Jesus called his twelve disciples and gave them authority to force evil spirits out of people and to cure every disease and sickness.
These are the names of the twelve apostles: first and foremost, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James and his brother John, the sons of Zebedee;
Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James (son of Alphaeus), and Thaddaeus;
Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who later betrayed Jesus.
Jesus sent these twelve out with the following instructions: "Don't go among people who are not Jewish or into any Samaritan city.
Instead, go to the lost sheep of the nation of Israel.
As you go, spread this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.'
Cure the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse those with skin diseases, and force demons out of people. Give these things without charging, since you received them without paying.
"Don't take any gold, silver, or even copper coins in your pockets.
Don't take a traveling bag for the trip, a change of clothes, sandals, or a walking stick. After all, the worker deserves to have his needs met.
"When you go into a city or village, look for people who will listen to you there. Stay with them until you leave [that place].
When you go into a house, greet the family.
If it is a family that listens to you, allow your greeting to stand. But if it is not receptive, take back your greeting.
If anyone doesn't welcome you or listen to what you say, leave that house or city, and shake its dust off your feet.
I can guarantee this truth: Judgment day will be better for Sodom and Gomorrah than for that city.
"I'm sending you out like sheep among wolves. So be as cunning as snakes but as innocent as doves.
Watch out for people who will hand you over to the Jewish courts and whip you in their synagogues.
Because of me you will even be brought in front of governors and kings to testify to them and to everyone in the world.
When they hand you over [to the authorities], don't worry about what to say or how to say it. When the time comes, you will be given what to say.
Indeed, you're not the ones who will be speaking. The Spirit of your Father will be speaking through you.
"Brother will hand over brother to death; a father will hand over his child. Children will rebel against their parents and kill them.
Everyone will hate you because you are committed to me. But the person who patiently endures to the end will be saved.
So when they persecute you in one city, flee to another. I can guarantee this truth: Before you have gone through every city in Israel, the Son of Man will come.
"A student is not better than his teacher. Nor is a slave better than his owner.
It is enough for a student to become like his teacher and a slave like his owner. If they have called the owner of the house Beelzebul, they will certainly call the family members the same name.
So don't be afraid of them. Nothing has been covered that will not be exposed. Whatever is secret will be made known.
Tell in the daylight what I say to you in the dark. Shout from the housetops what you hear whispered.
Don't be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the one who can destroy both body and soul in hell.
"Aren't two sparrows sold for a penny? Not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's permission.
Every hair on your head has been counted.
Don't be afraid! You are worth more than many sparrows.
"So I will acknowledge in front of my Father in heaven that person who acknowledges me in front of others.
But I will tell my Father in heaven that I don't know the person who tells others that he doesn't know me.
"Don't think that I came to bring peace to earth. I didn't come to bring peace but conflict.
I came to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
A person's enemies will be the members of his own family.
"The person who loves his father or mother more than me does not deserve to be my disciple. The person who loves a son or daughter more than me does not deserve to be my disciple.
Whoever doesn't take up his cross and follow me doesn't deserve to be my disciple.
The person who tries to preserve his life will lose it, but the person who loses his life for me will preserve it.
"The person who welcomes you welcomes me, and the person who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.
The person who welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet's reward. The person who welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person's reward.
I can guarantee this truth: Whoever gives any of my humble followers a cup of cold water because that person is my disciple will certainly never lose his reward."