Matthew 9:35 - 10:23

Illustrated New Resources

  • A Commission for All of Us

    by Craig Condon
    A young person once told Billy Graham that he or she would be going on a mission trip with a church youth group. The group planned on serving a village in a very poor country, helping to put a roof on their church and doing some Bible programs for children. The young person asked Billy Graham for advice. Billy Graham replied: “But God not only wants to work through you to help others. He also wants to work in you while you’re serving the people of this village. Be alert to His leading, therefore, asking Him to use this experience to teach you new things about Himself and what He is doing in the world. You may discover, for example, that in spite of their poverty, the people of this village are actually rich in faith and love. Sometimes our wealth and comfortable lifestyle get in the way of a true commitment to Christ.” “God may also want to open your eyes to the needs of the world. Most people today have very little, compared with what we have; many, in fact, face hunger and disease almost daily. Do we care? Many also do not know Christ, and have never had an opportunity to hear of His love.”...
  • Sermon Starters (Proper 6A)(2020)

    by Scott Hoezee
    Dallas Willard writes that when he was a boy, rural electrification was just happening and power lines were being strung throughout the countryside for the first time ever. But suppose even after the lines were up and running you ran across a house where the weary family still used only candles and kerosene lanterns for light, used scrubboards, ice chests, and rug beaters. A better life was waiting for them right outside their door if only they would let themselves be hooked into the power lines. “My friends,” you could proclaim, “electricity is at hand!” But suppose they just didn’t trust it, thought it was too much of a hassle, and anyway didn’t believe the promises that things might be easier with this newfangled juice running into their house. “If it’s all the same to you, we’ll stick with the old ways.” Maybe the kingdom is like that: it’s here, it’s real, it’s right outside your door. The kingdom of God is at hand! Don’t be so easily satisfied with the temporary pleasures of sex and money, power and food, cable TV and the wonders of technology. A better, exciting, hopeful, joyful kingdom of life is real. We need to be in the business of driving away the demons of doubt, despair, cynicism, arrogance, and anything else that hinders people from believing our message and so entering Jesus’ kingdom. The kind of unclean spirits Jesus so routinely encountered have not gone off duty, my friends. Just look around. It is because they remain so real and powerful that we must proclaim and also live under the rule of God right now. The kingdom of God is at hand. We live knowing that this is true! We live to help others believe it, too.
  • Of Feet and Tires

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    It's never been on my bucket list to re-enact Bible scenes in my own life, but I'll admit I have given this text a spin. One of my educational experiences was far less satisfactory than the others have been. After the last of my obligations was done on campus, after my apartment was packed up, after all fees were paid and graduation was secured (though I did not walk), I drove away. And, purposefully, after I had passed the city limits, I pulled into a car wash and washed my car. I cleaned it all over: the body, the hood, the roof, doors, side view mirrors, and trunk. I even used the hand-held wand to get the dust off the tires. It was a good feeling...
  • I Am Sending You

    by Debie Thomas
    In his book, Tokens of Trust: An Introduction to Christian Belief, former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, tells the story of a young Jewish woman named Etty Hillesum. Hillesum was in her twenties when the Germans occupied Holland. She was not a conventionally religious person, but between the years of 1941 and 1943, as she watched her world descend into nightmare, she became deeply aware of God’s hand on her life. Imprisoned in the transit camp at Westerbork (before being shipped to the gas chambers of Auschwitz), Etty wrote these words: “There must be someone to live through it all and bear witness to the fact that God lived, even in these times. And why should I not be that witness?” Williams describes Hillesum’s commitment this way: She decided to occupy a certain place in the world, a place where others could somehow connect with God through her. She took responsibility for making God credible in the world. She took responsibility for God’s believability...

Other New Resources

Recommended Resources

  • Discipleship

    Illustrations from the Archives
  • Indiscriminate Wishing Boundaries

    by D. Mark Davis
    includes lots of Greek exegesis
  • The Kingdom of God Is at Hand

