October 6 I Thursday
“Jesus called His twelve disciples to Him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and illness.” —Matthew 10:1
After a time of intercession, Jesus, out of the multitude of disciples that were following Him, called twelve to Himself. Matthew tells us that Jesus “gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and illness” (Matthew 10:1). It is important for us to notice what Jesus did within this calling that He gave to His disciples. He gave them what they needed to carry out His purpose; He gave them authority—His authority. Although Scripture tells us that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus, He delegated His authority to different parts of His body for distinct purpose that He is calling them to. The disciples were given authority to drive out demons, heal the sick and raise the dead. As we study the rest of the New Testament, we begin to understand that this is a special delegation of authority by Jesus; it is not the normative experience of everybody in the church, not everyone is given this authority. Sometimes, He empowers the body of Christ to do miraculous acts, and other times, He abstains. In other words, this authority is situational, at Jesus’s discretion, as He builds His body.
Matthew lists the disciples that Jesus sent out on this mission. “First, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him” (Matthew 10:2-4). What we would notice upon a closer reading from the list of disciples is that they are listed in pairs. The disciples were sent out in twos. There were no solo servants sent out onto the mission field throughout the New Testament. We are meant to embark on mission in community.
Another thing that we can observe about these disciples is that they are completely ordinary individuals. They were not superstars or celebrities, just common ordinary folk. In fact, these men would have been looked down upon in Jesus’s culture because they were uneducated. Yet, Jesus took this ordinary group of disciples and made them extraordinary. Jesus is the “extra” in their ordinariness.
What we can learn is that God does not need our abilities or for us to be amazing. Whatever Jesus calls us to do, He will also equip us for it. What He needs is our availability, our weakness and our willingness to be vulnerable so that His power can be made known through our simple obedience.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, here I am before You, use me in whatever You deem best for Your kingdom. I surrender my life into Your hands. Thank You, Lord.