Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles
1Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness. 2Here are the names of the twelve apostles:
first, Simon (also called Peter),
then Andrew (Peter’s brother),
James (son of Zebedee),
John (James’s brother),
Matthew (the tax collector),
James (son of Alphaeus),
4Simon (the zealot),
Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).
5Jesus sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans,6but only to the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep. 7Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!
9“Don’t take any money in your money belts—no gold, silver, or even copper coins. 10Don’t carry a traveler’s bag with a change of clothes and sandals or even a walking stick. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve to be fed.
11“Whenever you enter a city or village, search for a worthy person and stay in his home until you leave town. 12When you enter the home, give it your blessing. 13If it turns out to be a worthy home, let your blessing stand; if it is not, take back the blessing. 14If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave. 15I tell you the truth, the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah will be better off than such a town on the judgment day.
16“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.17But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues.18You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me. 19When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. 20For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21“A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. 22And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved. 23When you are persecuted in one town, flee to the next. I tell you the truth, the Son of Man will return before you have reached all the towns of Israel.
24“Students are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their master. 25Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names!
26“But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. 27What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!
28“Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. 30And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. 31So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
32“Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.
34“Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.
35‘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.
36Your enemies will be right in your own household!’
37“If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. 38If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. 39If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.
40“Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me.41If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will be given the same reward as a prophet. And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs. 42And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.”
The NEW LIVING TRANSLATION (NLT)