These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’” vss. 5-6Matthew 10:1-8
When Jesus began his preaching, teaching, and healing, he was laser-focused on the Jews. He seems to have had no interest in ministry to the Gentiles, and even told his newly chosen disciples to avoid them. While that may seem strange to us, especially when we know that Jesus himself occasionally violated that principle, his motivation is clear. He clearly believed that he had been sent to the house of Israel, and it was only when his own people rejected him that the Spirit extended the mission. His instructions to his disciples are helpful as we consider the audience for the good news entrusted to us. If he’s right, then we are first sent as servants to those who are closest to us. Consider your sphere of influence. Who are the folks with whom you are most familiar? Most often that will be our families and friends, those who live in our own communities and who understand our idioms and customs. It does little good for us to say we’re following Jesus if we don’t first reach those we know the best. It may well be that they will ignore our words and actions–that’s what happened to Jesus–but there’s no doubt that this is the place to start!
Thought for the Day: What is my sphere of influence? How’s my mission going?