Great Plains Daily Devotional for 6/19/2023: Matthew 9:35-10:8

Today please be in prayer for

Grant UMC
Great West District
Haigler UMC
Great West District
Hay Springs UMC
Rushville Morse Memorial UMC
Great West District
Hemingford UMC
Great West District

Today's Lectionary Text

Matthew 9:35-10:8

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not take a road leading to gentiles, and do not enter a Samaritan town, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick; raise the dead; cleanse those with a skin disease; cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.

Today's Devotional

Discuss these questions on our Facebook page:
  • After Jesus notes the size of the harvest and the lack of laborers, what does he do next? (Matthew 9:37-38) Do you think they were ready? How similar might we feel to being sent in ministry today?
  • Why might it be important that Matthew lists the names of these twelve disciples? (Matthew 10:2-4)  Among other things, Matthew’s listing of these names shows that they are a diverse group (fishermen, a tax collector, and even a Cananean. Matthew, a tax collector, and Judas, who betrayed Jesus and elsewhere identified as Iscariot, would likely have been on the opposite end of the political spectrum of the time.) What might this say about the making of disciples today?  
  • Do you think your church is a crowd or a community? Do you consider your church friendly? If so, are congregants friendly to those within the church and/or to new people? Does your church help new people belong?
  • "See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Jesus described persecutions the disciples would likely face. Following God’s call as an individual and as a community may not be easy and will require sacrifices of some sort? Are there special needs your church sees in your community? Are there special circumstances your church is called to act upon? (homelessness, needs in local schools, gun violence, women in shelters). What next steps do you and your church need to take to follow God’s calling?


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