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Bible Commentaries
Matthew 10

Concordant Commentary of the New TestamentConcordant NT Commentary

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Verses 1-22

1 Compare Mar_3:13-19 ; Luk_6:12-16 . See Luk_9:1 .

2 There is some variation in the order of the names, as well as of the names themselves, in the lists of the twelve apostles, but they are always found in three groups, headed by Peter, Philip and James, as follows: Mat_10:2 Mar_3:16 Luk_6:14 Act_1:13 Simon Peter Simon Peter Simon Peter Peter Andrew James Zebedee Andrew John James Zebedee John James James John Andrew John Andrew Philip Philip Philip Philip Bartholomew Bartholomew Bartholomew Thomas Bartholomew Thomas Matthew Matthew Matthew Thomas Thomas Matthew James Alpheus James Alpheus James Alpheus James Alpheus Thaddleus Thaddeus Simon the Zealot Simon the Zealot Simon Cananite Simon Cananite Judas James Judas James Judas Iscariot Judas Iscariot Judas Iscariot Matthias ( Act_1:26 ) Bartholomew is usually identified with Nathanael ( Joh_1:44-46 ; Joh_21:2 ). Judas James, in order to distinguish from Judas Iscariot, was called Thaddeus, and Simon (not Peter), was termed the Zealot, or its Hebrew equivalent the Cananite (not Canaanite). Of course, Matthias takes the place of Judas Iscariot in Acts.

5 Compare Mar_6:7-15 ; Luk_9:1-11 .

5 The Lord had been heralding the kingdom alone and had confirmed the proclamation by signs which indicated its nearness. Now He associates twelve of His disciples with Him in this work and dispatches them with authority over disease and death and the demons so that they could prove its proximity by both their words and their works. This is the first kingdom proclamation. The second is not given until after His resurrection ( Mat_28:16-20 ). They differ on almost every point. This was to be exercised in the land alone. Not even Samaria was to hear it. It was strictly for the lost sheep of Israel's fold and included no others. The second kingdom proclamation is for all nations, except Israel. This first kingdom proclamation was carried on until the crisis in our Lord's ministry when it became evident that the nation had rejected Him and His message. Then He charged His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus, the Messiah ( Mat_16:20 ). Even though Peter and John are given a foretaste of the kingdom on the mount of transformation, He charged them not to tell of the vision until the Son of Mankind should be risen from among the dead ( Mat_17:9 ). From this time until Pentecost this proclamation was interrupted. Anticipating the renewal of its proclamation during His absence, our Lord gave the keys to

Peter when he, in contrast to the apostate nation, acknowledged Him to be the Messiah, the Son of the living God ( Mat_16:19 ). The door to the kingdom is locked when its proclamation is forbidden. At Pentecost Peter uses the keys and once more proclaims the proximity of the kingdom, conditioned on the repentance of the nation. At first a small proportion of the people accept the message, but it is not long ere the nation, as such, by the murder of Stephen, and the attempts on Peter and Paul, signifies its rejection. At the end of Acts it is formally set aside by Paul's public proclamation of their apostasy. When God once more turns to Israel in the future it will be proclaimed again and, in the midst of great affliction, the nation, represented by the hundred and forty-four thousand celibates ( Rev_7:3-8 ) and the vast throng ( Rev_7:9-17 ), will accept the proclamation and enter the kingdom. Then Peter's epistles will unlock the door. Then all Israel will be saved ( Rom_11:26 ), and the presence of the kingdom will preclude its further proclamation. This gospel of the kingdom is not concerned with sin or individual salvation. The pardon of sins, based on the sufferings of Christ, is in the commission for mankind in Luke's account ( Luk_24:46-49 ). It was not confined to Israel. Christ had not suffered when this gospel of the kingdom was first proclaimed. It can refer to nothing else than the kingdom promised to Israel in the Hebrew scriptures.

10 Compare Luk_10:1-16 .

14 See Neh_5:13 Act_13:51 ; Act_18:6 .

16-22 Compare Mar_13:9-13 Luk_21:12-18 .

19 Compare Luk_12:11-12 See Exo_4:12 Jer_1:7 .

24 See Luk_6:40 Joh_15:20 .

26 See Mar_4:22 Luk_8:17 ; Luk_12:2 ; Luk_12:332 See Luk_12:8-9 Rev_:3:5 .

33 See Mar_8:38 2Ti_2:12 .

34-36 Compare Luk_12:39-53 . See Mic_7:6 .

