Jesus is sending his disciples out on a mini-mission.
As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. (Matthew 10 v 7-8)
They are to proclaim the famous message stemming from John the Baptist. He began to preach at a time when the Roman kingdom was all over the land. The thought that the prophesied kingdom of David would come again was fading. ‘Will we ever see the kingdom?’ The message was and still is, ‘Yes, it is near.’
But what kind of kingdom is coming? More to the point will they receive it? Matthew tell us as do the other gospel writers that the generation of Jesus missed it.
So a similar but hidden question is now posed throughout his gospel, will the readers of this gospel miss the kingdom again? In 2021 will the kingdom be missed?
They were to heal, raise, cleanse and drive out. They were to do what they had seen Jesus do. How?
When they came to Jesus they had left businesses and lifestyles to do so. They didn’t bring anything that would help them with such supernatural abilities. They didn’t have these abilities to bring but they had received from their Master his authority to do what he did.
They had to discover how to take the presence and power of Jesus into hopeless situations.
We still do.