Matthew 10: 1-8

“Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness…These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans.  Go rather 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, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.  Freely you have received; freely give.”

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It’s the day after Easter Sunday.  Many American Christians mistakenly assume that Easter is over, and life is supposed to go back to normal.  It’s time to focus on getting through the last few weeks of school and work until summer vacation time begins!  Can you hear the buzzer sounding as I write?  It sounds just like when some guy in the production booth at Family Feud presses the button that displays the big red “X” on the screen and sounds the “wrong answer” buzzer!  “Eeeaaaaahhhnnn!”

The resurrection of Jesus means there will be no more “getting back to normal.”  It means that reality has been re-defined.  What was once impossible is now possible!  What we once feared we need fear no longer!  The Kingdom of God is available in space and time, now, in our lives, in our minds, in our hearts, and in the lives of those around us…now!  With the resurrection of Jesus comes the new normal!

If we intend to continue to follow Jesus, now that we believe in him as Savior, Lord, God of the universe, the One unconquered by sin, death, and hell, then our attention now rightfully turns to the mission he sends us on.  That’s where Matthew 10 comes back into play.  Here is a synopsis of the marching orders Jesus gives us disciples:

Preach that the Kingdom way of life is here, now, ready for all to enter who will have faith and act on that faith in Jesus Christ.  Invite them in!

  1. Show the reality of that Kingdom by healing the sick, raising the dead, driving out demons.  Our faithful acts of justice, service to the needy, healing, and spiritual resistance to evil are the key to showing the world that the Kingdom of God is among us!
  2. Stand firm, without fear of what others will do to us when we face resistance.
  3. Accept the challenge to give up what was normal for us to pick up Jesus’ mission for us to advance his Kingdom.

Welcome to the first day of the rest of our lives, the Easter that never ends!