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18/06/2017 | RADICAL GRATITUDE

READINGS

Psalm 100

A psalm for giving grateful praise.

Shout for joy to the Lord, everyone on earth.
 Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come to him with songs of joy.
3   Know that the Lord is God.
He made us, and we belong to him.
We are his people.
We are the sheep belonging to his flock.

4   Give thanks as you enter the gates of his temple.
Give praise as you enter its courtyards.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
5   The Lord is good. His faithful love continues forever.
It will last for all time to come.

Matthew 9:35-10:8

There Are Only a Few Workers

35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages. He taught in their synagogues. He preached the good news of the kingdom. And he healed every illness and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he felt deep concern for them. They were treated badly and were helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is huge. But there are only a few workers. 38 So ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers out into his harvest field.”

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Disciples

10 Jesus called for his 12 disciples to come to him. He gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every illness and sickness.

Here are the names of the 12 apostles. First there were Simon Peter and his brother Andrew. Then came James, son of Zebedee, and his brother John. Next were Philip and Bartholomew, and also Thomas and Matthew the tax collector. Two more were James, son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus. The last were Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot. Judas was the one who was later going to hand Jesus over to his enemies.

Jesus sent these 12 out with the following orders. “Do not go among the Gentiles,” he said. “Do not enter any town of the Samaritans. Instead, go to the people of Israel. They are like sheep that have become lost. As you go, preach this message, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal those who are sick. Bring those who are dead back to life. Make those who have skin diseases ‘clean’ again. Drive out demons. You have received freely, so give freely.

Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

STUDY QUESTIONS

 

  1. In vs. 36 Jesus was moved with “deep concern” for the people. This is a translation of the Greek which means “moved to his bowels” [i.e. he found the experiences gut wrenching]. Reflect on some of the “gut wrenching” experiences you have gone through. What happened? Did you need support and healing?
  2. What do you think Jesus meant in vs.37-38?
  3. The disciples were ordinary working-class men. Take note of their professions. They were not theologically trained for “church work”, like the Pharisees were, yet Jesus used them. Do you think this was an advantage or disadvantage? Have you sometimes “held back” from working in the church because you felt untrained and inadequate? Would you appreciate some training?
  4. What is your personal reaction/response to my statement: “Ordinary people sent out to do an extraordinary work.” In terms of God’s calling on your life?
  5. Gordon MacDonald makes the point that the church at times is filled with “tame” and not “tough” Christ Followers; and that God needs “tough” Christ Followers to get the job done! The guilty ones for “taming” Christ Followers he writes, are the Ministers and Leaders of the local church![1] Is this a fair comment?
  6. Are you a “tough” or “tame” Christ Follower?
  7. Matthew 10.8: “You have received freely, so give freely.” Spend time reflecting on how this should guide and direct the manner and way your faithful response to serve the Lord happens in the “real world”.
  8. What does “Radical Gratitude” mean?
  9. What is the sobering warning in Ch10.16 – find this section in your Bible, and let it sink in.

[1] Christ Followers in the real world: 1991:pg 157-168: Thomas Nelson

SUMMARY

  • Ordinary people sent to do an extraordinary work!
  • Ordinary people courageous in their calling, not tame!
  • Ordinary people determinedly putting the Gospel into practical action!
  • Ordinary people filled and sent with a “Radical Gratitude” into the communities of Plettenberg Bay!
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