5 Jesus sent these twelve out and commanded them, “Don’t go among the Gentiles or into a Samaritan city. 6 Go instead to the lost sheep, the people of Israel. 7 As you go, make this announcement: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with skin diseases, and throw out demons. You received without having to pay. Therefore, give without demanding payment.
Methodists have always been crazy for the idea of grace. We believe that everything we have from God is pure gift – life, love, forgiveness, salvation – all of it. Pure gift, to be celebrated and given away. It can never be kept to ourselves. It was always meant to be shared with others.
The disciples have received the blessings of walking with Jesus. They have been students at his feet. That’s what a disciple is – a student. Now, in this passage, they become apostles – those sent out with a message.
Jesus sends them forth with a command to embody grace: “Freely you have received, freely give.” Everything they have has come from their teacher. Now they are charged with this task: take what you have and give it away. They were to preach and heal with no expectation of payment except perhaps dinner and a place to sleep.
It’s difficult to envision this kind of ministry, but it’s not hard to envision this kind of spirit. In fact, we know it well. There are people in your life who have shared themselves with you time and again: family, friends, mentors and teachers. These are the people who always make time for you when you call, who will always answer a question or offer advice. These are the people who are so eager to see others around them shine that they will do anything and everything in their power to make that happen.
You can be one of those people too. Freely you have received – freely give!
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
What are the unique gifts God has given you that you can share with others? Is it a listening ear, words of encouragement, wise advice, something else? How are you doing with giving them away?
Today, pray for an opportunity to embody grace to someone you meet who needs a little bit of extra help and attention.