1 Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. 2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him. 5 These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; 6 but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.
Jesus, after setting the example of how to preach the gospel of the kingdom, then sent out the 12 disciples to do the very same thing. He poured out His authority on them, the authority of the Holy Spirit, and sent them to preach to the Jews. This message was first to be preached to the Jews until they rejected Him and then the Gentiles. Jesus taught the disciples a very important lesson here: God blesses us with truth and power so we can bless others. Freely you received, freely give.
One reason why we don’t receive is because we don’t give. We are too afraid to give what we have because we fear that then we will have nothing. This makes sense in a human, selfish, and sinful way of thinking. But in the Kingdom of Heaven, it is not like that. We receive because we give. Even forgiveness, as we learned in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He tells us that our Father in heaven will not forgive us if we refuse to forgive others. Here they have graduated to the next level. The Gospel of the Kingdom isn’t that you get to go to heaven. The Gospel is that there is freedom in this life: freedom to live in communion with God, freedom from death, sickness, and demonic influence. So why then do we continue to live in slavery of these things? Further more, why aren’t we sharing this gospel with others? Why has our gospel evolved into, “be good, go to church, and don’t curse”? We have greatly put God’s message on a diet of comfort in conformity to what we want it to be instead of what Jesus says it is!
Reread what Jesus instructs them to preach in verse 7. It doesn’t say, “The kingdom is coming” or “one day the world will end.” It says, “The Kingdom is here!” And they showed the truth of their words by raising the dead, healing the sick, curing diseases, and casting out demons. The question is, wherever you go, can you honestly say the Kingdom is there with you? Do you walk in the kingdom of heaven? Are you an agent of change for Christ? Are you fully sold out for Jesus and is His Kingdom revealed in your life?