“Share what you freely received.”
Start With Prayer:
Dear God, please help me to hear you, and understand your message for me.
As Jesus begins to gain popularity, we arrive at a verse in Matthew chapter 9 which says, “Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
People needed Jesus, but at this time, Jesus was human. This means He had limitations and could only do so much at one time.
That’s where we arrive at today’s verse where Jesus is sending out His 12 closest followers. They had first learned from Him, and now He’s sending them out into the world to do His work.
The Message Version
“Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge:
“Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.“
The New International Version (NIV)
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.
Freely you have received; freely give.”
What’s the point?:
Sometimes when we think of serving others, we picture missionaries. People who have sold their earthly possessions, quit their 9:00 – 5:00 and are completely devoted to serving and helping poor orphans in some country across the world we’ve never even heard of before.
You think about that star philanthropist from your church, or mom’s group. The friend who is always out doing work for the poor in your community … and you think, “Man, I’d love to help, but I’ll never be that person.”
We’re reluctant to serve because we think that in order to serve, it means we have to give up a huge amounts of money or time. Two resources that we just might NOT have an abundance of right now.
Here’s the thing.
Jesus, as a human at one point Himself, knows our limitations. He knows that we can’t be all for all.
He set the example that it takes ALL members working together to do the work of God.
He knew He couldn’t possibly heal every person, or preach to every soul while He was in human form, so He sets the example of sharing the work.
He didn’t say to Peter, “Go heal every person,”… He sent a team.
He didn’t say to just Matthew, “Go preach to every person,” … He sent a team.
What if ….. we all just did our parts?
What if we all just loved on the people we came in contact with each day?
What if we vowed to simply do our best with each moment and opportunity we were given …
Y’all, can you imagine the number of prayers that God would be able to answer?!?
What does all of this mean to me/how can I apply that to my life today?
I can hear you now, you’re thinking …
“I have a heart for giving, a heart that desires to be outwardly focused, but I have no clue where to start!”
At least, that’s typically what I’m thinking, anyways.
The thing is, we were given a gift, a gift of knowing Jesus, a gift of being able to do life just a little easier and more peaceful because He’s in it. No, our lives are not perfect, far from it, but we’re slowly learning that He does make life easier.
We received that gift for free, and so we are, in turn, called to offer that gift to others for free. (Meaning whether they deserve it or not).
We offer this gift by living out His example.
We’re kind to the clerk at Starbucks who was rude because she’s having a hard day.
We hold the door open for that mom trying to wrangle two kids and carry a bag of groceries.
We actually pray for those people we see posting on social media, asking for prayer.
We reach out to that friend having a hard time, texting them just to let them know we’re there.
We extend grace to our spouse who takes out their bad day on us.
We count to 3 before becoming angry, actually modeling the technique, for our temperamental toddlers.
You see, we are blessed with countless opportunities to serve each day, we just need to be intentional about finding them, and then acting.