1. And in direct answer to the prayer for harvest hands, Jesus summoned to Himself His twelve disciples, and gave them power and authority over rebel spirits, to evict and expel them, and to cure all manner of disease, weakness and infirmity.
2. Now these are the names of the original twelve apostles: first, Simon, who is called Peter or “Rock”, and Andrew, his brother; James, the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother;
3. Philip and Bartholomew (A.K.A. Nathaniel); Thomas and Matthew, known as “The Tax Man”; James, son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus (A.K.A. Judas…not Judas Iscariot);
4. Simon, the Canaanite, who was a Zealot, and perhaps Jesus’ most controversial pick because of his radical political connections and agenda, and Judas (Iscariot), who eventually betrayed Him, even though he had been given the same anointing and authority that the other eleven had received.
5. Jesus sent out this very diverse and eclectic group, charging them with these words: “This Gospel is ultimately for the entire world…that’s the big picture…but it has to begin somewhere. So, for the time being, go nowhere among the Gentiles, and do not go into any town of the Samaritans;
6. Go, instead, to the lost, confused people right here in the house of Israel...the people who speak your language and have your world-view.
7. And tell them, plainly, that the kingdom of/from the heavens is here! Say to them, “The kingdom is ‘at hand’, or as close to you as is the hand at the end of your arm!”
8. And to drive home your point, bring health to them when they are sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Take the dominion away from their demons, and set them free. You have been treated generously, so live generously…freely, you have received the kingdom, so, freely, you should give it away!
9. And don’t worry about how you’re going to finance your travel and expenses. In fact, don’t even take any money with you.
10. You don’t need a lot of paraphernalia…just travel light…walk by faith…stay in the now. Everything you need is already inside you, so just do your work, and remember that a good worker is worthy of his food. In other words, don’t worry about going hungry…you’ll have everything you need in the external world because of the abundant overflow from your internal world.
11. And into whatever town or village you go, ask around until you find someone who is open to your message and in the flow with you, and wait for a door to open for you to stay with that person. And then stay there until you leave that vicinity.
12. And as you go into their house…or into any house, for that matter…speak a kingdom blessing over that house.
13. Then if the people in that house are open to your words, let peace and prosperity come to the entire household. But if they are religiously close-minded, and reject you and your message, then your words will not produce fruit for them, and your very own blessing will return to you, and will bless you!
14. In fact, if you are so rejected, don’t just leave the house…leave the entire town, and shake the dust from its streets off of your shoes.
15. I tell you, honestly, that when judgment comes on this nation, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.
16. I say all of this to you because you need to know that I’m really sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves. And to be able to survive this hazardous work, you’re going to have to develop the flexibility to be wary and wise as serpents when necessary, and to still be innocent and guileless as doves. I realize that no two animals are less similar in temperament than a snake and a dove, so I’m really asking you to do the impossible.
17. So you can’t afford to be naïve. You must be on guard against men whose way or nature is to rebel against God, and the inevitable changes that His kingdom brings; for they will deliver you up to councils, and actually flog you in their synagogues,
18. And you will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a witness to bear testimony before them, and, ultimately, to the nations.
19. But when they deliver you up in this way, do not worry, or even be anxious about how or what you are to speak. You’ll know exactly what to say when the time comes, because it will be given to you as revelation in the eternal now.
20. And, aside from what will be happening at that moment in the natural realm, in the larger context, it will cause you to realize that it really is not even you doing the speaking…you will have the awareness that it’s the Spirit of your Father speaking through you!