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("I read a quirky anecdote in Ann Landers last night from a woman who said she was extremely heavy and always had a hard time on an airplane where the seats are so narrow. She wedged herself into a window seat and soon a cheerful man asked if he could sit down beside her...")
  • Worn Out by Life

    by Sil Galvan
    "When I was a teenager, probably about 13, my mother taught me a very valuable lesson I've never forgotten. We were grocery shopping in a small store one day when I noticed a family come into the store. It looked like a mother, her daughter, and a granddaughter. They were clean but dressed in worn clothes, and it was obvious they were less fortunate..." and other illustrations
  • Custom Harvesters

    from Homiletics Online
    ("Jacob Swier, 14, is a nomad of sorts. Every summer he wanders south toward Texas from the Midwest, travels west across the South and then angles northward through Colorado, Wyoming, eastern Oregon and Washington, until, by summer's end, he's near the Canadian border...")
  • Proper 11A

    by Bill Loader
    always good insights!
  • Exegetical Notes (Matthew 9.35-10.8)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis)
  • Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (Ordinary 11A)

    by Various Authors
    There's a wonderful legend about Saint Francis, the kindly thirteenth century monk, who one day informed his brethren that he planned to go into the nearby village on a preaching mission. He invited a novice to go along. On their way, they passed an injured man and Francis promptly stopped, saw to the poor fellow's needs and arranged medical care for him. They went on and soon passed a homeless man who was near starvation. Again, Francis stopped his journey and ministered to the hungry, homeless man. So it went, through the day: people in need, Francis lovingly caring for them as best he could until the sun was low in the sky. He told his novice friend it was time for them to return, now, to the monastery for evening prayers. But the young man said, "Father, you said we were coming to town to preach to the people." Francis smiled. Then he said, "My friend, that's what we've been doing all day."

    and many more!!

  • Movies/Scenes Representing Call

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard

Illustrated Resources from 2008 to 2019

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tab”. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • A Firm but Compassionate Father

    by Phil Bloom
    ("A father had an unruly son. The boy constantly broke the family rules. The father told his son that if he disobeyed one more time, he would send him to the attic, with only bread and water to eat. Well, he disobeyed again and the father ordered the boy upstairs...")
  • Baa, Baa

    Narrative Sermon by Frank Fisher
  • Be Briefed!

    by Peter Haynes
    We witnessed a God-moment this week. It followed a nasty event, in which a deranged man with a gun opened fire on a baseball practice in Alexandria, VA. In and of itself, it may not have made national news had it not been for the fact that this was a practice for an annual game between Republican and Democratic congressmen and women. Representative Steve Scalise was left critically injured. Two days later the game took place at Nationals Park, in front of almost 25,000 fans, which is more than the attendance at five of the twelve regular major league games played on Thursday. After the shooting, the Speaker of the House, a Republican, said that what happens to one happens to all. The Democratic leader followed it up by noting that together they are a family. Many sat side by side in the stands, regardless of party. At the end of the game, the Democratic coach, whose team won, handed to trophy to the Republican coach, to be placed in the office of their wounded representative, until he recovers.
  • Preaching Helps (Proper 6A)(2008)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Dallas Willard writes that when he was a boy, rural electrification was just happening and power lines were being strung throughout the countryside...")
  • A Great Time to Be the Church

    by Patrick Keen
    ("There have been many times in the history of the church for the church to manifest itself as the body of Christ. There have been times when the church has stood up to the challenge, and times when the church has utterly failed...")
  • Breathing Space

    by Anne Le Bas
    ("Matthew describes the crowd that Jesus met, people like those they will meet, as 'harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd'. The image is a powerful one. The Greek word translated as harassed literally means 'coming to pieces, coming apart at the seams, disintegrating' and the word helpless means 'tossed about'...")
  • Bad Sheep and Good Wolves

    by Linda McMillan
    There is also the well-known story of the two caged wolves, sometimes told as two caged tigers: A grandfather is talking with his grandson and he says there are two wolves inside of us which are always at war with each other. One of them is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred and fear. The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?” The grandfather quietly replies, “The one you feed.”
  • Proper 6A (2008)

    by Robert Morrison
    ("at the commencement exercises at Harvard University, J. K. Rowling urged the grads to use their influence and status to speak out on behalf of the powerless. After talking about how she found herself at a very low ebb after college, and how she thought of herself as a failure, she went on to say...")
  • Ordinary 11A (2008)

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ("These words always make me think of one of my brothers in the Lord, currently a scholastic a Jesuit student - in the Amazon and probably the man who taught me more about faithful Christian living in three months than anyone else in the rest of my so-called 'religious' life...")
  • Laughter, Seriously

    by Larry Patten
    ("Not long ago, I attended a discussion for persons involved in Fresno's literary community....It was my turn. I was a bad boy. I shared my name, mentioned I was clergy, briefly noted what I wrote, and then said, 'I represent God'. People laughed....")
  • Proper 6A (2008)

    by John Pridmore
    ("He was in the army and out in the field on manoeuvres. To make the best use of any spare time, he had packed a Greek New Testament into his haversack. During a pause in one of the exercises, he turned to the tenth chapter of Matthew's Gospel. There he read words of Jesus which we hear on Sunday...")
  • Intimacy, Fear and Forgiveness