Verses 23-42

23 The mood of the verb is most important here. The Lord is not telling what would but what may occur. His apostles were frail mortals, easily discouraged, so He does no more than hint at a possible failure of their mission. The common version, by ignoring the subjunctive form of the verbs, has given rise to much perplexity and speculation. This proclamation brought the kingdom very near, so that the Lord's coming in glory and power should not have been delayed much longer. That He did not come at that time is no proof that He was mistaken, but rather of His foreknowledge, for He was careful to phrase the prospect so as to provide for this contingency.

25 Our Lord calls Beezeboul a householder, which, probably, is the meaning of the name. (See note on Mat_12:24 ). The disciples should expect no better treatment than their Lord had received, yet He exhorts them not to be afraid, for even the unseen powers shall be manifested.

28 The soul is the seat of sensation, but is popularly confounded with the spirit. A soulish man is one who is swayed by his senses. He may even be sensual, for such is the usual rendering of Jam_3:15 . Those of the apostles who were killed later will lose nothing in the kingdom. Their souls will be surfeited with joy in that day. Their death will only add to their soul's delight in the resurrection. They, however, who come under God's judgment in the kingdom will not only have their bodies destroyed in the vale of Hinnom, just below Jerusalem, where the offal of the city was incinerated, but they will miss all the joys which their souls long for in the millennium. The martyrs who die for the sake of the kingdom have nothing to fear. So far as their souls are concerned, death gives them an immediate entrance into the delights of that earthly paradise, even though at their martyrdom it was thousands of years in the future.

29 The greatness of God is as evident in the minute details of His creation as in the vast immensities of stellar space. His microscopic care meets the needs of His creatures, and reaches their hearts. Nothing is too trivial for Him Whose presence pervades the universe. The ultimate electron is as much His providence as the cosmos in its entirety.

34 The natural inference arising from the proclamation of the kingdom would be that, when Israel believed, the era of the millennium would immediately commence. But it is never wise to reason from God's apparent procedure. He may have deeper plans which do not appear on the surface. The proclamation of the kingdom was made in all good faith, yet we know now, as God always has known, that it was not intended to introduce the kingdom at that time. Moreover, He had also revealed that, before it could come, there would be a time of great distress in which His faithful followers would endure such affliction as had not been known on the earth before. Since the kingdom must be established by force, He thrusts in His sword, that peace may follow.

37 See Luk_14:26-27 .

38 See Mat_16:24 ; Mar_8:34-35 ; Luk_9:23-24 .

39 This has special reference to the time of Jacob's trouble, at the time of the end, when many will suffer and die rather than worship the image of the wild beast ( Rev_13:15 ). They will avoid suffering, or save their souls, only at the risk of God's indignation, and the loss of the pleasures of the kingdom. Those who endure affliction for the kingdom will enjoy the bliss of the kingdom. They destroy their souls to find them. Those who avoid suffering by yielding to the pressure of the adversary, will have no portion in the kingdom. They find their souls for a brief period only to destroy them for the thousand years.

40 When the Son of Mankind comes in His glory to sit upon His throne, then judgment will proceed on the basis, not of personal sinfulness, but of the treatment of His disciples during the time of their need. This principle is a fitting close to His instructions for proclaiming the kingdom. It shows that they are not commissioned to preach the evangel of God, which is for us today.

41 See 1Ki_17:1018:4 ; 2Ki_4:8 ; Heb_13:2 .

2-4 Compare Luk_7:18-23 .

2 John Was the greatest of all the prophets. Yet even he was not fully aware of the mind of God. If Christ is Messiah, and this he does not doubt, why is he allowed to languish in prison? The Jews had difficulty in reconciling the prophecies concerning the Messiah. Some seemed to set Him forth as the Suffering One; others made Him a glorious King. So some looked for two Messiahs; one, Messiah ben Joseph to suffer, and another, Messiah ben David, to reign. Perhaps some such thought came to John. He had openly rebuked Herod, but the Lord made no effort to get him out of Herod's hands, and did nothing to assert His own power. Was He the Suffering One, and was there to be another to rule with an iron club? We can now see that both Joseph and David were a combination of suffering and glory, and that there was in each case an interval between the two. But this could hardly be made known at the time He was sending out His apostles. It would have disheartened them to know that their proclamation was not destined to succeed. So our Lord does not give a definite reply to John's messengers, but bids them testify to what they saw. He hints that John might be snared by His course. Yet, however inexplicable it may appear to him, He assures him that it is his happy portion to trust where he cannot understand.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Matthew 10". Concordant Commentary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/aek/matthew-10.html. 1968.
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