Cross in front of Founders Hall



The Furthest… Right Next Door

Lent 2021

Read Matthew 10:1-11

He called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. 2 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; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. 5 These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. 9 Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, or two tunics[e] or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. 11 And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart.

When Jesus sends out the disciples this first time He gives them strict instructions not to go to the Gentiles. This may seem strange to us. After all, God’s Word is clear that Jesus came to save the whole world. When we get to the conclusion of Matthew, Jesus leaves the disciples with the Great Commission: go into all the world with the gospel. But here they were first to focus on the lost sheep of Israel. They were to begin somewhere: with their own people—people they understood and could easily connect with. So often, when hearing God’s invitation to be witnesses, our first inclination is to jump to world-wide opportunities. But what about opportunities in our hundred foot circles of daily life? We are often ready to support missionaries in third world regions or take week-long mission trips to foreign countries. But can we allow ourselves to be vulnerable close to home? God wants His Church to reach the ends of the earth. Sometimes those most in need of the gospel are mere steps away in our daily life. Can we gain the courage to invest not only our money to mission opportunities but invest ourselves in the lives of those we know? Can we allow ourselves to speak about Jesus today to those we still have to see at work, in class, or in our residences and neighborhoods tomorrow? This can be a scary proposition. But Jesus gives us His promise, “I am with you always.”


Lord, in spreading the gospel to the world help me to start here. By Your Spirit grant me the encouragement and guidance I need. Amen.

Holy Week Icons

President Dr. Michael Thomas guides us through three important religious images that will enhance your experience of Holy Week.

Walk With Us

Sign up to receive daily devotions from Ash Wednesday through Easter directly to your email.
Your email address will be used for no other purposes than these Lenten devotions.

Back to top