5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[a] drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— 10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
I believe that Jesus is training his disciples here for the evangelism that will occur in the book of Acts. He is telling them what he expects and giving them in the field experience. In any training we need practical real-life experience. This is one of the reasons that I think short-term mission trips are so helpful. I don’t think they do a lot for the people they visit necessarily. Sometimes they even do harm, when they mask a problem and then walk away like everything is fixed. What the short-term mission trips do well is open the eyes of the people who go on the mission.
When I was 18 I went to Pakistan for a year on a mission. I taught English at a school in Gujranwala. It was a life-changing experience . I had to ask myself lots of questions about what I truly believed and how I was going to live my faith. I also saw poverty up close and personal for the first time. I saw people without mental illnesses who were without food and shelter because they had no choice. I was truly ill-equipped to help them in any way. My faith had to deepen.
I believe that the apostles were sent on this kind of trip to teach them as much as it was for the benefit of those in Israel.
- Where did Jesus send his disciples?
- What were they to do?
- How did this change the disciples to apostles?
- How were you trained to evangelize or do missions?
- How do you think we should expose people to short-term mission?