Matthew chapter 10 is packed with a wealth of important instructions as Jesus sent the apostles out to reach the lost. As I started to unpack these verses I wrestled with and have tried to understand the “promotion” from being called disciples to becoming apostles. What is it that signified the change in title for the disciples?
The first verse of chapter 10 tells us that “He gave them authority”, authority to heal the sick and drive out impure and evil spirits. These twelve men had been walking closely with Jesus learning and experiencing first hand the compassion and love for the lost. Jesus had been leading these men through “on the job” learning, building in them the foundation of His love in their own hearts. What an amazing example of a truly effective discipleship training experience, these twelve men were “immersed” in the learning and doing ministry.
The disciples were learning, living and being prepared for what Paul later describes in 1 Timothy as a “noble task”. Having been tested and proven to be above reproach, respectable, self-controlled, and hospitable, these newly appointed apostles were now prepared to shine Jesus’ light in the darkness, to reach the lost with the good news of His love.