CHOSEN TO BE SENT
Not only were the twelve disciples chosen sovereignly, chosen with
prayer, and chosen for training, but they were also chosen to be sent.
The disciples ("those who learn") were trained to become apostles
("those who are sent"). Jesus calls all disciples in order to send them
out. There were only twelve apostles (Matthias was later added to
replace Judas, and Paul was a unique addition beyond the twelve) who
were the official "sent ones" of the early church and who one day will
"sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matt.
19:28). But every disciple of Jesus Christ is called to make other
disciples (Matt. 28:19-20) We are all trained to be sent.
He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to
heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. (10:1b)
Exousia (authority) is from a verb that means "it is lawful," and it
therefore refers to a right or power that is legitimately delegated.
Jesus granted the twelve disciples God's divine authority to do exactly
what He Himself had been doing (see 4'.23',9:35). To do what He did
would demonstrate they were sent by Him, just as what He did
demonstrated He was sent by the Father. Throughout the book of Acts we
see the disciples doing the very things for which Jesus here gives them
The apostles did indeed cast ... out many unclean spirits and heal
every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Peter and John healed
the lame man at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple (Acts 3:2-8). "At the
hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the
people,... And also the people from the cities in the vicinity of
Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or
afflicted with unclean spirits; and they were all being healed" (5.12,
16; cf. 8:6-7). To the man in Lystra who was "without strength in his
feet, lame from his mother's womb, who had never walked," Paul said,
"'Stand upright on your feet.' And he leaped up and began to walk"
(14.8-10). While Paul was stranded on the island of Malta, he healed the
father of Publius, the leading man of the island, "and after this had
happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases were
coming to him and getting cured" (28:8-9).
The apostles manifested the kind of kingdom power that their Lord
had manifested, and by their faithful obedience they turned Jerusalem
and then the world upside down (cf. Acts 17:6). Jesus promised that they
would do "greater works" (in extent, not power) and His words began to
be fulfilled. The following story fell into my hands from an unknown
One night in the East End of London a young doctor was turning out
the lights of a mission hall in which he was working. He found a ragged
boy hiding in a dark corner, where he begged to be allowed to sleep. The
doctor took the homeless boy to his own room, fed him and tried to get
his story. He learned that the boy was living in a coal bin with a
number of other boys. He persuaded the boy to show him where these boys
were. They went through narrow alleys and finally came to a hole in the
wall of a factory. "Look in there," he said. The doctor struck a match
and looked around, crawling into the cellar. Finally he found thirleen
boys with only bits of old burlap to protect them from the cold. One lad
was clasping to him a four-year-old brother. All were sound asleep. The
doctor caught a vision then and there of service for his Lord. He cared
for those boys and started the Bernardo Homes for neglected children. At
the time of the death of Dr. Bernardo, the newspapers reported that he
had taken, and surrounded with a Christian atmosphere, more than 80,000
homeless boys and girls. Hundreds of them became fine Christian
citizens. O that we might have eyes to see the need about usl Thousands
will drift into a Christless eternity because Christians do not take
Christ to them.