After some careful thought, Jesus called 12 special men to join him for dinner at a private location.
Gentlemen, thank you for sharing this special First Supper with me.
I am calling each of you to become one of my Twelve Disciples. The crowds have become too large for me to handle alone, and I must still spread my message throughout Israel before it is too late. I fear, that even with your help, we will not reach all of Israel in time.
I give to each of you the authority that God has given me: to heal the sick by forgiving their sins.
I will send you out in six pairs across Israel — some of you are brothers, some of you are strangers, some of you are friends, some of you are companions — all of you are men, not angels, but I ask you to set aside your human needs and desires to follow the will of God and spread his Good News.
Peter and your brother Andrew,
James Zebedee and your brother John,
Philip and Bartholomew,
Thomas and your companion Matthew [i.e., the tax attorney],
James Alphaeus and your friend Thaddeus,
Simon [the former terrorist] and your companion Judas,
I send you forth, but do not leave Israel, gather the lost Jewish tribes for their Shepherd!
Tell them this:
The end of the world is near! Hurry, it is time to get good with God!
As you travel, heal the sick, raise the dead, cure the insane, give of yourselves as you have received of me.
Do not bother to carry money or baggage. Wherever you go, look for a worthy host to put you up for the night. If nobody in a town will put you up, that town will meet a fate worse than that of Sodom and Gomorrah!!!
I send you forth as innocents, but men are not innocents, they will curse you on my account, and arrest you, haul you into court, and whip you. Escape if you can, but if you can not — do not worry, for the Holy Spirit will protect you.
As you travel, Israel will fall into a civil war. Brothers will betray brothers, fathers will murder their sons, children will murder their parents. All will hate you because of me, and you will run from them.
But do not be afraid of them. Do not be afraid of losing your body. It is more frightful to lose both your body and your soul, but as you are serving His will, God will protect your soul.
If you speak well of me before men, I will speak well of you before God. But if you disown me before men, I will disown you before God.
Jesus was silent for a moment, and beckoned the Disciples to come near.
Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to this earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, each man's enemies will be the members of his own household.
Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
[Previous entry: "Matthew 9"] [TOC] [Next entry: "Matthew 11"]