The Gospel According to St. Matthew: Matthew Chapter 10: Read Here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/10?lang=eng
Instructions to the Twelve Disciples as they begin their ministry.
Jesus ordained and set apart His twelve disciples, the Apostles, giving them power and author to act in His name, to cast out unclean spirits, and to heal people of their sicknesses and diseases, through faith in Him.
“Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him” (Matt 10:2-3).
Jesus sent the twelve forth to minister to Israel first, and to the lost sheep from the House of Israel.
Jesus gives many instructions in verses 7-15:
“And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, that for that city.”
Jesus gives many warning with his instructions throughout the rest of the chapter, particularly in verses 18-20:
“And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.”
When we are storing up the words of life: studying the scriptures, teaching the gospel, and living by the Spirit; the Spirit will give us the words we need to speak when we need to speak them.
Those who spread the gospel are hated by those who are worldly, but if they don’t give up and endure to the end, they’ll be saved. The gospel needs to spread throughout Israel and the world before Jesus’s Second Coming.
Words to remember:
“The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord” (vs. 24-25).
Further thoughts: It is important to note that Jesus faced all tribulation for us, and to be like Him, we cannot expect to go without ridicule and trials as well. He is above us, and yet He submitted to His Father’s will. Still it is His desire and His mission to make His true disciples become even as He is, and for them to inherit eternal glory with Him and His Father through His grace.
Further thoughts: Jesus words to Joseph Smith, found in Doctrine and Covenants 122:5-8:
If thou art called to pass through tribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; if thou art in perils among robbers; if thou art in perils by land or by sea; If thou art accused with all manner of false accusations; if thine enemies fall upon thee; if they tear thee from the society of thy father and mother and brethren and sisters; and if with a drawn sword thine enemies tear thee from the bosom of thy wife, and of thine offspring, and thine elder son, although but six years of age, shall cling to thy garments, and shall say, My father, my father, why can’t you stay with us? O, my father, what are the men going to do with you? and if then he shall be thrust from thee by the sword, and thou be dragged to prison, and thine enemies prowl around thee like wolves for the blood of the lamb; And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
Also, Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-8:
My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.
The most compelling of these verses:
“The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he” (D&C 122:8)?
In Matthew 10:26-28 Jesus tells His disciples not to fear men. In the next few verses, we are told that Jesus notices the fall of a sparrow; Heavenly Father knows us so intimately that every hair is counted. We are His children and of greatest value to Him.
Marvin Gaye singing “His Eye is on the Sparrow”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unjrQPGkx90
So we shouldn’t fear for our lives or well-being, but trust in Him and what He asks us to do; and He’ll confess us before God.
“Whosover therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (vs. 32-33).
Even though Jesus brought the gospel of peace and goodwill, His gospel will divide people and even families; because, there are those who do not want to hear and choose not to believe and are angered at those who follow Jesus. If we do not put Jesus first in our lives (plus our relationship with Heavenly Father), even before family members that He has given us, we are not worthy of Him.
Further thought: Some think this is a harsh doctrine, but it actually is necessary; because without Him, we have nothing anyway.
How do we individually take up our cross and follow Jesus? Does that mean the same thing for everyone, or do we all have our own cross to bear when we determine to be disciples?
So often, especially in today’s world, people spend exorbitant amounts of time, energy, and money on self-gratification and self-improvement; and yet, they don’t find happiness. It evades them. Jesus said that when we lose our life for His sake, we will find it. What does that mean to you? What does that mean for me? I don’t think that we do find happiness (or at least peace, joy, and spiritual comfort) in this life through self-gratification; but we do find it through service, leadership, and self-denial. And if we lose or lives (or, rather, give up our will to His) in the service of the Lord, we will gain eternal life. Pretty grand payback.
If we receive a prophet, teacher, or a righteous man (or woman), and adhere to sound principles and doctrines, we will be benefited by the messages they give to us. If we feed or offer drink, water, or sustenance to those who spend their lives in the Lord’s service, He will notice and reward us for our goodness. Remember, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).
Further thought: The apostles and other missionaries are those who are losing their lives for the Lord, giving up their time, energies, money, and personal pursuits to serve Him and invite others to come unto Him. Not only are they offering the gift of salvation and life to others through faith in Jesus Christ, but they are being saved themselves in the process.