Matthew 9:35 - 10:8 You received without payment; give without payment,... for June 18, 2023

Matthew 9:35 - 10:8  You received without payment; give without payment (Version: NRSV)

The Harvest Is Great, the Labourers Few

35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; 38therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’

The Twelve Apostles

10Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. 2These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.

The Mission of the Twelve

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” 8Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.

Alternative translation: Matthew 9:35 - 10:8... You received without payment; give without payment (Version: The Gospels for Hearers

And Jesus went all around the towns and the villages,
teaching in their synagogues
and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom,
and healing every disease and every illness.
Seeing the crowds, Jesus was moved with pity for them,
for they were scattered and confused like sheep who have no shepherd.
He said to his disciples,
"The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few,
so beg the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest"
1 And calling together his twelve disciples,
Jesus gave them authority over unclean spirits -
to cast them out, and to heal every illness and disease.
The names of the twelve apostles are these:-
first, Simon, called Peter, and Andrew his brother;
and James, son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
Philip and Bartholemew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector;
James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;
Simon the Zealot, and Judas the Iscariot who betrayed him.
5 These twelve Jesus commissioned with the following instructions:
"Do not go in the direction of the Gentiles,
and do not enter a Samaritan town.
Go, rather, to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,
and proclaim as you go:
'The kingdom of heaven has come close.'
Heal the sick; raise the dead; cleanse the lepers; cast out demons.
Freely you have received, freely give.

From “The Gospel of Matthew”, Chapter 9, verse 35 to Chapter 10, verse 8, in The Gospel for Hearers (Translated from the Koine Greek by Elizabeth B. Edwards, Formatted by the Rev William A. Johnston), 2013, Diangellia Press.

What are the serious issues raised by Matthew 9:35 -10:8?
(An AI robot's response: Note that the robot here provides opinion, not fact and should not be taken as authoratative)

Matthew 9:35 -10:8 is a passage from the New Testament that raises several serious issues that are still relevant and significant in today's world. The passage describes how Jesus sends out his 12 disciples to preach and heal the sick, as well as outlining the various challenges and obstacles they may face.

One of the major issues raised in this passage is the problem of social inequality and healthcare disparities. Throughout the passage, we see that Jesus is primarily concerned with healing those who are sick and marginalized, such as the lepers and the mentally ill. He sends out his disciples with the same mission, instructing them to heal the sick and cast out demons. This highlights the importance of accessible and affordable healthcare, especially for those who are most vulnerable and marginalized in society.

However, the passage also shows us that there are significant obstacles to achieving this goal. The disciples are warned that they will face persecution and rejection from those in power, and are told to be wary of false prophets and deception. This highlights the political and social barriers that can prevent marginalized communities from accessing essential services, and the need for systemic change to address these issues.

Another serious issue raised in this passage is the question of what it means to be a disciple and follower of Jesus. The disciples are called to not only preach and heal, but also to confront evil and speak truth to power. This raises the question of how Christians should engage with issues of social justice, and whether or not they have a responsibility to challenge systemic injustice and oppression.

Finally, the passage also highlights the importance of community in achieving these goals. Jesus sends out his disciples in pairs, emphasizing the need for mutual support and collaboration in the face of opposition and persecution. This reminds us of the importance of building strong and resilient communities that can work together to address social issues and effect change.

In conclusion, Matthew 9:35-10:8 raises several serious issues that are still relevant and significant in today's world. The passage highlights the need for accessible and affordable healthcare, the challenges posed by political and social barriers, the importance of confronting systemic injustice, and the need for strong, resilient communities. As we continue to grapple with these issues, the lessons and insights provided by this passage can help us stay grounded in our mission and work towards a more just and equitable society.

Some questions raised by the text:

  • Who is Jesus talking to?
  • Who was the evangelist talking to?
  • Are we scattered and confused?
  • What sort of leadership would we need to help us out of our state of confusion?
  • With the benefit of hindsight, can we take seriously Jesus' recommendation that the disciples avoid taking the gospel news to outsiders? After all, Jesus was known to minister to outsiders himself.
  • There are lots of difficult passages in scripture. How can we approach them? Are we allowed to skip over them?
  • How often do we need to be reminded that we "...received without payment; give without payment?


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