What is this passage about?  Is it about the disciples, the twelve?  Yes, of course it is.

These are the final words of instruction to them.  Whoever welcomes you guys welcomes me says Jesus and whoever welcomes me welcomes the Father who sent me [10:40]. Their mission was God’s mission, their words were God’s words.  The people they met encountered God in their teachings.

These are strong words, but we know that these disciples turned the world upside down with their proclamation.  Whoever welcomed them did welcome Christ and the one who sent him.

What is this passage about today?  These disciples are long gone.  Do the words still apply today?  How do we welcome them and in so doing welcome Christ and the Father?  One way is by receiving their witness, by joyfully believing the new Testament Gospel when we receive the message they wrote down for us, we receive Christ.  It is the old, old story, as they hymn says, but it’s new in every generation and those who want to hear it most are those who already know best.  Faith comes by hearing, as the apostle Paul wrote, hearing the word of Christ [Romans 10:17] as it was spoken and written by the disciples and by others who were converted by their words.

This is why we call the church “apostolic” it lives on in the teachings handed down by the apostles.

The church is not a club of like minded individuals, it is not a voluntary organisation.  The church is a body of believers who welcome the apostles teaching – who trust it and live it and continue the mission.


Trevor Marshall

Lay Preacher

Leven Roland Uniting Church