Calling the Twelve to him, [Jesus] sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits. … They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
You are Needed
We are needy people who need to be needed. In the prime of life, we take pride in our work and service to others. But how do we feel when advanced age, sudden illness, or loss of employment prevents us from doing the work we love? Hardworking, independent people are told they can no longer live on their own. Loving parents no longer have children at home to care for. People in such situations can feel worthless, thinking they are not needed anymore.
Jesus’ twelve disciples were not the most “needed people” in the world. Some of them were working class fishermen. Others occupied a lower rung on the social ladder, such as Matthew the despised tax collector. All of them had their own sins and failings. (See Matthew 10:2-4.) But Jesus the Son of God graciously chose them to be his disciples. He chose to give these Twelve the inside knowledge of the kingdom of God. This kingdom centered around the good news of the forgiveness of sins that Jesus himself would accomplish by dying on a cross for all people. Jesus chose imperfect people to hear this message. Jesus equipped imperfect people to share this message. Jesus anointed the Twelve with his Spirit to tell people to turn from their sins and trust God who was working in the world to save them.
What human being would ever be “up to the task” of sharing such an important message with others? Jesus chose twelve who desperately needed his love and forgiveness to receive his love and forgiveness. Then he chose them to share his love and forgiveness with others. He chose to make them important and special by entrusting them with the best news the world has ever heard.
This message of repentance and forgiveness is for you as well. As you hear it and ponder what it means for you, think about what it means for someone close to you. God graciously chose to use you to serve others. He makes your life eternally significant.
Praise be to God. It feels good to be needed!
Lord Jesus, out of thankfulness for all you have done to save me, help me to look for opportunities to love and serve others. Remind me of how valuable I am in your sight that I may work hard to be of some value to others. Amen.
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