soon news of a sudden and drastic
change in attitude towards him and his gospel reaches Paul. Certain Jewish teachers, who are professed to be Christians and acknowledge Jesus as Messiah, are obscuring the simplicity of the gospel of free grace with their propaganda. They insist that to faith in Christ must be added circumcision and obedience to the Mosaic Law. Paul realizes clearly that this teaching will neutralize the truth of Christ’s all-sufficiency for salvation and destroy the message of justification by faith. Paul does not give in to the distortion of the gospel but assisted by the grace of God and mental toughness required in such conditions challenges his detractors and establishes the truth of the gospel which eventually triumphs.
The gospel of today affirms that the preaching of the kingdom is not limited to the Twelve. Mission and prayer should go hand in hand. A broader circle of disciples thus participates in Jesus’ mission, just like Moses was once assisted by the seventy elders (Exod 24:1). The evangelist puts greater emphasis on the urgency of the mission, but also on the hostility the disciples will have to face. The harvest is plentiful. The Word of God has found fertile soil and the missionaries are invited to collaborate in gathering the fruits of the harvest. They should travel light and not waste time with extensive greetings, and be satisfied with the hospitality that they are being offered, and not search for better lodging. In the houses they offer their hosts the biblical ‘Peace to this house’ and in the cities they cure the sick and proclaim the nearness of the Kingdom of God. There will be opposition to their mission which should be endured.