Jesus demonstrated his authority by his miracles – healing the sick, driving out demons, and raising the dead. It didn’t take long for the word of his astonishing power to spread. Soon, everywhere he went, there were large crowds seeking his attention. Unable to appropriately attend to all those in need, Jesus appointed his twelve disciples to begin teaching and healing on his behalf. The disciples were empowered with the miraculous healing powers that demonstrated their authority to teach, on behalf of Jesus.
Those teaching the gospel today, no longer have the miraculous signs granted to the twelve disciples. What we are left with is the miraculous Word of God. We no longer need miraculous powers to demonstrate our connection to Jesus. Today we have the complete Biblical text that includes all of the teachings of Jesus. We have the documented evidence of the miracles Jesus performed along with his disciples Today we can identify true teachers of the gospel by their adherence to a strict interpretation of the Bible. There is no need for anyone to be deceived by false teachers. We all have access to the Bible and can test everything anyone is teaching by our own investigation of the text.
Jesus also taught his disciples to depend on God for their food and lodging. Rather than carry a large bag with extra clothes and money, the disciples were instructed to travel light. This is another indicator we can use to identify true followers of Jesus today. Of course, we can’t see inside anyone’s heart, but there are some proclaiming to be teachers of the Word of God who appear to be more dependent on their personal wealth than they are on God. A lavish lifestyle is probably not what Jesus would prescribe for his disciples. We need to be cautious of those who may be preaching the Word for their own personal gain rather than the well-being of lost souls.
The world is full of lost souls hungry for Jesus. There is no need to spend time chasing after weeds that have no interest in knowing Jesus. There are plenty of lost souls that are growing in fertile fields ready for harvest. God provides nutrients, water, and sunlight to those who are ready. Our mission, as true believers, is to step into God’s harvest field and share the gospel at every opportunity. We need to travel light and trust God to supply all of our needs, we need to depend on the Word of God, and we need to look for those who are ready for harvest. Knowing Jesus is an extraordinary gift, and we know without question he wants us to share that gift with all those hungry for Jesus.