Humble Hero


The First Evangelists

This chapter is based on Matthew 10; Mark 6:7-11; Luke 9:1-6.

The apostles had accompanied Jesus on foot through Galilee. They had walked and talked with the Son of God and learned how to work for humanity. As Jesus ministered to the people, His disciples were eager to lighten His work. They helped in bringing the suffering ones to the Savior and promoting the comfort of all. They watched for interested hearers and explained the Scriptures to them. HH 159.1

But they needed an experience in working alone. They still needed much instruction and patience. Now, while He was personally with them to counsel and correct them, the Savior sent them out as His representatives. HH 159.2

The disciples had often been perplexed by the teaching of the priests and Pharisees, but they had brought their questions to Jesus. He had strengthened their confidence in God’s Word and to a great degree had set them free from their slavery to tradition. When they were apart from Him, every look and word came back to them. Often when in conflict with enemies of the gospel, they repeated His words. HH 159.3

Calling the Twelve around Him, Jesus told them to go out two by two through the towns and villages. In this way, they could counsel and pray together, each one’s strength making up for the other’s weakness. HH 159.4

Evangelistic work would be far more successful if Christians followed this example. HH 159.5

The disciples were not to argue with anyone about whether Jesus was the Messiah; but in His name they were to “heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” HH 159.6

Jesus devoted more time to healing the sick than to preaching. Wherever He went, the people who received His compassion were rejoicing in health. His voice was the first sound that many had ever heard, His name the first word they had ever spoken, His face the first they had ever seen. As He passed through the towns and cities, He was like a vital current, spreading life and joy. HH 159.7

The followers of Christ are to work as He did. We are to feed the hungry, comfort the suffering, and inspire hope in the hopeless. The love of Christ, shown in unselfish ministry, will be more effective in reforming the evildoer than will the sword or court of justice. Often the heart will melt under the love of Christ. Through His servants, God wants to be a greater Comforter than the world has ever seen. HH 159.8

On their first missionary tour, the disciples were to go only to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” If the Jews would receive the gospel, God intended to make them His messengers to the Gentiles. So they were first to hear the message. HH 160.1

On this first tour, the disciples were to go only where Jesus had been before them and had made friends. Their preparation for the journey was to be simple. They were not to adopt the dress of religious teachers nor use certain clothing to distinguish them from the humble peasants. They were not to call the people together for public meetings; their efforts were to be in house-to-house work. In every place, they were to accept the hospitality of those who would welcome them as if entertaining Christ Himself, entering the home with the beautiful salutation, “Peace to this house.” Luke 10:5. That home would be blessed by their prayers, their songs of praise, and their opening of the Scriptures in the family circle. The message they had brought was the word of eternal life, and the destiny of men and women depended on whether they received or rejected it. See Matthew 10:14, 15. HH 160.2

“Behold,” said Jesus, “I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Christ did not suppress one word of truth, but He always spoke it in love. He was never rude, never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not scold human weakness. He fearlessly condemned hypocrisy and evil, but tears were in His voice as He spoke His sharpest rebukes. Every person was precious in His eyes. HH 160.3

The servants of Christ need to have close fellowship with God, or else when others irritate them self may rise up and they release a torrent of words that are not like the dew or the soft showers that refresh the withering plants. God’s servants are to fasten their eyes on Christ’s loveliness. Then they can present the gospel with divine tact. And the spirit that is kept gentle when dealing with difficult people or circumstances will speak more effectively in favor of truth than any argument, no matter how strong. HH 160.4