Session #074 Team Jesus
Scripture Matthew 10:1-6
Summary Starting a new section, Henson provides an overview of the five discourses in Matthew, and the KINGDO101 expository journey thus far. What does it mean to be on Team Jesus? Matthew 10:1-6 outlines how disciples are to be aligned with Jesus, that we may be authorized by Jesus as we are appointed by Jesus and assigned for Jesus. In this teaching, Henson challenges believers to go beyond being good church members, to become faithful disciples on kingdom assignments for the king.
And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Matthew 10:1–6
As Joshua was commissioned as the new leader and led the 12 tribes into the Promised Land (Numbers 27:18-19), so Jesus commissioned the twelve as representatives of the kingdom and sent them (apostles) into enemy territory with power and authority. Jesus prepared His disciples to face challenges, opposition, and persecutions. He did not come to bring peace but a sword (Matthew 10:34).
Aligned with Jesus (Matthew 10:1a)
Jesus calls us first and foremost to Himself. The first call, the invitation, is to Jesus, to be with Him
(Mark 3:14-15). The “call “ is often associated with “what to do” or “where to go”. However, God calls people to be united with Him first in every aspect of our lives. Focus on the aligning. Let God do the assigning.
Are you checking your alignment with Jesus? Hang out with Jesus before being sent out for Jesus. Be rightly aligned with the king before attempting to move on kingdom assignment (Acts 4:13). In the religious leaders’ opinion, Peter and John were “uneducated and untrained”. Their only “qualification” was that “they had been with Jesus”. Not that “education” is bad but “all education about the kingdom is empty without an experience with the king”.
Authorized by Jesus (Matthew 10:1b)
Exousia is Greek for authority vs dumanis for power.
After the declaration and demonstration, the people were astonished by how Jesus taught and moved with authority. All the power in the world is useless if you do not have the authority or the right to exercise it (Acts 4:7) And they answered, “by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth” (Acts 4:11).
Team Jesus has authority to do all Jesus did in Matthew 4:23-24; 8:16; 9:35. The authority is over unclean spirits, sickness, and disease, both in the physical and spiritual realms. It has nothing to do with politics or religion.
Authority is given by Jesus to those who align with Him, and the enemy knows it too (Acts 19:13-16).
Appointed by Jesus: Who makes it to Team Jesus? (Matthew 10:2-4)
Jesus had more than 12 disciples (Luke 6:12; Luke 10:1). Stop disqualifying yourself or thinking that disciples are for the ‘chosen’ ones.
The Biblical Significance of Twelve
Twelve is mentioned three times in Matthew 10:1-6: twelve disciples, twelve apostles, and these twelve. In biblical numerology, twelve is a very significant number that symbolizes God’s power and authority. It is a perfect governmental foundation. It can also symbolize the completeness of the nation of Israel as a whole.
For example, Jacob (Israel) had twelve sons, each of which represented a tribe begun by a prince, for 12 princes total.
Twelve thousand from each tribe of Israel (144,000 total) will receive salvation during the end time’s Great Tribulation (Revelation 7). A set of 144,000 (12 x 12,000), possibly the same as those in chapter 7, will be taken from the earth to serve and follow the Lamb of God (Revelation 14:1-5). Christ’s bride in Revelation 12, the church, wears a crown containing twelve stars.
The New Jerusalem, which is made in heaven and brought to the earth by God Himself, contains 12 gates made of pearl which are each manned by an angel. Over each gate will be one of the names of Israel’s twelve tribes. The walls are 144 cubits high (12 multiplied by itself – Revelation 21:16 – 17), with the city itself being 12,000 furlongs square.
Jesus as the New Joshua, with 12 new tribes, entering the Land
The first Team Jesus represents the King and His kingdom breaking in to establish God’s power, authority, completeness, and perfect government to rule and reign. Today, we all represent the King and His kingdom. There can be many more Teams Jesus.
They were disciples first before they became apostles. If you do not consider yourself a disciple of Jesus, how do you even make it to Team Jesus, much less know and fulfil kingdom assignments?
If you keep thinking that you are not good enough or not ready to be a disciple, then you will keep rationalizing and justifying why you are not called, or will not be called. If you are not a disciple, then you do not have to read Matthew 10, for these are instructions to disciples.
Apostle is from the verb apostello in Greek, apo means from and stello means to set, to place, to appoint to a position.
As soldiers in battle, formation is synonymous with a delegate, an ambassador, an envoy, or an emissary. We may not be of the same status or carry the same symbolic significance as the original twelve apostles, but some are gifted as apostles, to break new ground, strategize, and mobilize (Ephesians 4:12). We are all to be apostolic, to be separated and sent, to be positioned in a battle array for the Lord.
Jesus chose 12 to symbolize a new kingdom era and then He selected 72 others later. He then issued the Great Commission to all.
Jesus did not choose the twelve because they had superpowers. He chose them and then gave them kingdom power.
Some observations from Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16; Acts 1:13 about the 12 disciples are that they are commoners who are fishermen, tax-collectors, and zealots. None of them is a rabbi or holding a priestly position. They were an unusual mixed-up group. Jesus did not disqualify them, why should you disqualify yourself?
Discipleship happens in the community. Having a personal time and relationship with Jesus is good but being in a community adds dimension to your spiritual walk and growth. You learn differently when you need to relate to others and to serve with others, to submit to one another for the sake of a higher cause. Your agenda and prejudices will be revealed as you spend more time in the community.
Assignments are done in smaller sub-groups, in pairs, or groups of four. This allows them to move and react faster, covering more ground and reaching more people.
How does a motley crew get along with each other? Jesus is the reference point. The key is to lead and direct with a kingdom agenda and heart, with the King’s agenda and the King’s heart. Align with the King. Paul says, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.” The objective of KINGDOM101 is to know the King, to embrace His kingdom, to receive assignments.
The sad truth is, we are talking Christian but not living out the kingdom.
Assigned for Jesus (Matthew 10:5)
Jesus gives instructions, warnings, as well as assurances (Matthew 10). The kingdom mandate is knowing our assignment and Area of Operation.
For the original Team Jesus, their Area of Operation was confined to the children of Israel, the people of the kingdom. They are to declare the Messiah and His kingdom. To demonstrate the power and authority of the kingdom. To invite one and all into this kingdom, to accept the rule and reign of Jesus the Messiah, and the promise of peace (shalom). When Israel rejects the King, the commission expands and is extended through Matthew 28:18-20 to “make disciples of all nations”.
Paul always preaches to the Jews in the synagogues first. When rejected, he then offers the kingdom to the Gentiles (Romans 1:16 ). Israel’s blindness is for the benefit of the Gentiles (Romans 11:25).
Not all may have the opportunity to preach to the Jews but we can and must remember Israel, appreciating that we are the wild olive branches who have been grafted into the main olive tree (Romans 11). We need to pray for the natural branches to be grafted back in. We do not need to become Jews or suddenly become “Jewish” but be aware and mindful to respond accordingly.
We are all invited to be a part of Team Jesus. To be Aligned with Jesus – spend time with the Lord. To be Authorised by Jesus – receive from the Lord. To be Appointed by Jesus – be ready to be appointed. To be Assigned for Jesus – know and fulfil assignments.