Jesus’ plan for reaching the lost


Matthew 10:1 “And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction.”

Some people like to fly by the seat of their pants. I am NOT one of those people. I work best with a definite plan. Guidance and checklists are my salvation. They motivate me and help make my endeavors successful. Jesus commissioned His disciples to go and share about His kingdom, but He didn’t tell them to fly by the seat of their pants. He gave them specific instructions. These included a place to go, packing instructions, and a persecution plan.

Jesus and His disciples traveled many miles together reaching out to hurting people. But one day Jesus informed the twelve men that they would be sent out on a mission without His physical presence. He didn’t say goodbye and let them figure out the details independently. Instead, He empowered them and prepared them well for their assignment of casting out unclean spirits and healing every disease and affliction.

First, Jesus sent them to a specific place. At this particular time, they were not to go to the Gentiles or the nearby Samaritans. Instead, they were to start with their own people, the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Their message would be accompanied by healings, resurrections of the dead, leper cleansings, and demon exorcisms.

Secondly, Jesus gave His men a packing list. They were not to charge for their services or acquire any gold or silver because this message, freely received by them, must be freely given to others as well. They must pack light – no bags, extra clothing, shoes, or staff because God would provide their needs through the people they ministered to. When they came to a town they were to find a worthy house and stay there until it was time to leave.

Next, Jesus warned the men of hardship and gave them a persecution plan. “Beware of men and be wise as serpents and innocent as doves,” He instructed. Certain unbelievers will deliver you over to their courts and synagogues. You will be dragged before governors and kings. But don’t worry or be anxious, He said, because God’s Spirit will speak through you in those difficult times.

Jesus prepared His disciples for a ministry of reaching a lost world. We are also called to minister in this way. But just as the original twelve had specific plans for their dealings with people, we must also have a plan.

Each believer in Christ is called to shine her light by speaking gospel truth to the people in her sphere of influence. Even foreign missionaries who travel the globe with the message of salvation must begin with the people closest to them. Telling the story of Jesus and His love brings healing and forgiveness to broken hearts and wounded souls.

Earlier in Matthew Jesus told His followers to seek his kingdom and His righteousness first and all other things would be added to them. Even today this principle holds true. When we put God’s agenda first He will provide all that we need.

Sharing the gospel is not an easy task. We have an enemy who would love to shut down the truth, so persecution is a reality. Yet, our comfort remains the same as it was many years ago. When under the gun for speaking the truth, God’s Spirit will comfort us and give us words to say.

Like Master, like disciple, our calling is clear. Speak truth to the world around you but don’t fly by the seat of your pants. Go to the place God calls you. Pack according to His instructions, and have a persecution plan. When we answer God’s call and follow His agenda, the world will hear the truth, and God will gain the victory.



Sandra Sheridan is a midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at

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