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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Matthew 10

 

 

Verse 1

Exodus 18:17-18, "And Moses" father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone."

Numbers 11:17, "And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone."

Jesus could not carry the burden alone. His passion to heal and deliver God's people was so strong that He prepared His disciples to do the same. Therefore, in Matthew 10:1-42 Jesus calls twelve apostles and later seventy disciples who will help His carry this burden. This passage of Scripture can be divided into four sections in which Jesus calls the Twelve ( Matthew 10:1-4), commissions them with the task ( Matthew 10:5-15), warns them of pending persecutions ( Matthew 10:16-39), and exhorts them to persevere based upon earthly and eternal rewards ( Matthew 10:40-42).

Outline: Note the following outline of Matthew 10:1-42.

1. The appointment of apostles — Matthew 10:1-4

2. The commissioning of the apostles — Matthew 10:5-15

3. Many will Reject: Exhortation to fear God — Matthew 10:16-39

a) The Gospel Brings Persecutions — Matthew 10:16-26

b) Speak What the Lord Tells Us to Speak — Matthew 10:27-31

c) Confessing Christ Before Men — Matthew 10:32-33

d) The Gospel Brings Division, not Peace — Matthew 10:34-39

4. Some will Accept- The rewards of faithfulness — Matthew 10:40-42

5. Conclusion — Matthew 11:1

Comparison of the Synoptic Gospels - When we compare the parallel stories of Jesus sending out His apostles within the three Synoptic Gospels, we can easily recognize how they each emphasize their themes by the differences given in each account. We find Mark clearly emphasizing the proclamation of the Gospel by His disciples with signs and miracles accompanying them. This version is thus emphasizing the theme of the Gospel of Mark.

Mark 6:12-13, "And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them."

Luke's Gospel emphasizes the fact that they took the Gospel to many towns and villages when it says, "(they) went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where."

Luke 9:6, "And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where"

Matthew's Gospel makes no reference to the preaching of the disciples, but rather, gives us a lengthy discourse by Jesus. This is because Matthew's Gospel is structured around Jesus' five discourses.

The Five Major Discourses: Similarities with the Structure of the New Testament - Besides the similarities between the Pentateuch and the Gospel of Matthew , we find similarities between the five major discourses and the structure of the New Testament writings. To begin with, we know that the nine Pauline Church Epistles establish the doctrines of the New Testament Church. The three Pastoral Epistles establish the order and ministry of the Church. The three General Epistles of Hebrews , James and 1Peter establish the perseverance of the saints in regards to persecutions from without the Church. The five General Epistles of 2Peter, 1, 2, 3John and Jude establish the perseverance of the saints in regards to persecutions from false doctrines within the church.

In a similar manner, we can compare the Sermon on the Mount to the Church Epistles in that they lay the foundation for the doctrine of the Kingdom of God and of the New Testament Church. The second discourse of Jesus sending out the twelve establishes the ministry and order of the Church, which can be compared to the Pastoral Epistles. The third discourse regarding the parables of the Kingdom of Heaven which reveals the ways in which men reject the preaching of the Gospel can be compared to the General Epistles of Hebrews , James and 1Peter which deal with persecutions from without. The fourth discourse of dealing with offences and persecutions from the Jewish leaders can be compared with the General Epistles of 2Peter, 1, 2, 3John and Jude which discuss persecutions from false doctrine within the Church. The emphasis upon false doctrine in this narrative material is because the theme of this passage is about offences because of false doctrines in the Kingdom of God. These offences are not coming from the multitudes but from those who appear to be within the Kingdom of God, that Isaiah , the religious leaders. The fifth Eschatological discourse of the Second Coming of Christ can be compared to the book of Revelation , which deals with the glorification of the Church.

The Five Major Discourses: Similarities With the Six Foundational Doctrines of the New Testament Church- If we compare the foundational doctrines listed in Hebrews 6:1-2 with the scheme of the five major discourses in Matthew's Gospel, we can observe some parallels.

Hebrews 6:1-2, "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment."

The six foundational doctrines found in Hebrews 6:1-2 were laid down by Jesus Christ. It is these six doctrines upon which the Kingdom of Heaven is established:

1. repentance from dead works

2. faith toward God

3. the doctrine of baptisms

4. laying on of hands

5. resurrection of the dead

6. eternal judgment

Jesus' first discourse, the Sermon on the Mount, finds its parallel in the third foundational doctrine of the doctrine of baptisms. The second discourse, the Sending out of the Twelve, parallels the laying on of hands for Christian service. The third and fourth discourses emphasize the perseverance of the saints. The last discourse, the Eschatological Discourse, places most of its emphasis upon the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.


