From Heaven With Love


Chapter 37—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 multitudes, His disciples were eager to lighten His labor. They assisted in bringing the afflicted ones to the Saviour and promoting the comfort of all. They watched for interested hearers and explained the Scriptures to them. HLv 234.1

But they needed an experience in laboring alone. They were still in need of much instruction and patience. Now, while He was personally with them to counsel and correct them, the Saviour sent them forth as His representatives. HLv 234.2

The disciples had often been perplexed by the teaching of the priests and Pharisees, but they had brought their perplexities to Jesus. He had strengthened their confidence in God's Word and in a great measure had set them free from their bondage to tradition. When they were separated from Him, every look and word came back to them. Often when in conflict with enemies of the gospel, they repeated His words. HLv 234.3

Calling the Twelve about Him, Jesus told them to go out two and two through the towns and villages. Thus they could counsel and pray together, each one's strength supplementing the other's weakness. HLv 234.4

Evangelistic work would be far more successful if this example were more closely followed. HLv 234.5

The disciples were to enter into no controversy as to whether Jesus was the Messiah; but in His name they were to “heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” HLv 234.6

Jesus devoted more time to healing the sick than to preaching. Wherever He went, the objects of 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 looked upon. As He passed through the towns and cities, He was like a vital current, diffusing life and joy. HLv 235.1

The followers of Christ are to labor as He did. We are to feed the hungry, comfort the suffering, and inspire hope in the hopeless. The love of Christ, manifested 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 desires to be a Comforter such as the world knows not. HLv 235.2

The disciples on their first missionary tour were to go only to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” If the Jews would receive the gospel, God purposed to make them His messengers to the Gentiles. Therefore they were first to hear the message. HLv 235.3

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 apparel to distinguish them from the humble peasants. They were not to call the people together for public service; their efforts were to be in house-to-house labor. In every place they were to accept the hospitality of those who would welcome them as if entertaining Christ Himself, entering the dwelling with the beautiful salutation, “Peace be to this house.” Luke 10:5. That home would be blessed by their prayers, their songs of praise, and the opening of the Scriptures in the family circle. The message they had to bear was the word of eternal life, and the destiny of men depended upon their reception or rejection of it. See Matthew 10:14, 15. HLv 235.4

“Behold,” said Jesus, “I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Christ did not suppress one word of truth, but He spoke it always in love. He was never rude, never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He fearlessly denounced hypocrisy and iniquity, but tears were in His voice as He uttered His scathing rebukes. Every soul was precious in His eyes. HLv 236.1

The servants of Christ need to have close communion with God, lest under provocation self rise up and they pour forth a torrent of words that are not as dew or the still showers that refresh the withering plants. God's servants are to fix their eyes on Christ's loveliness. Then they can present the gospel with divine tact. And the spirit that is kept gentle under provocation will speak more effectively in favor of truth than any argument, however forcible. HLv 236.2