    by Andrew Prior
    includes several quotes
  • Mapping the Mysteries

    by Jan Richardson
    ("In Katharine Harmon's wondrous book You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination, she includes an essay by Stephen S. Hall entitled I, Mercator. Hall writes, 'I like to say that I never travel without a map, but then none of us do...")
  • A Dramatic Reading

    by Helen Richmond
  • A Future and a Hope

    by James Standiford
    ("When people looked at Anthony Jerome Webb, better known as "Spud" Webb, and heard he wanted to play professional basketball, they laughed. After all he was only five feet six inches tall..." and other illustrations)
  • Rules for the Road

    by Bill Wigmore
    On June the 10th, 1935, “God did a truly wondrous thing.” Not too many in the world took notice when it happened; cause it was an easy thing to miss. The sky didn’t open up that day and no booming voice was heard coming out of a cloud. Even the principal players were probably unaware of God’s hand reaching down and touching their lives. But for the millions of sober alcoholics & addicts now looking back on the events of that June day, God’s action was obvious. A miracle happened in Akron, Ohio. Two hopeless alcoholics did something that never should have happened: They stayed sober. God did for them together what neither one had been able to do for himself alone. Bill Wilson was one of those men...

Illustrated Resources from the Archives

  • Ain't That Good News!

    by Bob Allred
    ("As a child I was deeply impressed by a furloughed missionary visit to my Dad's church by the Paul Decker family. They had returned from their first of many tours of duty to Sierra Leone, West Africa...")
  • Compassion Workers

    by Mickey Anders
    ("A tourist collected a few of the signs in English that monolingual Americans traveling abroad must contend with. In an airline ticket office in Copenhagen, there is this promise: 'We take your bags and send them in all directions'....")
  • Wanted: A Few Good Men

    by Marjory Zoet Bankson
    ("Nouwen writes 'I was educated in a seminary that made me believe that ministry was essentially an individual affair. I had to be well trained and well formed, and after six years of training and formation, I was considered well equipped to preach...")
  • Healing Hearts

    by Tom Cox
    ("Science tells us there are two kinds of forces: centrifugal force that throws everything outward, and centripetal force that throws everything inward (like a whirlpool). Spiritually speaking you're much the same; drawing towards, or driving away, attracting or distracting - there is no middle position when it comes to Christ...")
  • You're Speaking My Language

    by Tom Cox
    ("We use the term 'briefing session' nowadays. In our word saturated society, where a ton of verbage descends with every pronouncement, 'brief' can be the most inaccurate word of all...")
  • Compassion for the Lost

    by Adrian Dieleman
    ("I read the story recently of how Louis XII of France treated his enemies after he ascended to the throne. Before coming to power, he had been cast into prison and kept in chains. Later when he did become king, he was urged to seek revenge...")
  • Compassion for the Harassed and Helpless

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("Standing around after church one Sunday a man told this story, "I was sitting in my car outside Schwartz’s Bakery, waiting for the missus to finish shopping, when I saw the strangest thing...")
  • Ordinary 11A (2005)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time there was a family which loved to garden, the mommy and the daddy and the two sons and the one daughter worked in the garden from the time the kids were little...")
  • Ordinary 11A (1996)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time in a certain parish there were many complaints about the quality of uniforms which the grammar school athletic teams wore...")
  • Proper 6A (2002)

    by Roger Haugen
    "Bill Easum writes: Where is Jesus’ mission field? Wherever you are – your living room, driveway, backyard, place of business, recreation time, online activity, and sometimes even the person sitting in the pew next to you or in that dull committee meeting. The mission field is anywhere you find people on a spiritual journey..."
  • Cure or Heal Every Disease?

    by Mark Haverland
    ("As I’ve cleaned out the office this past week, throwing away all the stuff left by my predecessor, I came upon a page from the New Yorker, August 6, 2001. Circled in red is a quote from a poem of Solzhenitsyn Growing Old. 'How much easier it is then how much more receptive we are to death..." and other illustrations)
  • What Are We Celebrating?

