Matthew 10 has been called the “Little Commission” because it’s directed to the Jewish believers of the early church, as opposed to the “Great Commission”, which is directed to everyone.
Matthew 10 begins with Jesus calling unto himself the twelve disciples, then giving them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out and to heal all kinds of sickness and disease. He then calls each disciple by name and urges them to go to the lost sheep of Israel with the message, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand”. The healing and expulsion of demons were part and parcel of helping the lost to pay attention, hear the primary message and be won over as believers.
Jesus spent much of the rest of the chapter warning the 12 disciples not to fuss, not to wait for perfect conditions, not to travel with all kinds of bulky supports. He wanted them to travel as he did, with just a single set of clothes and relying upon the kindness of strangers and provision from above. He wanted them to travel light and depend upon God for their every need. I can only imagine how many caravans of camels and donkeys they would have tried to load if they were trying to anticipate their every future need. Enough already!
Many years ago, I had a dream. In the dream, I was in a large crowd and, all of a sudden, healing oil began to emerge from my forehead! This had never happened before but I knew instinctively it was oil for healing and very precious. I ran to the kitchen and began rummaging through my cupboard, discarding cup after cup as not being appropriate to contain this healing oil. As I rummaged, the oil began to curdle and I quickly realized that if I didn’t select a cup immediately there would be nothing left for healing. I was able to salvage a bit but, at least in my dream, no one was helped by this divine oil.
As I look back on that dream, I wonder… What if I had caught the oil with my own two hands and shared it with everyone in the crowd? What if I had not stopped to fuss, to wait for the perfect conditions? What kind of healing might God have done among the people I was already with?
Being somewhat fussy by nature, that dream was a wakeup call for me to regularly lay down my fussiness, realize He is the one working through me anyways and that my task is to remain connected to Him and let the Holy Spirit flow as He will through me, imperfect as I am. He is the Vine, I am the branch. Stay connected to Him and the rest will flow.
In a weird way, my waiting for the “perfect container” was actually a form of arrogance that the Lord used to reveal some of my hearts’ condition. My goodness, what did the container of God’s healing oil need to look like for it to be selected? The value was in the oil, not in the container. So it is today. We are vessels of the Lord, sent out by Him to draw other beloved people unto Himself. How fortunate are we to even be selected to have a part in this? My task is to remember that Jesus will use me exactly as I am, exactly how I think, exactly how I look – for His glory. My part is to be willing to be used. Amen.