaven has come near.'

Jesus gives His disciples the authority and power to deliver people from the bondage of evil spirits and heal every disease and sickness.

Now, what's interesting to me is that this is early in the training of the disciples. They weren't even believers yet! They are on a learning track, but they are not there yet. However, in a real sense, this is what the Kingdom is all about. The Kingdom isn't about how well or spiritually healthy or powerful the subjects are; it's all about the King. As they moved out in the name of Jesus, it was that name and the message of the Kingdom that produced the positive results and impact.

Now NOTE the message that was to be proclaimed by these fledglings: "THE KINDOM OF HEAVEN HAS COME NEAR." Ever since Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden, there has been a constant theme throughout the ages-regaining the Garden of Eden experience. Ever since the first couple lost the Kingdom, the abiding presence of God and the personal relationship with their Creator-God, mankind has been seeking to be restored to that Garden.

NOW, Jesus shows up with the answer to all that was lost. His humanity gives us the opportunity to re-establish a personal relationship with the Creator-God. He introduced the abiding presence of the Creator-God for all to enjoy again on a permanent basis through the Spirit. And, as the King, Jesus re-introduces the long awaited Kingdom. For the disciples to be announcing everywhere that the Kingdom of heaven has come near is the most revolutionary and welcomed message anyone could utter.

Jesus goes on to specify what this Kingdom message includes: Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Luke records an interchange between the disciples of John and Jesus that is very instructive about the Kingdom: When the men came to Jesus, they said, "John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, 'Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?' " At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So he replied to the messengers, "Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.

John was looking for certain Messianic acts that specifically were to be performed by the Messiah. These acts were all indicative of the King and His Kingdom.

· The sick are healed. · The dead are raised. · The blind receive sight. · The lame walk. · The lepers cleansed. · The deaf hear. · The demonized are freed. · The poor are given the good news.

In other words, the good news of the Kingdom-the key message Jesus wanted proclaimed-is all about restoration of those who are in some way "marginalized" in our society.

What's interesting to me is that Jesus wasn't about sharing a list of things to do or to believe. Jesus was into practicing these good news themes of the Kingdom.

NOW bringing this down to today, how might this apply to you and me? To me there seem to be three primary lessons from this passage in Matthew 10:

FIRST-The message we are to be sharing with the world is the good news of the Kingdom.

SECOND-The Kingdom message is to be aimed at the marginalized-those who need Jesus and His healing touch the most.

THIRD-As we focus ourselves on this message of the good news of the Kingdom to the marginalized, we can be highly confident that Jesus is with us and gives us the power and authority to do what He wants.

You see, Jesus sent out the 12 as Kingdom of God revolutionaries and nothing changes today. You and I are to be Kingdom revolutionaries to the marginalized in our world today. You see, THE REVOLUTION IS STILL ON and Jesus is the great revolutionary leading the way.