Not For Sale

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It’s not something we pay much attention to but in Matthew 10 we find an interesting fact about the ministry that Jesus assigned to His first team of disciples. According to verse one of the chapter, Jesus gave His followers the ability to cast out demons and to heal the sick.

They immediately went out and opened bank accounts, signed contracts for television shows, planned huge crusades with twenty dollar entrance fees, hired PR people to advertise their miraculous powers and shopped for gold-plated offering plates.

Not.

The disciples were instructed to “..,proclaim the message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons” and then, “Freely you have received; freely give” (10:7-8).

They were to expect that people would look after their food and lodging along the way, but they were not to even carry an extra set of clothing let alone an Armani suit and Italian leather shoes and be driven around in a luxury automobile (10:9-11).

If you are looking for a “prophet,” look for one who isn’t trying to make a “profit” off of you. Then look for one whose interest is not so much with amazing you with his or her miraculous abilities, but one who preaches the coming of the kingdom of God to the hearts of men. You might just find a winner.

What amazes me is that Judas, who would later betray Jesus, also had these same powers of healing. But his interest was in the purse he carried around as treasurer for Jesus’ band of men. His greed for gain would eventually lead to his own destruction. History has repeated itself in the case of many others who have taken the gifts God has given and used them for their own glory and self-interest rather than for God’s glory and His kingdom.

It’s easy to get distracted by fame and fortune, but those six words serve as a reality check: “Freely you have received; freely give.”

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