Jesus had gathered His chosen twelve around Him. The names of the twelve were Simon Peter, Andrew his brother, James and John (the sons of Zebedee), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew the tax collector, James the son of Alphaeus, Lebbaeus, Simon from Cana and Judas Iscariot. Each of them had been given power by Jesus Christ to teach and to heal.
These chosen few had followed Him across the land, learning by example. It was time for them to go out in pairs to teach, and thus reach more people than Jesus could by Himself. They couldn’t fully appreciate the eternal importance of the work they were about to do, but Jesus would take this last opportunity to explain.
“Go and gather the lost tribes of Israel. Tell them that the kingdom of heaven has come. Heal the sick, cast out devils, raise the dead. You have been taught by me and witnessed miracles, and now it is time for you to teach and to show miracles to others.
Don’t take any money, or clothes, or food. When you go into a city, find those who are worthy and will accept you, and they will care for you. If you come to a city where no one will take you in, leave and kick the dust off your shoes from that city. In the last day, it will be better for Sodom and Gomorrah than for that city.”