We have reached the tenth chapter of the gospel of Matthew and something new happens. There is a 90 degree turn in the narrative concerning Jesus' public ministry.
For the first 9 chapters Jesus is busy with proclaiming the kingdom and in this proclamation he drives out demons, he makes the blind to see, the mute to speak, the leper whole.
In this unfolding of the proclamation of the kingdom people begin to gather in small groups that eventually become large crowds upwards to 5000 plus. The crowds are gathering and they are pressing in on all sides to get close to Jesus as he proclaims the kingdom. So much so, that at one point he feeds all of them with leftover to spare.
For the first few months of Jesus' public ministry and proclamation, He takes care of everything on his own. With a word, a look, a glance, a thought and some might even suggest that with a snap of the finger miracles abound, masses are fed, healing occur and what was disorder becomes ordered.
Jesus doesn't seem to need any assistance or help and the disciples are simply along for the ride, for the show, for the display of power, for the performance of their life time.
But today, in chapter 10 of the gospel of Matthew the mystery of the kingdom is unveiled. We are invited into a new dimension of that kingdom proclamation that Jesus does so well on his won.
What is that mystery?
It isn't that the disciples are told to take no money bag, or sandals, or walking stick. It isn't primarily that they are told to drive out demons, cure the sick, cleanse the lepers.
No what the mystery is is that Jesus who can do all of this on his own; Jesus who can with a snap of the finger make what was wrong right, crooked straight as now decided to include us and in fact refuse to go alone.
JEsus in chapter ten decided to need us so that the proclamation can continue and the kingdom can unfold.
This is what the great mystery is all about. That Jesus as decided that we are all important and necessary to the reality of the kingdom coming.
God who can make all things new, refuses to let the newness come unless it comes through our collaboration and cooperation.
We, you and I, as disciples are an integrated part of the kingdom process and there is no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Jesus tells us, "as you go..."
We are invited to do what Jesus has done. Jesus refuses to go it alone even though he could. It is a greater act of charity to include others in the cat of charity rather than to simple be charitable alone.