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Bible Commentaries

Brown's Commentary on the New Testament

Matthew 10

Introduction

  1. Introduction : Read: Eph 2:10
    1. Context: Matt 9:36-38

Verses 1-23

  1. Foolishness to the World
    1. The Calling of the Disciples
      Matthew 10:1-4 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. 2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
      1. The main feature of this list is its diversity. Jesus chose His disciples from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences. About all they had in common was the fact that none of them were from privileged or backgrounds of high status.
      2. 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
      3. (v1) HE gave them “Exousia” power…delegated power because He was with them physically:
        1. He equipped those He called.
      4. These “Misfits” were used mightily for US: Ephesians 2:18-22 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
      5. (and they will be remembered) Revelation 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
      6. He equipped them and He equips those He calls today, but with “dunamis” power – anointed power from the Holy Spirit:
        1. Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
        2. 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
    2. Sending the Disciples
      1. Go to the Jews
        Matthew 10:5-6 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
        1. Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
        2. Romans 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
      2. The “Mission”
        Matthew 10:7-8 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
        1. They were “front men” for Jesus – they were the advance party preparing the way with both words and signs and wonders!
        2. They were preach about the King – King Jesus!
        3. Freely they had been given to…freely they should give out!
          1. It’s a principle of ministry today – we should not hold onto anything too tightly and have a light touch on the ministry God has given us because it’s ALL HIS!
      3. Trust God
        Matthew 10:9-15 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, 10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. 11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. 12 And when ye come into an house, salute it. 13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
        1. They should expect God to meet their needs, without taking undue concern for their own needs. But they should expect that God would normally meet their needs through the inspired hospitality of others.
        2. Those who do receive these disciples can expect to be blessed (let your peace come upon it); but those cities who refuse them can expect to be treated as Gentiles cities (shake off the dust from your feet), and as such, are in grave danger of judgment.
    3. Harmless and Wise
      1. Sheep in the Midst of Wolves
        Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
      2. Take No Thought for What You Will Say
        Matthew 10:17-20 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
        1. God will give us the words we need when we need them by the power of the Holy Spirit!
        2. Rhema – Armor of God – the revealed word of God for the moment!!
    4. We will have Tribulation
      Matthew 10:21-23 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

      How did the Apostles and some of the other pillars of early Christendom die?
      1. Matthew: Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, killed by a sword wound
      2. Mark: Died in Alexandria, Egypt after being dragged by horses through the streets until dead
      3. Luke: Was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous preaching to the lost.
      4. John: Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution in Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered from death. John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos. He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos. The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.
      5. Peter: He was crucified upside down on an xshaped cross. According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way that Jesus Christ had died.
      6. James: The leader of the church in Jerusalem was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller's club. *This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.
      7. James the Great: Son of Zebedee was a fisherman by trade when Jesus called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was ultimately beheaded in Jerusalem . The Roman officer who guarded James watched, amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.
      8. Bartholomew: Also known as Nathaniel was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.
      9. Andrew: Was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers, they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: 'I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.' He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he expired.
      10. Thomas: Was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the subcontinent
      11. Jude: Was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.
      12. Matthias: The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot was stoned and then beheaded.
      13. Paul: Was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment, which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire. These letters, which taught many of the foundational doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.

        Perhaps this is a reminder to us that our sufferings here are indeed minor compared to the intense persecution and cold cruelty faced by the apostles and disciples during their times for the sake of the Faith. “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: But he that endureth to the end shall be saved”.

Verses 24-31

  1. The Master and His Disciple
    1. The Servant’s Place
      Matthew 10:24-25 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
      1. Mark 10:45 …Jesus came as a servant and is our example (WWJD)
    2. Fear God
      Matthew 10:26-31 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. 27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. 28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
      1. Fear He who has the eternal power over us!

Verses 32-42

  1. Discipleship 101
    1. Confessing Jesus is Lord
      Matthew 10:32-33 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
      1. “Oxymoron” – seemingly self-contradictory saying; as in “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly.” Or …one of my favorites is Army Intelligence!
      2. Here, we find that an oxymoron would be a “secret” or “closet” Christian!
      3. What’s the context? Jesus is saying that we should be fearing God who can put our soul in hell.
    2. Count the Cost of Discipleship
      Matthew 10:34-40 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. 40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
      1. Luke 14:26-33 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
      2. Luke 9:23-26 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? 26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.
    3. Cup of Cold Water
      Matthew 10:41-42 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. 42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
      Living water, manna from heaven –
      1. Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
      2. Serving the truth of the glorious gospel of grace to all who will receive!
  2. Conclusion
    1. Take the words of Matthew 10 to heart…die to self, live for Christ!
Copyright Statement
Brown's Commentary on the New Testament is reproduced by permission of author. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Brown, Jim. "Commentary on Matthew 10". "Brown's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnc/matthew-10.html. 2017.