Jesus hand selected twelve apostles to follow him wherever he went. They were given authority over every demon and were given the ability to heal every disease and affliction. What’s astonishing is that Jesus chose mostly uneducated people who were ordinary tradesmen. Several of them owned fishing businesses and Matthew was a tax collector. We find that the most extraordinary characteristic was their faith to follow and their hard work ethic.
When Jesus sent the Twelve out into the towns to heal and proclaim the kingdom, he said, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. . . Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay” (Matthew 10:5, 6, 8 ESV). He further instructed them not to take anything extra for the journey. They were told to take the clothing and food they already had, and no more.
Not only that, but they were to “find out who is worthy in it (the town or village) and stay there until you depart” (vs. 11). If the house was worthy, Jesus told them to let their peace come upon it and if not, they were to “let your peace return to you.” This is important because Jesus did not want them preoccupied with money, jobs, or the worries of life. As important, he did not want them wasting time in places where the good news was not welcome.
This same message is equally important for us today. Churches shouldn’t spend time, money, and resources on things that don’t produce fruit. Christ’s concern is that all come to repentance and a full knowledge of Christ and the kingdom, and this can never happen if we aren’t productive as followers of Jesus.