Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness.
Here 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),
Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew (the tax collector), James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus,
Simon (the Zealot a ), Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).
Jesus sent the twelve disciples out 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. b8Heal 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 with you. 10Don't carry a traveler's bag with an extra coat and sandals or even a walking stick. Don't hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve to be fed. c11Whenever you enter a city or village, search for a worthy man and stay in his home until you leave for the next town. 12When you are invited into someone's 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 a village doesn't welcome you or listen to you, shake off the dust of that place from your feet as you leave. 15I assure you, the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah will be better off on the judgment day than that place will be."
16"Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Be as wary as snakes and harmless as doves. 17But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and beaten in the synagogues. 18And you must stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. This will be your opportunity to tell them about me -- yes, to witness to the world. 19When you are arrested, don't worry about what to say in your defense, because you will be given the right words at the right time. 20For it won't be you doing the talking -- it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you."
21"Brother will betray brother to death, fathers will betray their own children, and children will rise against their parents and cause them to be killed. 22And everyone will hate you because of your allegiance to me. But those who endure to the end will be saved. 23When you are persecuted in one town, flee to the next. I assure you that I, the Son of Man, will return before you have reached all the towns of Israel."
24"A student is not greater than the teacher. A servant is not greater than the master. 25The student shares the teacher's fate. The servant shares the master's fate. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, d how much more will it happen to you, the members of the household! 26But don't be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything will be revealed; all that is secret will be made public. 27What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ears, shout from the housetops for all to hear!"
28"Don't be afraid of those who want to kill you. They can only kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, 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 him than a whole flock of sparrows."
32"If anyone acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will openly acknowledge that person before my Father in heaven. 33But if anyone denies me here on earth, I will deny that person before my Father in heaven."
34"Don't imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! No, I came to bring a sword. 35I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36Your enemies will be right in your own household! 37If 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 it up for me, you will find it."
40"Anyone who welcomes you is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me. 41If you welcome a prophet as one who speaks for God, e you will receive the same reward a prophet gets. And if you welcome good and godly people because of their godliness, 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."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)