Sending Out the Twelve Apostles
1Jesus called his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits so they could cast them out and heal every kind of disease and sickness. 2Now these are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (called Peter), and Andrew his brother; James son of Zebedee and John his brother; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
5Jesus sent out these twelve, instructing them as follows: “Do not go to Gentile regions and do not enter any Samaritan town. 6Go instead to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near!’ 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. 9Do not take gold, silver, or copper in your belts, 10no bag for the journey, or an extra tunic, or sandals or staff, for the worker deserves his provisions. 11Whenever you enter a town or village, find out who is worthy there and stay with them until you leave. 12As you enter the house, give it greetings. 13And if the house is worthy, let your peace come on it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14And if anyone will not welcome you or listen to your message, shake the dust off your feet as you leave that house or that town. 15I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for the region of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town!
Persecution of Disciples
16“I am sending you out like sheep surrounded by wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17Beware of people, because they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues. 18And you will be brought before governors and kings because of me, as a witness to them and the Gentiles. 19Whenever they hand you over for trial, do not worry about how to speak or what to say, for what you should say will be given to you at that time. 20For it is not you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21“Brother will hand over brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rise against parents and have them put to death. 22And you will be hated by everyone because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23Whenever they persecute you in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
24“A disciple is not greater than his teacher, nor a slave greater than his master. 25It is enough for the disciple to become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house ‘Beelzebul,’ how much more will they defame the members of his household!
Fear God, Not Man
26“Do not be afraid of them, for nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing is secret that will not be made known. 27What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light, and what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the housetops. 28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30Even all the hairs on your head are numbered. 31So do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
Not Peace, but a Sword
34“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace but a sword. 35For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, 36and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.
37“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life because of me will find it.
40“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. 41Whoever receives a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. Whoever receives a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple, I tell you the truth, he will never lose his reward.”