Two by Two – Matthew 10:1-5

by Pastor John Fredericksen

Print This Article

Often when missionaries return home from the foreign field on furlough, they decide not to return. Author, Gordon Franz attributes the high attrition rate for missionaries to loneliness and discouragement. He also suggests this problem could be solved by following a more biblical example.

Have you ever noticed that in Scripture, when the Savior sends people out in ministry, it is nearly always in pairs, and not alone? In our text, the apostles are listed in pairs, either brother with brother, or friend with friend. Likewise, when seventy disciples were sent out to harvest eternal souls with their Gospel of the Kingdom, Christ “sent them two by two” (Luke 10:1-2). There were likely multiple reasons for following this pattern. The Savior told them, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves…But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to their counsels, and they will scourge you in the synagogues…”(Matthew 10:16-17). These brave souls were going to minister in spiritually hostile territory. Going in pairs may have brought greater safety by making a violent attack less likely. Working in pairs likely helped lessen discouragement, and was more effective in answering questions or objections. Two heads have always been better than one. The reason for going in pairs may have been to follow the divine principle of Deuteronomy 19:15, which says, “…at the mouth of two witnesses, or…three witnesses, shall the matter be established.” In other words, it gave them greater credibility. Moreover, working together enabled them to forge a strong bond with another believer as they ministered together. It is noteworthy that as these apostles continued their ministry in the Book of Acts, Peter and John continue ministering as a team (Acts 3:1-3).

God the Holy Spirit confirms this principle when separating and ordaining the Apostle Paul for ministry. “The Holy Ghost said [to prophets and apostles in the church at Antioch] Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them” (Acts 13:2). Paul also continues this pattern of ministering with others throughout his lifetime. The lesson to learn from all this is, whenever possible, when you go to minister, especially to share the gospel, it is wise to enlist someone to go with you. They can pray for you and for the lost as the gospel is presented. They can help give biblical answers to honest questions. You can also encourage one another to be faithful and enjoy sweet fellowship together.

Free Mail Subscription

Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."