Rev. Sudha Mehta©
Photo from Son of God Movie
Matthew 10:2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: the first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee and John his brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Canaanite and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.(JB2000)
Picture this, it is 2000 years ago:
You are a privileged student at The Holy Trinity Seminary. In case you did not know a Seminary is a college where you are prepared to become priests, ministers, or rabbis. It is training time for you. The class formed only a short time ago with you and eleven others. All handpicked by this Professor they call Yeshua (Jesus) and He is intense. Already you have seen and heard things beyond your wildest imagination. Somehow you feel compelled to follow Him, you don’t know exactly why, but you feel drawn . . . you have been praying and waiting for the Messiah. Could He be . . . ?!
Remember the wedding at Cana He took the whole class to? Everything with this Teacher is like training on the job. Every lesson becomes a field trip of sorts. He expects you all to be there with Him all the time!
All twelve of you were there at the wedding when His mother had a private conversation with Him, you saw servants scurrying about while the host looked quite worried. Hushed tones and whispers got around to you all. Word was that the wine was ALL FINISHED! You knew how bad that looks for the host, yet then . . . a toast, laughter, mirth, more dancing, loud congratulations and jestful chiding of the host parents that they held back the best wine till the end! You saw, He smiled . . . how He did it, you know not, but He did! He turned 12 large pitchers full of water into the best wine.
Photo from Son of God movie.
That was only the beginning! He takes His class everywhere He goes. You have all heard Him give the Sermon on the mount to the many that showed up. Amazing! A carpenter’s Son, technically not a Rabbi, He spoke so eloquently yet you understood so clearly. Where did He learn such wisdom? In one Sermon He made such a Bridge with the Torah which Moses was given on another Mount so very long ago. The Word came alive!
None of you are rabbis, but He didn’t pick fools for His students either. Good boys of Israel . . . all twelve of you. Good families, Jewish traditions, learning to keep the law, honoring the Sabbath, listening to the Rabbis, keeping the feasts at the temple. You are not ignorant fishermen. It’s a family business for Peter and his brother Andrew and also James and his brother John. These boys are related to each other and the families are reasonably well to do.
Mark 1:16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea, for they were fishers. 17 And Jesus said unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 18 And straightway they forsook their nets and followed him. 19 And when he had gone a little further from there, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. 20 And straightway he called them; and leaving their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, they went after him.(JB2000)
“Oi-vey . . . what about the business, I am getting old?! The hired men will have to pick up the slack!” Your parents must have felt it, but they and you know all is well, your families are tended, and besides you do come home frequently. Jesus even comes with you . . . it is like one big family!
Matthew 8: 14 And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother lying in bed and with fever. 15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she arose and ministered unto them. (JB2000)
You all have been hoping and praying the Messiah to come. Why, Judas was hoping the Messiah would come as a revolutionary man and unseat the Romans and set up His Kingdom. You all have wondered about it. The Romans have been so very oppressive, and you along with the nation have been praying expectantly.
John the Baptist has been a good help in directing you all, that is how some of you met Him, when John pointed Him out and said:
John1: 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming unto him and said, Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said, After me comes a man who is preferred before me, for he was before me. (JB2000)
John knew! Andrew heard John say it and He told Peter! (John 1: 40-41)
Nathanael, another devout student also knew:
John 1: 49 Nathanael answered and said unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.(JB2000)
You all have been watching and learning!
He just healed the paralytic yesterday . . . and then raising the dead girl?! Wow! She was DEAD! REALLY DEAD!! . . . no more!!!
People flock to Jesus everywhere He goes!
Photo from Son of God movie
Heal this, heal that, EVEN LEPERS call out to Him . . . and He isn’t scared. Demons scream and run! Two thousand pigs . . . two thousand . . . over the edge! The demonized man was clean after that!!
Photo from Son of God movie.
Jesus tells the people that the humble are blessed, the meek shall inherit the earth . . . you never heard anything like that before! He teaches a higher way, free and fulfilling the Law all in one! The Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees don’t know what to make of Him.
You have already seen Him take on the Pharisees. He is bold! You would never dare speak to any of them that way. You have kept your thoughts to yourself always when it comes to them. You see their words do not match their deeds, but hey, they are the Leaders. They teach the Law.
Yeshua (Jesus), however, sure does take them on . . .
The class is moving rapidly. There is no written curriculum, but you all have taken in more than you ever thought possible. Now it is “practicum” time.
Matthew 10: 5 These twelve Jesus sent forth and commanded them, saying, Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter into any city of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.(JB2000)
Go on boys, you have your First Commission. You are all “Circuit Preachers” now. You do what you have seen Him do!
Photo from LDS.org
Remember the Samaritan woman? Right now you are not to go to anyone but the Jews. Jesus can, but you can’t . . . not yet! Start on familiar ground. With people who are familiar with Jewish ways and traditions. People who eat clean food, and at least try to follow the Law. “The lost sheep of Israel,” He calls them:
Matthew 10: 7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of the heavens has come.(JB2000)
Your first preaching assignment! You have to tell them the Kingdom they have been waiting for is here! It doesn’t look anything like what they might be expecting, but it is here since He is here. He brings His authority with Him, and now He is commissioning and authorizing you as His emissaries. He doesn’t much look like a King, but then, you don’t much look like ambassadors either. Will they believe you? You wonder.
Matthew 10: 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons; freely ye have received, freely give.(JB2000)
“Whaaaaaat?! We are to do what You have been doing . . . heal the sick?!”
Wait . . . did He say cleanse lepers, you wince, what if, . . . don’t complete that thought! It gets even more difficult. RAISE THE DEAD!! Do what He just did with the little girl, you rehearse in your mind. cast out demons . . . .well, maybe we won’t run into those, maybe it will be good demon-free Jewish homes and people. But inside you are all saying, “Oi-vey!!!”
Yes, He FREELY trained you, fed you spiritual and physical food, even healed Peter’s mother-in-law, now He FREELY GIVES HIS AUTHORITY to you to go teach, train and do as you have seen Him do.
HIS AUTHORITY! That’s the key!!
This is what He did with the twelve He called.
Now, lets come back to the present! Did you know Yeshua (Jesus) didn’t stop there? Yeshua (Jesus) continued to train the disciples during the time He had on earth, and then when He was ready to leave He gave the Great Commission that applies to all of us . . . that is you and me!
Stay with me and we will talk more on the rest of this passage in my next post. You too can be in the HOLY TRINITY SEMINARY and have a chance to learn all they learned.
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