These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them as follows: "Do not make your way to gentile territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town; go instead to the lost sheep of the House of Israel." (Matthew 10:6)
For a man who spent much of his time in the company of those on the fringes of society, or with the underclass such as tax gatherers and prostitutes, as well as with people in various states of immorality, the statement in Matt. 10:6 appears to be a somewhat heartless, unkind injunction to 'the twelve.'
In my earlier post, "Still Scratching the Surface of Christianity" I quoted a comment by Bart D. Ehrman, the author of, "Lost Scriptures" in which he points out certain emphases in contrast such as those who can understand and those who cannot; between knowledge that is exoteric (available to all) and that which is esoteric (available only to insiders); between the immature outsiders (regular Christians, symbolically called "Hebrews") and the mature insiders (Gnostics, symbolically called "Gentiles").
If one now applies that comment to the text quoted above, a meaning can emerge which is more in tune with what we read of Jesus' character. There would be little if any point in preaching the 'good news' or gnosis to the gentiles as they were already in possession of gnosis. Similarly, why waste time in Samaritan towns where gnosis (albeit mixed with a degree of error) was already present? They had already been awakened. It was the 'lost sheep' of the House of Israel, the unenlightened, literalist Hebrews, who needed to become enlightened to the true meaning of scripture, to refrain from 'taking things as read.'
It was then, and still is now, important to change our way of thinking, or repent as both Jesus the Christ and John the Baptist often said. The principle of repentance and the acquisition of gnosis applies just as much in other fields, such as science, psychology, politics as it does in more religious and psychospiritual areas of endeavour. The time is here when we must search beyond the forms of the realist universe around us, to gain fresh understanding, wisdom, and gnosis, if we are to meet the needs of humanity. Whether the news out there is good or bad, we need to listen and to hear.