Jesus continued his travels to many cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of diseases and all kinds of sickness.
But when he saw the crowds, he was moved with compassion for them. They were distressed and scattered, like sheep without a shepherd.
Jesus said to his 12 disciples:
The harvest is huge, but the harvesters are few. Pray to the Lord of the harvest and ask him to send laborers into his harvest.
Jesus called his 12 together and began to send them out two by two. He told them to heal the sick and to preach the good news of the kingdom.
He told them that they should take nothing for the journey, except a staff. They were not to take bread or money. Instead they were to go out in sandaled feet without so much as an extra coat.
He told them not to go to the Gentiles, and not to go to the cities of Samaria, but instead to concentrate on the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As they went out, Jesus reminded them that they had received freely and they were to give freely.
Jesus told them to find someone worthy in a city and stay with that family. If the house was worthy, they were to salute it with a proclamation of peace. If it was not worthy, then no peace would be upon the house.
Wherever you go, stay in one house until you leave the city. If they do not receive you and your preaching, then shake off the dust that is under your feet as a testimony against them.
The truth you need to understand is that it will be better for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for the city that rejects your testimony that the kingdom of God is near.
I am sending you out as sheep among wolves; be wise as serpents and as harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you over to the courts, and they will whip you in their synagogues.
You will be brought before governors and kings for my sake, as a testimony to the Gentiles.
But when they deliver you up, do not be anxious, and do not worry about what you are going to say. You will be given the words to say by the Spirit of God -- when the time comes.
Brother will deliver brother up to death, and a father will deliver up his own child, and children will rise up against their parents and cause them to be put to death for my name’s sake.
He that endures to the end will be saved.
When they persecute you in one city, flee to the next. I tell you this truth: you will not have gone through all the cities of Israel, before the Son of man comes.
If they have called me the master of the house of Beelzebub, you cannot expect better treatment.
Do not be afraid of them. There is nothing covered that will not be revealed.
Everything that is hidden will be known. What I tell you in the darkness, speak it in the light.
Do not be afraid of those who can kill the body but not the soul. Fear God who can cast body and soul into hell.
He who does not take his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it; and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.
He who receives you receives me. he who receives me, receives the one who sent me.
If a person receives a prophet in the name of the prophet, he will receive a prophet’s reward. If you receive a righteous man in the name of a righteous man, you will receive the reward of a righteous man.
The disciples departed and went out throughout the villages and preached that men should repent. They preached the good news. They cast out demons, anointed the sick with oil and healed them.
After Jesus gave his disciples these instructions, he left to preach and teach in the cities.