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Qualifications of the Twelve Apostles

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A man took his dog to the veterinarian and asked him to cut his tail off completely. “I don’t like to do that,” said the vet. “And why completely?” “Well,” said the dog owner, “my mother-in-law is coming to visit us, and I don’t want anything in … More

Hospitality

Right after Jesus’ injunction to ask for laborers we find the twelve apostles listed (vv. 1-5). The qualifications for being an apostle were as follows:

  1. Must have seen the risen Christ. (I Cor. 9:1   
  2. Must have fellowshiped with Jesus. (Acts 1:21-22)
  3. Must have been chosen by the Lord. (Eph. 4:11)

No believer today can honestly claim to be an apostle; for none of us have seen the risen Christ. These twelve Apostles were to preach the message of the kingdom and to go only to the lost sheep of Israel (v. 6). In fact they were specifically told not to go to the Gentiles or to the Samaritans because the kingdom message was for God’s covenant people. They needed to accept her King (Jesus) who had arrived.

The Apostles were not to make elaborate provisions for their travel (vv. 7-10). They were to rely upon the gifts and hospitality of those to whom they preached. Hospitality was a normal part of the Mid Eastern life style and no doubt many offers of accommodation were received. It is evident that the Apostles depended on the hospitality of others as they minister from town to town (vv. 11-15). However the disciples were restricted to accepting hospitality only from those who received their message. They were not to compromise. If a town rejected their words they were to warn the people and get out of town; shaking the dust off their feet (v. 14).

Application

Who are some of the most interesting house guests my family has ever entertained. If some of Jesus disciples came to my house today, am I sure they would be welcome?

Matthew 10:1-15 (English Standard Version)

And 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. 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; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, "Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. Acquire no gold nor silver nor copper for your belts, no bag for your journey, nor two tunics nor sandals nor a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. As you enter the house, greet it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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