Archive for the ‘Daily Bible Study & Questions’ Category

Matthew 10:16-25 Jesus’ Disciples Job Description: Customer Service

text with magnifying glass

Read the fine print

Jesus talks to His disciples today about the people they will be serving as they go out. He doesn’t speak strictly about the people they will be serving in the next couple of days or weeks, but in their lifetime. He prepares them for the difficult task ahead. After such a “pep talk” I don’t know if I would be so eager to run out and start ministering. But in that “pep talk” He is SURE to mention that He and God, again, have their backs.

Jesus starts by saying that they are going out as “sheep in the midst of wolves” (verse 16) but that they are not to just stand there and be eaten. They are, however, to remain innocent in these circumstances. They are not to become like the wolves to fit in. But they are to be wise about their strategies in reaching out to those they are to serve. Don’t become like them but make your lifestyle so enticing to them that they want to become like you. You, after all, have the only true remedy to their problem. And you are offering it to them freely. Read more »

Matthew 10:5-15 Jesus’ Disciples Job Description: Location, Role & Supplies

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Job Description

Jesus has finished phase one of His disciples on the job training, has personally bestowed His authority on each one of them, and is now ready to deliver to them their full job description. This is a lengthy and thorough description, so it is going to take us a while to get through it all. I want to take the time to read it fully, just like you would read your own new job description. You have to know where you are going to be working, what you will be doing, what tools you will need to bring to work with you, the kinds of customers you will be serving and how to treat them, what you can expect management to do for you, the “Mission Statement” of the company and what your compensation for service will be. All these Jesus addresses with His disciples before He sends them out. We are going to take the first three parts today: their location for service, their role, and what supplies they need to provide.

Jesus has been taking the disciples on a tour of “their department” while He has been ministering. Matthew reported in chapter 9 verse 35 that they had gone throughout all the cities and villages. These were the same places the disciples would now visit as they personally shared Jesus’ message. They were only to go to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (verse 6). We have not heard stories yet of Jesus visiting any of the Gentile or Samaritan cities. I’m curious if the city near where we got “deviled ham” was Israeli or Gentile. The city was still in Galilee but they were raising pigs. A BIG no-no for the strict Jew. Jesus didn’t go into the city either, so does that count as visiting outside the house of Israel? Read more »

Matthew 10:1-4 Jesus Equips His Twelve Disciples

Jesus anointing His disciples

Jesus’ Anointing Passed On

Jesus has completed His first phase of on the job training with His disciples. He is getting ready to send them out to work “in the field.” They needed one more thing before they were ready to go though. They needed the ability or authority to do the work He has for them. I wonder what exactly happened during this presentation of the “tool belts.”

Matthew goes into great detail about their instructions for their work, which we will look at starting tomorrow. But he doesn’t go into detail about how Jesus actually imparted His authority to His disciples. Jesus “gave them authority over uncleans spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction” (verse 1). I wonder if His impartation of His authority was through the laying on of hands.

Laying on of hands has been used to convey the transfer of authority, blessings, spiritual gifts, and healing throughout the old and new testaments. The first mention of laying on of hands is done to confer blessing is in Gen. 48:12-20 when Israel blessed Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Manasseh. Read more »

Matthew 9:35-38 The Disciples On the Job Training Phase One is Ending

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The Most Exciting Job Training Imaginable

I have no idea how long the disciples were following and shadowing Jesus as He ministered to the people before He sent them out to do the same. Jesus’ active ministry was for three years. When did the disciples move from observers to participants? I asked Google this question and didn’t find any answers. I suppose that is another “bench” question for Jesus.

Jesus and His disciples are traveling “throughout all the cities and villages” teaching, preaching, and healing. I don’t know if Matthew is summing up what has come before, giving a broad account of what happened between healing the mute man and the sending out, or grouping both before and current activities together. Whatever time frame Matthew is referring to, he makes it clear that Jesus and His disciples did some extensive interacting with the people. Matthew says He went to “all” the cities and villages. I’m assuming Matthew is speaking of cities and villages populated by Israelites. We know that Jesus visited some locations that were not considered Israeli, like the village/city in Samaria with the woman at the well, but we haven’t heard of those interactions yet in our reading. He may not have gone there yet. Read more »

Matthew 9:32-34 Jesus Heals a Mute Man

man with black thought bubble

Oppression leads to depression

Because of how Matthew jumps from high point to high point in his storytelling, I’m not sure if the phrase “as they were going away” (verse 32) is referring to the two blind men or not. Logic would tell me yes, but I have been fooled a few times already. Whenever it happened chronologically, someone brought to Jesus a man who was unable to speak.

Having a medical background sometimes gets me thinking about the suffering people in the stories in the bible in a different way. One thing I ponder is what our medical community would have labeled their illnesses today. Another is what treatment would we have prescribed for them? Still another is wondering why so many illnesses were attributed to demons and demon possession. Mental health illnesses specifically were prone to this diagnosis/description. Mental health is actually the focus area in my training. I will not say expert because I am FAR from that. Our story today brings those thoughts front and center for me. Read more »