Endurance

Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every disease and illness.

These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is also called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector, James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who later betrayed him.

Jesus sent out these twelve apostles with the following instructions: “Don’t go among the Gentiles or enter any Samaritan town, but go only to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Freely you have received – freely give!

“Don’t take any gold or silver or copper with you in your money belts. And don’t take a bag for your journey with a spare shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worthy of his keep.

“Whenever you enter a town or village, search for some worthy person and stay in his home until you leave that place. And when you enter the house, let your peace rest on it. If the house is worthy, your peace will remain on it. If it isn’t, your peace will return to you. If anyone refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake the dust from your feet as you leave that place. I can assure you that it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah than such a town on the day of judgment.

“I’m sending you out like sheep among wolves. So be as clever as snakes and as harmless as doves. But be on your guard, for you’ll be handed over to the courts and flogged in the synagogues. Because of me, you’ll be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when you’re arrested, don’t worry about what to say or how to say it. At the right time you’ll be given what to say, because it won’t be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father will betray his own child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You’ll be hated by everyone because of me, but he who endures to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one town, flee to the next. I can assure you that you won’t have finished going through all the  towns of Israel before the Son of Man returns.”

Matthew

 

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