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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary
Matthew 10

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 35

36. Jesus chooses the twelve apostles (Matthew 9:35-38; Matthew 10:1-4; Mark 3:7-19; Luke 6:12-19)

The more Jesus' work grew, the more people came seeking him; and the more deeply saddened he became as he saw the confused and helpless spiritual condition of the Jewish people. There were plenty of opportunities for worthwhile work but there were few workers, and Jesus asked his followers to pray that God would supply the right workers to meet the need (Matthew 9:35-38; Mark 3:7-12).

So urgent was the need that Jesus decided to appoint twelve helpers immediately. He therefore spent the night in prayer and in the morning announced his choice. The twelve were to be known as apostles (from the Greek word apostello, meaning 'to send'), as Jesus was to send them out in the service of the kingdom. To begin with he would keep them with him for their spiritual training, then he would send them out equipped with his messianic authority to heal those afflicted by Satan and urge people to enter the kingdom of God. The era of the Messiah had arrived. As twelve tribes had formed the basis of the old people of God, so twelve apostles would be the basis of the new (Matthew 10:1; Mark 3:13-15; Luke 6:12-13). The following list includes alternative names by which some of the apostles were known.

Simon Peter, or Cephas Mat_10:2; Joh_1:42

Andrew, brother of Peter Mat_10:2; Joh_1:40

James, son of Zebedee Mar_3:17; Luk_8:51

John, brother of James Mar_3:17; Joh_21:20

Philip Mat_10:3; Joh_6:5

Bartholemew, or Nathanael Mat_10:3; Joh_21:2

Thomas, the Twin (Didymus) Mat_10:3; Joh_21:2

Matthew, or Levi Mat_10:3; Luk_5:27

James, son of Alphaeus Mat_10:3; Act_1:13

Thaddaeus, or Lebbaeus, or
Judas the son of James
Mat_10:3; Luk_6:16

Simon the Zealot, the Patriot,
or the Cananaean
Mat_10:4; Luk_6:15

Judas Iscariot Mat_10:4; Luk_22:48


Verses 5-42

62. The twelve sent out (Matthew 10:5-42; Mark 6:7-13; Luke 9:1-6)

Jesus sent out the twelve apostles to preach the good news that the kingdom of the Messiah had come. The miraculous powers of the Messiah were given to them also, so that the knowledge of his love and mercy might spread more quickly throughout the land (Luke 9:1-2).

There would be no time during Jesus' lifetime to spread the gospel worldwide, so the apostles had to concentrate on Israel. After Jesus' death and resurrection they could then take the gospel to the countries beyond (Matthew 10:5-8; Matthew 28:19-20). They were to take with them only the bare necessities for daily needs, so as not to be hindered in their travels. Also they were not to waste time preaching to people who refused to listen, when others in nearby areas had not even heard (Matthew 10:9-15; Luke 9:3-6).

Although they preached good news and did good works, the apostles could expect persecution. If brought to trial, whether before Jewish leaders or government officials, they would have the help of God's Spirit in giving them the right words to say (Matthew 10:16-20). They would meet opposition from friends and relatives, but they were to press on urgently in their mission. They would not even cover the whole of Palestine within the time of Jesus' earthly ministry (Matthew 10:21-23).

As servants of Jesus, the apostles could expect the same sort of opposition as their master received (Matthew 10:24-25), but they were not to fear to teach publicly the things Jesus had taught them privately (Matthew 10:26-27). They were to maintain a reverent obedience to God, knowing that as their heavenly Father he would watch over them. He never forsakes those who are faithful to him (Matthew 10:28-33).

The followers of Jesus must not expect ease and comfort. They must put loyalty to Jesus before all other loyalties, and this may result in conflict and division, even within their own families. They must be prepared for hardship, persecution and possibly death, but in the end they will not be the losers. In sacrificing the life of self-pleasing in order to please their Lord, they will find life in its truest sense (Matthew 10:34-39). All who welcome Jesus' messengers into their homes are really welcoming Jesus who sent them, and God the Father who sent him. Help given to Jesus' messengers will be rewarded as if given to Jesus himself (Matthew 10:40-42).

 


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Bibliography Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Matthew 10:4". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/matthew-10.html. 2005.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, December 12th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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