Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. ~ Matthew 9:35-10:8
By outward appearances, they seemed to be a band of misfits. Some fishermen, a tax collector, an activist/politician, and others from different walks of life.
Their personalities were different: impulsive, scheming, honest, gloomy.
Their understandings of who Jesus was were different: was he a Messiah? What did that mean? Would he help overthrow Rome?
By the time Jesus sends them out to heal and cleanse and raise, they weren't what we would term "ready." They hadn't "arrived." They were still a ways away from being the leaders they would become.
Or the betrayer one of them was to become.
And yet they went. Jesus sent them and they went. Went with instructions that sounded more than a little bit daunting.
And yet they went.
Are you ready? Where might you be being called to go?
Here I am, Lord! Ready or not, send me! Amen