How to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference

Matthew 10

And having summoned his twelve disciples, he gave to them authority over unclean spirits in order to cast them out and to heal every disease and every sickness. 2 The names of the twelve apostles are these: first Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, James the (son) of Zebedee, and John his brother, 3 Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector, James the (son) of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, 4 Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who delivered him over.

5 These twelve Jesus sent out, having commanded them, saying, “Do not go away on the road of the nations and do not go into a city of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of (the) house of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim, saying that the kingdom of God has come near. 8 Heal the sick, raise up the dead, make clean lepers, cast out demons; you received freely, give freely. 9 Do not acquire gold or silver or bronze for your belts, 10 no bag for the road, not two tunics, not sandals, not a staff; for the worker is worthy of his food. 11 And into whatever city or village you might enter, examine who in it is worthy and there remain until you might come out. 12 Entering into the house, greet it, 13 and if indeed the house may be worthy, let your peace come upon it; and if it may not be worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whoever might not receive you or hear your words, coming out of the house or the city, shake off the dust of that one from your feet. 15 Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on a day of judgment than for that city.[fn]This is not a final judgment of all humanity. It is a judgment in history of God’s rebellious people.[/fn]

16 Behold, I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves; therefore, be wise as the snakes and harmless as the pigeons. 17 Be wary of people, for they will hand you over to councils and they will flog you in their synagogues; 18 and you will be brought before governors and also kings because of me for witness to them and to the nations. 19 Whenever they deliver you over, do not be anxious how or what you might say, for it will be given to you in that hour what you might say. 20 For you are not the ones speaking but the spirit of your Father (is) the one speaking in you. 21 Brother will deliver brother over to death, and father child, and children will rise against parents and put them to death; 22 and you will be hated by all because of my name; but the one enduring to the end this one will be saved. 23 Whenever they persecute you in this city, flee to the other; for, amen, I say to you, you might not have finished the cities of Israel until the son of man comes.[fn]This finishing the cities of Israel relates not to the mission to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt. 10:5-15) but to the persecution that will attend that mission. It coincides chronologically and geographically with the experience described in Matt. 24:6-28.[/fn]

24 A disciple is not beyond the teacher, and a servant is not beyond his lord. 25 (It is) enough for the disciple that he become as his teacher, and the servant as his lord. If they called the household-master Beelzebul, how much more his household-members.

26 Therefore, do not fear them; for nothing is covered which will not be revealed and hidden which will not be known. 27 What I say to you in the darkness speak in the light, and what you hear in the ear proclaim on the roofs. 28 And do not be frightened by those killing the body but not being able to kill the soul; rather, fear the one able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for an assarion? And one from them will not fall to the ground without your Father. 30 Of you even the hairs of the head are all counted. 31 Therefore, do not be afraid. You are better than many sparrows. 32 Then everyone whoever will confess in me before the people, I also will confess in that person before my Father in [the] heavens. 33 But whoever might deny me before the people, I will also deny that person before my Father in [the] heavens.

34 Do not think that I came to cast peace upon the land; I came not to cast peace but a sword. 35 For I came to turn a person against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a bride against her mother-in-law. 36 And the person’s enemies (are) his household-members. 37 The one loving father and mother beyond me is not worthy of me, and the one loving a son or daughter beyond me is not worthy of me. 38 And (the one) who does not take his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. 39 The one having found his soul destroys it, and the one having destroyed his soul because of me will find it.

40 The one receiving you receives me, and the one who receives me receives the one who sent me. 41 The receiving a prophet in the name of “prophet” will get a prophet’s recompense, and the one receiving a righteous person in the name of “righteous person” will get a righteous person’s recompense. 42 And whoever gives to one of the least of these to drink a cup of cold (water) only in the name of “disciple,” amen, I say to you, he might not at all lose his recompense.