Chapter 23, “The Work”
In Matthew 10:5-6 Jesus sends his apostles to go only to the lost of Israel. Bonhoeffer considers that the apostles surely would have wanted to go to all the world, but they were restrained by Jesus’ command until after the resurrection. Israel’s rejection of the Messiah was to be completed first.
As he moves on in verses 7-8, Jesus gives a commission to preach, heal, raise the dead, and cast out demons. This is the same work Jesus is doing. Jesus, in fact, is working through his twelve apostles.
In verses 9-10 the apostles are told they will be cared for. They did not need special equipment. They simply went with Jesus’ word. They were not going as beggars, but simply trusting Jesus to supply their needs.
In verses 11-15 the apostles are to seek out people who would be worthy, those praying to God. They will care for Jesus’ ministers. The apostles would get to work quickly, bringing peace and announcing the kingdom of God. The call to repentance is urgent. The consequences of rejection are enormous. Yet the apostles go to announce forgiveness and grace.