Day 9

Jesus Sends the Twelve

from the Matthew reading plan


Matthew 10:1-42, Acts 1:13, James 2:1-7

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: Matthew 10:1-42, Acts 1:13, James 2:1-7

Have you ever received a gift with no strings attached? Many of us may recall the joy of receiving Christmas presents as a child. When you’re young there are no expectations of repayment; the gift is freely given, and certainly, freely taken.

Do you also know what it’s like to receive a gift with strings attached? Maybe you “won” a free night at the hotel in exchange for a timeshare meeting, or your friend loaned you their car with an unspoken debt to pay. It’s not so fun to receive a gift and find out later it wasn’t really free.  

The gift of salvation can only be received freely like a child. “Life to the fullest” is free to us because our generous God paid the price with His own Son (John 10:10). Not to mention, we couldn’t pay the fair value for such a precious present, even if we tried. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

When Jesus sent out His twelve disciples for the first time, He warned them about the quid-pro-quo economy of the world (Matthew 10). Jesus was well aware that when you start healing people, driving out demons, or raising people from the dead, there will be loved ones willing and eager to compensate you.

But Jesus does not want people to believe they can buy God’s love or favor. The Lord doesn’t want you to confuse the gospel with a bait-and-switch timeshare meeting. Christ warned the disciples against the temptation to take those payments. He reminded them that they had received spiritual gifts without paying for them, so they should not charge others. Freely you received, freely give,” He instructed them (Matthew 10:8).

We might not expect our neighbor or coworker to pay us money for our encouragement or service, but do we secretly expect them to pay us back with social favors or reciprocated acts? Are there spiritual gifts the Lord has given you that He wants you to spill out onto others lavishly? If you’ve been given the spiritual gift of encouragement, encourage others in the faith freely. If God has given you the spiritual gift of service, serve with a heart of generosity.

Everything we have has been given to us. When we remember that our salvation, financial resources, and spiritual gifts are purely by the grace of God, we become stewards instead of hoarders. As followers of Christ sent into the world, we are given the same instructions as the twelve disciples. Give away the most valuable gift of God’s love at no charge, because that is how we all received it—freely.  

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Kaitie Stoddard is a professional counselor who recently relocated from Chicago to Colorado with her husband. She has her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is passionate about helping couples and families find healing in their relationships. On any given weekend you’re likely to find Katie snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, checking out new restaurants with friends, or catching up on her favorite Netflix and podcast series.

Post Comments (62)

62 thoughts on "Jesus Sends the Twelve"

  1. Melanie Bisson says:

    What a beautiful message. I know my job and my finances are from Him, but how easy it is to forget and think we are in control. As I prepare for my first child and wonder how we’ll afford it all, I’m humbled and saddened at my selfishness when I realize I already have so much and have so much room to make sacrifices. Thank you for this reminder and thank you Jesus for the continued mercy and gifts.

  2. Amanda Morgan says:

    Wow. The lord has opened my eyes and heart to my ways of being lately.. I’ve been conditional with my encouragement, love, and giving away blessings. First wanting them to be given to me by others. I’ve been called and given the gifts freely.. who am I to ask for encouragement, love, support, and understanding others when my Father has freely given and will continue to do so. When I become love and encourage others.. I feel loved and encouraged. The moment I become a hoarder I feel as such.. living in scarcity of the very things I am wanting. Woah. My intention is to be freely loving, compassionate, encouraging, and supportive… always. ❤️

  3. Bailey says:

    help me to not hoard your love, God, but to share it and share it freely. amen! ♡

  4. Carrie Forrester says:

    34“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. ”

    Can anyone explain this to me? Why did Jesus say he did not come to bring peace?

