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To The Lost Sheep of Israel

"These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, "Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And preach as you go, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay. Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff; for the laborer deserves his food." (Matthew 10:5-10 RSV)

Apostles To Israelites

Perhaps the greatest difference between the responsibilities given to the original twelve apostles (as stated above) and the apostle Paul was that the twelve were sent primarily to Israelites, while Paul was sent to everyone, including Israelites. The response that both received however was nearly identical; it was then, it has been ever since.


"And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it, and stay with him until you depart. As you enter the house, salute it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.

And if any one will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves." (Matthew 10:11-16 RSV)

Although Jesus warned the twelve of the opposition that they would encounter from the people of Judah ("they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues"), the warning applied just much to the others (i.e. the apostle Paul was "dragged before governors and kings for my sake" too) but whether Peter (see Peter's Ministry) or Paul (see Paul's Ministry), all spoke by the authority of the Holy Spirit ("it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you") and it was those with the Holy Spirit who would "hear" it (see Ears To Hear). Carnal human nature is the greatest obstacle to the Truth.

"Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." (Matthew 10:11-16 RSV)

Fact Finder: Why did Jesus Christ send the twelve specifically to Israelites? What is the ultimate purpose of that instruction and when will it happen?
Matthew 19:28 and Revelation 21:10-14

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