Extended reading: Matthew 9:14-38 on fasting, healings, and need for workers for the harvest
5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”
This passage can be looked at several ways. First Jesus sent his disciples with instructions to help the Jewish people. This does not mean that they will never be sent out into the wider world to help the Gentiles, but to me it says to start here at home, helping those closest around you before you venture forth. We often think of mission work as being overseas, in other countries, but maybe by first helping those around us we will make more disciples to spread the work and word of God farther and farther away.
Also this passage spells out exactly what we should be doing. We are to tell others about Jesus and his message, but also to help those who are in need not only of spiritual help, but also physical help. In helping someone with their physical needs, we demonstrate Jesus’ message, not just tell it. Sometimes demonstrating what a Christian is and does is more powerful that all the words we can say.
Dear God, open my eyes to those around me, let me see where you are directing me, and give me the strength to carry out your will and your plan for both myself and those in need around me. Amen