New International Version (NIV)
5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[a] drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— 10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Hannah and Tommy liked football season. In fact, their entire family watched their favorite football team play on TV.
One Sunday, their favorite team wasn’t playing, so they watched another game. Hannah and Tommy didn’t recognize either of the teams.
“Which team are you going to cheer for, Dad?” asked Hannah.
“I root for the underdog,” Dad answered.
“What’s an underdog?” Tommy wanted to know.
“An underdog is a person or a team that isn’t expected to do well or to win,” Dad explained. “I like to cheer for them; maybe they will win.”
“I think I’ll cheer for the underdog too,” said Hannah.
“Let’s all cheer for them,” agreed Tommy. “Go, team!”
When Jesus called His twelve disciples, He wanted to get them ready to preach about Him in many places. He warned them that they might seem like underdogs. He said, “I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.” Jesus knew His disciples would be arrested, beaten, and brought before governors and kings. Many people would not think of the disciples as winners, but Jesus told His friends not to worry or be afraid. The Spirit of God would be with them, making them winners.
God sent the twelve apostles to tell others that the kingdom of God was near. God’s Spirit was with them. God has sent pastors to you to proclaim that Jesus has come for you. God’s Spirit goes with pastors too. Through them, God’s message of love and forgiveness comes to all people, the underdogs and the top dogs.
Journal: Write down the names of pastors you know. Pray for them.
Pray: “Dear God, thank You for coming to me in Your Word, in Baptism, and to others in the Lord’s Supper. Be with my parents, pastor, and others who bring me Good News about You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.