God, give us eyes like Yours in Matthew 9:36. Let us see people and feel compassion. Let our evangelistic efforts be predicated upon Your love. May we love those with whom we share the Gospel. God, cause us to love people too much to fail to share Your truth.
In this passage, we see a brief catalog of the disciples. Look at their names. Notice Judas’ presence and consider the disciples’ combined qualifications or lack thereof. This was no all-star group. This motley group of misfits was not selected for their credentials: they were selected for what the Spirit of God would achieve through them. Despite their shortcomings, God used them to change the world. Likewise, let us not limit our perceptions of what God may do through us by thinking through the scope of our own powers of persuasion, intellects, and resources. Rather, let us invite God to do something in proportion to the Spirit’s capacity to work through us.
Look also at the number of the disciples. Jesus was fully able to have rallied an army of evangelists spontaneously, but He chose instead to send out a mere 12 at this point in the story. Note the parallels between your own role as a group leader and the ministry of Jesus. This is part of why we lead small groups at all; because we follow Jesus’ example in this regard. Just as Jesus led a small group of people including one who would betray Him, you lead a small group of imperfect people perhaps even including one who is not your biggest fan! Just as the disciples were commissioned to go out and do ministry, we have likewise been commissioned by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20. When Jesus gave us the Great Commission, He did so with all the authority of heaven and earth. He rarely referred to His authority this way, but His love and compassion for the lost was so great that He drove the point home to us by reminding us of His authority. That is how important evangelism is to God.
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Jesse Campbell is Explore the Bible’s Brand Manager