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The Lord Gives His Servants Power to Do His Work

A Video Supplement for
Come, Follow Me Lesson 11:
“These Twelve Jesus Sent Forth”




In Matthew 10, Jesus calls and commissions the 12 Apostles. He gives them authority to perform their mission, specifically directing them to minister at this time to the house of Israel. I will go through and discuss a few of the verses in Matthew 10 that help us understand some of what the authority Jesus gave his apostles entails.

Beginning at Matthew 10:1: “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.”

Skipping down to verses 7 and 8, the Lord instructs them

7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

It is important to realize here Jesus is giving his apostles additional distinct authority which is not just a consequence of their belief or their acknowledgement of Jesus as Lord and Savior, though these are certainly prerequisites. Later in the New Testament, others will take upon themselves to attempt to cast out evil spirits using Jesus’s name. Their story is recorded in Acts 19:13-16:

13 ¶ Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

What can you say to that: they weren’t on the list. Now the apostles too would learn the hard way that sufficient faith is required rather than only authority as in Matthew 17:21 where, after failing in their attempts to cure a young man Jesus taught them, “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” Notwithstanding they would also need to exercise the right mixture of faith and fasting, Jesus gave them the requisite authority to help and heal those who came to them in faith searching for such healing.

They are further given a commandment to perform these miracles freely for the benefit of God’s children, their fellowmen, not receiving an recompense. They are not to sell these signs for money. In this they follow the example of Jesus, their master. As he states in 3 Nephi 27:21: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel and ye know the things that ye must do in my church for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do.”

Consequently, the apostles subsequently go forth to teach the people and ultimately do fulfill the Savior’s commission to provide blessings of healing to those who need them. A number of these are recorded in the Book of Acts and include Peter (Acts 3:6-9), Philip (Acts 8:6-7), and Paul (Acts 19:11-12) providing authority and with it access to the healing power of God through faith on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Truly as Jesus said to his apostles in John 14:12: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

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