    1. Dana says:

      Think not that I am come … – This is taken from Micah 7:6. Christ did not here mean to say that the object of his coming was to produce discord and contention, for he was the Prince of Peace, Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 11:6; Luke 2:14; but he means to say that such would be one of the effects of his coming. One part of a family that was opposed to Him would set themselves against those who believed in him. The wickedness of men, and not the religion of the gospel, is the cause of this hostility. It is unnecessary to say that no prophecy has been more strikingly fulfilled; and it will continue to be fulfilled until all unite in obeying his commandments. Then his religion will produce universal peace. Compare the notes at Matthew 10:21.
      But a sword – The sword is an instrument of death, and to send a sword is the same as to produce hostility and war.
      From Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

    2. Kathy says:

      Throughout chapter 10, Jesus is warning the disciples that His message will not be accepted by everyone. Keep reading through verses 35-37. When we come to Christ, we are excited to share it with everyone, but we will face persecution and rejection from others, including family members who just don’t get it. We may lose relationships with people because of our faith, but we have to love Jesus more than our family and be willing to give up our way of life for His way. (vs.39) Otherwise, why would he stick up for us in Heaven if we didn’t stick up for Him on earth? (vs.33) Believers may have to face the sword of persecution or the sword that divides friends and family, but in the end it’s worth it. We will never have complete peace and wholeness on earth, but praise Jesus it all awaits in Heaven!

    3. Kimone says:

      I read in the Amplified version in the Bible App it tends to break down verses.
      That particular verse spoke to division that comes about from unbelief vs belief. Which is why it then went on to say one’s enemy will be those of his household.
      You can also check out different commentaries. Matthew Henry is very good.

      Hope that helped. God bless you.

    4. Amanda Cotton says:

      I marked a cross reference verse: James 4:4: “…Do you not know friendship with the world is enmity with God?”

      Jesus has come to redeem a broken world, but many are content to continue running from God. And this is naturally going to cause some strife among families and friends. “What do you mean you aren’t comfortable gossiping about Sally Sue with me anymore? You used to do it all the time? Are you now too good for that?? Too good to be friends me too??”

      Jesus is just saying that we are to love God more than we love the world we live it. He is calling us to be set apart; and that’s hard, and He doesn’t want us to be surprised that it won’t all be roses and rainbows or that people won’t always praise us for walking with Him. Praise God though for agreeing to walk with us as we go. ❤️

    5. Erin Richard says:

      Wow. Amber and Amanda, thank you so much for your thorough and thoughtful explanations. This is EXACTLY what I needed to read today.

    6. Carrie Forrester says:

      Wow thank you all! Great explanations!!!

  5. Bridget Vaschak says:

    Thank you!! Happy Tuesday, Haylee!

  6. Bridget Vaschak says:

    *hit send before I was done-oops.
    … and doing that takes my focus off God and puts in on me.

  7. Bridget Vaschak says:

    Even though I don’t think I expect “repayment” from someone when I have poured into that person’s life very intentionally and at cost, I can not help but notice the lack of acknowledgement from this person. And it hurts. Especially when I would have liked support back during a recent difficult time I went through. But here is the thing: I have no right to expect back. I gave. End of story. I gave because God enabled me to give. He is the hero of the story, I am not. I wrestle with these kinds of feelings often, and on a bad day, I can focus on this person’s lack of acknowledgement and support

    1. Haylee Roberts says:

      Hey Bridget! I think this is a very natural feeling because of our flesh and our desires for more. I will be praying that you can forgive and relinquish that expectation from this person who so clearly needed your help and love. Happy Tuesday!!

    2. Kirsten LaShure says:

      Hello Bridget!
      Being a human is something we all battle with daily! You’re on the right track realizing that it is God who enables you to help. Maybe if you think about it this way: instead it is not you who is helping, it is God helping them THROUGH you. And we should all just pray that they are acknowledging and thanking God for giving them the resources they needed. Even if it was at your disposal.

      However, admittedly, the hardest thing to do is continue to give without KNOWING they’re thankful.

      1. Jen K says:

        Thank you for this perspective, Kirsten. You never know when your insight will reach someone. Today, this spoke to me. I’ve let a “perceived unthankful” person weigh on my heart for awhile, not acknowledging I did what God wanted me to do. And, knowing this person and her upbringing, I am sure she has already thanked Jesus.

  8. Erin B says:

    Wow. Short and quite convicting. Oh, Father, help me to not hide and hoard the gifts you’ve given me (those internal and external)– help me to remember that your gifts do not run dry.

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