    by Mark Haverland
    ("William Williman tells the story of visiting a pastor in a poor, neglected inner city church who was presiding over the building of a grand, new and expensive church building...")
  • Compassion Is in the Call

    by Larry Hill
    ("I was riding down the street one day in the city where I live. As I drove I saw a man pushing an old discarded grocery cart. In the cart were lots of items that I could not make out...")
  • God's Biggest Problem

    by John Jewell
    ("Speaking of troubles, perhaps you have had days like the man who came home after a very rugged day at work and didn't want to hear about any problems. 'I've had a very bad day today,' he said to his wife, 'So if you have any bad news tonight, please keep it to yourself.' 'Okay,' she answered, 'No bad news. Now for the good news...'...")
  • No Other Plan

    by David Martyn
    Once upon a time, long long ago, before time even began God had a plan. It was to create a world, a beautiful place, with mountains and oceans, rivers and valleys, and right in the middle a garden. And there would be animals: bunny rabbits and elephants, puppy dogs and mountain lions. There would be birds: eagles and robins, hawks and chickadees. There would be sea creatures: blue whales and rainbow trout, dolphins and starfish. And, last but certainly not least, God was going to create human beings and they would all live in peace and harmony in this wonderful garden. Well, as you know, something happened and the angels came to God and said “God, we think you goofed. That world you have created is a mess. The animals don’t get along and the people are always fighting with each other.” “Oh,” said God. And God thought for a bit and said, “I have a plan. I am going to find one family that doesn’t fight and get them to build a boat, then they and two over every animals will get in the boat, there will be a flood that will wash it all clean and they can start all over again.” “Good plan,” said the angels and that is what God did. Well it wasn’t too long and the whole world was a mess again...
  • Aquariums, Soggy Bread & Enslaved Bishops

    by Jim McCrea
    ("One person who understood that was Hugh Strickland's father. Here's how Hugh describes an incident from his childhood: 'There was, down on the river, a long old steamboat dock.... We, and lots of other folks, fished from this dock for food......")
  • Permission to Fail

    by Jim McCrea
    ("A woman in her 60s or 70s died, leaving a grief-stricken widower, a man who had loved his wife very deeply. Some time after she died, when he felt he was finally emotionally ready to go through her papers, he found something that very much upset him...")
  • Don't Talk to the Norwegians!

    by Steven Molin
    The purpose of ministry is not to fill the pews with people, but to fill the heart with faith. Why do you and I need to know this? It is because most of us who are actively involved in church spend most of our time talking to the Norwegians. That is to say, we talk to people who are like us; who think like us, and believe like us, and worship like us, and sing like us. We don’t venture outside our comfort zones to share our faith with those who have none. Ironically, we don’t invite unchurched people to join us in church, we invite those who already have a church home. If our purpose is to fill hearts not pews, then that is a rather unproductive activity...
  • A Father's Love and Child Play

    by Paul Nuechterlein
    ("there is another standard for being religious, for being Christian, and he proceeds to tell the story of a Russian woman named Tatyana Sapunova. Mr. Pitts writes: 'Two weeks ago, she was driving with her mother near Moscow when she saw a sign planted by the side of the road. 'Death To [Jews],' it said. She stopped and attempted to tear it down...")
  • God Is Our First Priority

    by William Oldland
    listen to the story of a young man named Francis Giovanni. Francis' family was very wealthy. Francis was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and he acted that way. At the age of twenty Francis enlisted in the army. He wanted all the glory and honor that came with being a great soldier. So, he went to war and was captured. After his release he went home where he returned to his old ways while he recovered from an illness. Still wanting glory, honor, and personal prestige, Francis went back to the war. But something wasn’t right. He went home and then went on a pilgrimage to Rome. Outside of St. Peter's he saw the beggars and gave them his money and his clothes. He spent the rest of the day begging with them. This experience affected him immensely. Francis returned home. He broke away from his friends. He gave away his money and when his parents gave him more he gave that away too. Francis spent his days with the poor and the lepers. He dressed in rags and started to rebuild an old abandoned chapel. His father wanted him to continue in the family business. He was enraged with Francis' activities. As a result he put him in a cellar and appealed to the authorities. He took Francis before the Bishop. Basically, Francis was given a choice. He could obey his father and use the family goods wisely or give them up. Upon hearing these words, Francis gave up his inheritance, gave his father the clothes he was wearing, and left naked into the woods. We know this young man as St. Francis...
  • We Are Called to Radical Discipleship

    by William Oldland
    In 1877, a handful of Roman Catholic and Anglican missionaries arrived in Uganda. They had permission to preach only to the members of the court by order of King Mutesa. Mutesa's successor was King Mwanga. He became angry when he learned that the converts to Christianity placed loyalty to Christ over loyalty to the king. In 1885 he began killing anyone who went near a Christian Mission. When he couldn't stop them from going to the Missions he decided to systematically wipe Christianity from Uganda. These thirty men were all converts to Christianity. They were also pages to the court. Mwanga thought this mass execution would have the desired effect of turning everyone away from Christianity. In reality, it had the opposite effect. The thirty men walked to their deaths. As they walked they sang hymns and they prayed for their enemies. The people watching were inspired and they started to seek more information from the Christians who were still present. Within just a few years, Christianity had spread throughout the land. The martyrs showed the people that Christianity was not just a white man's religion but was truly African. Most of the missionary work was done by Africans and not white missionaries. Presently, Uganda has the largest percentage of professed Christians of any nation in Africa. Christianity is so strong that it even survived the persecution by the military dictatorship of Idi Amin in the 1970's almost one hundred years later...
  • A Vision for Ministry

