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In this Chapter we have the call of the Apostles, and Christ's mission given to them, to work miracles, and preach the Gospel.
(Matthew 10:1 ) "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."
We have here the Lord Jesus calling his Apostles. Their number twelve. Perhaps in allusion to the twelve tribes of Israel. The Church is. represented by twelve stars. Revelation 12:1 . And the twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem are not without the same signification. Revelation 11:12-14 . Yea, Jesus speaks of them, as sitting upon thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Luke 22:30 . The call of every disciple of Christ is the same. The Holy Ghost, by Peter, shews that the election of the church is discoverable by it. 2 Peter 1:10 . For if ho hath saved us, he will call us. 2 Timothy 1:9 . And whom he called, them he also justified. Romans 8:30 . Oh! how truly evident this is, in the life of every believer. And in his ministers who are sent by him (and those unsent by him have no authority at all), how sure the spiritual effects which follow. Jesus' word, by them, works over unclean spirits; and all soul diseases, and sicknesses, in Jesus' name and power are healed.
"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."
I do not think it necessary to dwell upon the names of the Apostles, having, in my Poor Man's Concordance, already noticed each particular. But shall only briefly observe in this place, how blessed were those holy men, whose names were first written in the book of life: all excepting the traitor Judas; and his place was also marked from all eternity. Acts 1:25 ; John 17:12 .
"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. (7) 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. (9) 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, inquire 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."
We have in these verses, the Apostles' commission, where they were to preach, and what their preaching was to consist of; namely, of the near approach of Christ's kingdom; that is, Christ's Person and Christ's Salvation. The kingdom of grace distinguished from the law, and the kingdom of glory to which that grace led. John 1:17 . And what a beautiful view is here afforded of those holy men going forth with their lives in their hands to preach Jesus. No gold, no silver, no money in their purse And the awful consequence to those who rejected their preaching is read to us most solemnly, in that, Sodom and Gomorrah will find more favor at the last day!
"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (17) 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. (21) 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 become. (24) 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? (26) 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. (32) 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. (34) 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. (41) 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."
Our Lord's own words are so plain, so beautiful, and so expressive, that they would suffer rather by the attempt of a paraphrase and cannot need a comment. I would only beg to observe upon them, that though they had a special reference to the first, and immediate disciples of Jesus, yet certainly Jesus had an eye to all his Apostles; that is, all sent forth by the Holy Ghost to preach his Gospel to the end of time. Persecutions, and the offence of the cross, are never to cease. Were they to do so, we should lose one of the evidences of the Gospel. And as Jesus hath promised his unceasing presence with his people, so in an eminent manner with his sent servants. And what can express his attention more than in what the Lord hath closed the chapter with; that the smallest gift done in the name of Christ, is, in his eye, done to himself.
Let all the followers of the Lord Jesus, and especially his Ministers, behold in the commission here given by him to his Apostles, the love of his heart, and the interest he takes in all that concerns them. And let not our view of the unfaithfulness of hire. lings in any age of the Church, give the smallest distress to true Pastors. Jesus chose a Judas to mingle with his faithful Apostles, though he knew that he was a devil when he chose him. But though he went in and out with the disciples, yet had he no part nor lot in the matter; and when he died, he went, as it is said, to his own place. Tares with the wheat, goats with the sheep, are nevertheless as distinguishable and separate as though they had never come together. The Lord knoweth them that are his. In the end, an everlasting separation will take place.
In the mean time, the persecution, hatred, and frowns of every enemy, shall minister rather to the Redeemer's glory, than to the smallest injury of the Redeemer's cause. And it never should be forgotten, that Jesus is with his people always to the end of the world. Jesus, therefore, looks on, knows all, sanctifies all, and blesseth all to his people's good! And Jesus speaks as in this chapter, to drive away all fear from the heart of his redeemed. To him that over. cometh, will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also over, came, and am sat down with my Father in his throne.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Matthew 10". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany