[Illustration: Christ on the Hilltop
Painted by C. A. Slade]
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news about the Kingdom of God, and healing all kinds of diseases and weaknesses. At sight of the crowds, troubled and scattered like sheep without a shepherd, he was filled with pity, and said to his disciples, |This is a large harvest, but the laborers are few. Pray to the lord of the harvest to send laborers into his fields.|
Then calling the twelve disciples, he sent them out two by two; and he gave them power over evil spirits. He told them to take nothing for their journey but a staff. Also he said, |Go your way. Remember that I send you out as lambs among wolves. Take with you neither purse nor bag nor an extra pair of shoes, and do not stop to greet any one on the road. Whatever household you first enter, say, 'Peace to this house!' And if the man living there is worthy, your peace will rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. Stay at the same house, eating and drinking what they give you, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from one house to another.
|Also in whatever town you enter, if the people receive you, eat what they set before you. Heal those in that town who are ill, and tell them, 'The Kingdom of God is near you.' But if you enter any town where the people do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 'Even the dust of your town which clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you.' But know this: that the Kingdom of God is at hand. I tell you, on that day it will be better for Sodom than for that city.
|Do not give to the dogs that which is sacred, nor throw your pearls before swine, for fear that they trample them under their feet and then turn back to attack you. He who hears you, hears me; he who rejects you, rejects me; he who rejects me, rejects him who sent me.|
So Jesus' disciples went out and preached so as to lead men to be sorry for their sins and live as they should. They also cast out many evil spirits and cured many sick by pouring oil upon them. Then returning to Jesus they told him what they had done and taught.