Sunday, April 8, 2007

The To-Do's of the Twelve

I've been listening to the New Testament while driving. I generally prefer to read, and am still doing that, but this has also been a good experience. We seem to hear things differently than we read them, so other perspectives become apparent.

Today, I heard something new in Matthew 10, which describes Jesus calling the twelve disciples to him, and sending them out with instructions. One sentence in particular caught my attention: "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons" (Matthew 10:8a). Then Jesus moves on to tell them about how to work the details of their journey. So many times I have read this and not really thought about it. But I imagine my leader sending me to fulfill a particular mission within a particular group, and inserting a sentence like that, and I wonder how I would respond. "Heal the sick? Got it. Raise the dead? Okay. Cleanse lepers and drive out demons? No problem." Somehow, that doesn't sound like a very natural response. It would take a lot of faith to step out and start acting on orders like that.

And so, for that step of faith, I admire the disciples.