In yesterday’s lesson Jesus shared with His disciples the kind of “customers” they were going to encounter. He flat out told them that there would be trouble and that they would encounter people who would cause them significant distress. Logic would say that, unless the job is very high paying or you have a tremendous heart for those you will be serving, most people would run from the position Jesus just described. We know which one of those two reasons caused the disciples to sign up. Today Jesus tells them what they can expect from “Management”, God and from Jesus, for choosing to do His work.
The first thing Jesus tells His disciples is to NOT be afraid. That job description could certainly instill fear if Jesus ended His description there, but He doesn’t stop there. Instead, Jesus tells His disciples how valuable they are to Him and to God. He tells His disciples that they are so precious that God even knows the very number of hairs on each one’s head. They can trust Him to watch over them as they go about His work. Jesus showed that He cares about His disciples physical needs, as His earlier instructions about His preparations for supplies demonstrated, but Jesus’ greatest concern is for His disciples’ eternal future. Jesus emphasizes the fact that what happens in this world is nothing compared to what happens in the next. Life and death here is nothing compared to life or death in eternity. Eternity hangs in the balance for the disciples in their “new job.”
The disciples’ “new job” assignment is to take an important message to the world. That important message is that Jesus loves each and every person, and the benefits of choosing life with Him over whatever this world has to offer. Jesus has been teaching His disciples this same lesson since they first came to Him. He has also been sharing this same message with everyone He has encountered. Now His disciples will help Him spread that same message to even more people.
Often Jesus told people not to share the miracles He did for them. I’m assuming these healings came with some personal teaching from Jesus too. Now Jesus is ready for all the lessons He has been teaching, even the individual ones, to be shared openly with everyone who will listen. It is time to go public with the full message. Jesus knows that not everything He is telling His disciples to say will be received gladly. But He knows it is essential for His full message to get out there in spite of the opposition. The message Jesus has entrusted to His disciples has to reach all the “potential customers”, ready or not.
The disciple’s willingness to face the dangers associated with their new job demonstrates their allegiance with “Management.” Do they trust Jesus completely with their lives? More importantly, do they trust Jesus with their eternal life? No, this job will not be easy, but the reward at the end makes it all worth it. Jesus promises that if we stand up for Him before men that He will stand up for us before God. God lets His “employees” know that if they stay in His “employment” that He, as the “ultimate Manager” will guarantee their eternal state.
In short “Management” will stand behind each and every “employee” who is 100% invested in the message and the Messenger. Why? Because He loves each one of us.
Jesus, Your job description was scary but so worth it. I’m so thankful that the disciples stepped up and answered Your call. Their firsthand experience with You showed us how patient and loving You truly are. Your personal relationship with them demonstrated Your amazing love. None of them had to earn Your love or attend some extensive training seminar for You to use them. All they had to do was listen to You as You daily spoke love into their hearts, and answer Your call. You didn’t promise them an easy job but You promised to stand behind them as they did it.
We all have a job to do for You. Most of us also have jobs we do for others in this world. No where will we find a manager like You. Nor will we find anything to compare to the reward You promise for service to You. This world has nothing of value to offer. So often I think I see something worth chasing only to find out it is made of sand and worthless. Forgive me for every time I took my eyes off You to chase something else. I want to stay committed to the job You called me to do. I don’t have anything remotely close to the kind of job Your disciples were called to do, but I want to be faithful in whatever it is You have for me. I want to sign my name in ink on Your job offer for me. You already signed Yours in blood.