    by John Pavelko
    ("I remember seeing a World War II movie as a teenager that was not nearly as authentic as Saving Private Ryan but it still held my attention. The story was about an American officer played by Lee Marvin who had the assignment of freeing a group of American soldiers from a Nazi prison...")
  • Ruminations on the Gospel Text

    by Thom Shuman
    ("I have to admit that on some days, especially Mondays, whenever there is a knock on the door, there is a part of me that says, "I hope it is someone important, some celebrity who is just dropping by to meet me because they've heard what a gifted preacher I am...")
  • As Sheep Without a Shepherd

    by Alex Thomas
    When I went through a particular difficult time in my life, struggling through a divorce and at one point being without a job, and all the things that I thought were important to me gone, I had feelings like Kris Kristopherson writes in one of his songs: "Failure had me locked out on the wrong side of the door And all that was behind me was my shadow on the floor And lonesome was more than a state of mind I held on to one small thin thread of faith - that God cares
  • Who Cares?

    by Alex Thomas
    ("Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of meaninglessness and empty life. It strikes when we feel that our separation is deeper than usual, because we have violated another life, a life which we have loved, or from which we were estranged...")
  • The Two Movements of the Christian Life

    by J. Barry Vaughn
    ("Have you ever seen a labyrinth or walked one? Whether or not you’ve seen or walked a labyrinth, you probably know what I’m talking about. A few years ago, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco reintroduced the labyrinth as a spiritual discipline...")
  • How to Be a Disciple

    by Dallas Willard
    ("As Christ's apprentices, we are personally interacting with him as we do our job, and he is with us, as he promised, to teach us how to do it best. Few have illustrated this better than Kirby Puckett, for 13 years center fielder for the Minnesota Twins baseball team. He had a career batting average of .318, made the All-Star lineup ten years in a row, and won six Golden Gloves for defensive play...")
  • A Compassionate God Equals a Compassionate Believer

    by Tim Zingale
    ("Peirre von Passen in his book Days of our Years, tells of a little hunchback, Ugolin, who lived in a small French village. He had a difficult because he was a monstrous looking person. Children would not play with him...")
  • Proper 6A (2005)

    by Tim Zingale
    ("The columnist, George Will wrote a column several weeks ago in which he said, we American should be more like a fore fathers in that we should display more courage, stoicism and self-reliance...")

Other Resources from 2017 to 2019

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tab”. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Other Resources from 2008 to 2016

Other Resources from 2005 to 2007

Other Resources from 2002 to 2004

Other Resources from the Archives

Resources from the Bookstore

Children's Resources

Recursos en Español

Currently Unavailable

  • Tongues of Fire

    by Jim and Sherry Douglass
  • The Unqualified Twelve

    by Beverly Gaventa
  • Ordinary 11A (2008)

    by Wenonah Kateri Chapman, OP
  • Tips for Discipleship: Be on a Mission

    by John and Robin McCullough-Bade
  • Gutsy Love

    by Kathy Donley
    The Rev. Dr. Joel Hunter is pastor of a 20,000 member mega-church based in Orlando, Florida. This week he reflected on the massacre in the Pulse nightclub which happened one year ago on Wednesday. Right after the event, he told his congregation, “This event has shaken me to the core, not because I have so many friends in the LGBTQ community, but because I have so few. I have to discover why I don’t have more relationships in what is a very vulnerable part of our community.” Joel Hunter is a busy man, with more than enough to do already, but like Jesus, he saw the crowd and their pain brought forth a visceral reaction. Over the last year, he has reached out to form relationships with LGBTQ folks, to provide a platform for their stories to be heard in his church.
  • Lost and Found

    by Cynthia Black
  • Domingo 11

    por Daniel Meynen
  • You're Hired

    by David Russell
    ("There’s a wonderful story about Saint Francis, who one day informed the brothers that he planned to go into a nearby village on a preaching mission. He invited a novice monk to go along...")
  • Ordinary 11

    by Walter Ray Williams
    ("I remember years ago talking to a close friend of mine about my intentions to sort of reinvestigate the Christian faith. He laughed and said it sounded like I was talking about choosing between flavors of ice cream...")