In Matthew 10, Jesus calls together His 12 disciples, giving them authority to drive out unclean spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
In verse 5, Matthew names these 12. Remember, they were uneducated men, some were even sinners, but most of all, they were all Jesus’ main men. “These 12, Jesus sent out…” He says this as if to say, ‘No, really, Jesus sent out these 12 guys.’ In other words, it overrules any arguments as to the identification of the 12 that Jesus sent (in case there was to be any question later).
So Jesus sent them out saying, ‘Don’t go among the Gentiles, and don’t enter any Samaritan towns. Instead, go to the lost sheep of Israel. And as you go:
- Preach: that the Kingdom of God is near.
- Heal: the sick
- Raise: the dead
- Cleanse: those with skin diseases
- Drive out: demons.’
Now, before we look at “Go to the lost sheep of Israel”, let’s take a running start and look first at Matthew 9:35-38. Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the Good News of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness. And when Jesus saw the crowds, He had ‘compassion’ (anguish, sorrow, great pity) on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then (in response), Jesus told His disciples that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore, ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into the field. Jesus responded to the need (or problem) – He did something about it, which brings us to chapter 10, where He sends out His 12 immediate men.
One of the arguments that people often ask today is, “What about those in tribes or who live in the jungles and have never heard of Jesus? Is it fair that they should go to hell, even though they didn’t have a chance to accept Jesus?”
My response is that if they really cared about the people who have never heard, then they would jump on a plane, fly to them, and tell them themselves. For example: The other morning, I was taking a little while to get dressed. My wife complained to me about how badly Comet (our Beagle) needs to go out, so I should hurry up and get dressed. The thing is, if she was really so concerned about Comet’s need to go out, then she would throw some clothes on and take him out herself. Instead, she was just complaining to me about how I was taking too long.
In the same way, if you’re asking “what about those who don’t know about Jesus”, but you’re not doing anything about it, then you really don’t have any right to complain and argue about God’s unfairness. You obviously know enough about Jesus and how we need Him for salvation, which is more than many around the world. So if you are really so worried about them, then you go and tell them. The thing is, that most people who like to argue this point really don’t care about those who don’t know, but just want something to argue and complain about, and judge God’s fairness in accordance to their own views.
Jesus, on the other hand, saw the same problem about people not knowing about Him, and instead of complaining about it, He actually cared about them enough to send His main men out to them, to tell them about Him, share their lives with them, represent Him and His authority wherever they went, and give the people the opportunity to choose Jesus or not-Jesus.
Moral of the story: If you see a problem, but don’t do anything about it, then you really don’t have any right to complain about it.