Verses 1-4

The Appointment of the Twelve Apostles ( Mark 3:13-19, Luke 6:12-16) - Matthew 10:1-4 gives us the names of the twelve disciples whom Jesus appointed as apostles. When comparing this passage to the parallel passages in Mark and Luke , it becomes clear that each Gospel account mentions a different aspect of this event in order to reflect the underlying theme of each Gospel. For example, Matthew states that Jesus gave the apostles authority to cast out devils and to heal the sick. It becomes clear that Matthew's account places emphasis upon Jesus sending out of the twelve to do the work of the ministry. In contrast, Mark's account places emphasis upon the proclamation of the Gospel with miracles accompanying their preaching when it says, "And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:" ( Matthew 3:14-15) These verses sound similar to the commission of Jesus Christ that closes Mark's Gospel. Thus, Mark places emphasis upon the preaching of the Gospel with signs following, which is the underlying theme of his Gospel. Luke's account makes no reference to the twelve apostles preaching of the Gospel or miracles; but rather, it mentions Jesus' time in prayer in order to choose the twelve and their appointment, for prayer is the prerequisite of the prophetic utterance.

The Qualifications of the Twelve- When Jesus Christ chose twelve apostles, He did not select anyone who had a theological education. Rather, He chose a number of business men, those in the communities who understood the principles of work ethics. They were busy men, doing their jobs. He chose those who were the most committed to Him, rather than someone who followed at a distance.

The List of Names- We are given the list of the twelve apostles in Matthew 10:2-4, Mark 3:16-19 and Luke 6:14-16. We note that these names are listed in the order of their important in Church history.

Matthew 10:2-4, "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; Philippians , and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him."

Mark 3:16-19, "And Simon he surnamed Peter; And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which Isaiah , The sons of thunder: And Andrew, and Philippians , and Bartholomew, and Matthew , and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house."

Luke 6:14-16, "Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John , Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor."

When we compare the three parallel passages in the Synoptics listing the names of the twelve apostles, there appears to be a discrepancy at first glance between the name of Judas the brother of James in Luke's account and Lebbaeus, surnamed Thaddaeus in Matthew and Mark's account. Jerome says Judas of James is the same person as Lebbaeus and Thaddaeus (Commentary on Matthew 10:4). 425] Many conservative scholars also believe that this is the same person as well.

425] See PL 26 Colossians 62C-D.

1. Simon - surnamed Peter

2. Andrew - Peter's brother

3. James - son of Zebedee - surnamed Boanerges

4. John - son of Zebedee - surnamed Boanerges

5. Philip

6. Bartholomew - Perhaps the same as Nathanel

7. Matthew - Levi (the publican in Matthew 10:3)

8. Thomas

9. James - son of Alphaeus

10. Simon - Zelotes (the Canaanite in Matthew 10:4 and Mark 3:18)

11. Judas - brother of James (Lebbaeus, surnamed Thaddaeus in Matthew 10:3 and Mark 3:18)

12. Judas Iscariot

In addition, Matthew's list is unique in that he groups the Twelve into six pairs.

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.

Matthew 10:1"And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples" - Comments - The disciples had seen Jesus demonstrate His ἐξουσία (authority) in three miracles: the calming of the storm ( Matthew 8:23-27), the healing of the Gadarene demonic ( Matthew 8:28-34), and in forgiving the sins of the paralytic ( Matthew 9:1-8). Now, Jesus gives them this same authority to work the same miracles. The disciples had also seen Jesus demonstrate His willingness to heal every manner of sickness and disease in Matthew 8:1-17. Now, He commissions them to do the same.

Jesus had told His disciples in Matthew 4:19 that if they would follow Him, He would make them fishers of men. His first training assignment as soul winners in Matthew 10 was to go out and do signs and wonders. Song of Solomon , we see that the Scriptures teach us that miracles go together with soul-winning.

Matthew 4:19, "And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."

When God calls His men into the ministry, He also equips them. One preacher said that we must have a BA degree (Born Again) and a BHG degree (Baptized in the Holy Ghost) in order to minister effectively.

Matthew 10:1"he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease" - Comments - Matthew 10:1 tells us that Jesus gave His disciples ἐξουσία (authority) over unclean spirits. How did Jesus give them this authority? Prior to this second major discourse in the Gospel of Matthew , Jesus demonstrated how God heals using a set of three sets of triplicate miracles. In these miracles, Jesus demonstrated that healing is God's will because it is in the atonement ( Matthew 8:1-17), that His name had authority above all of creation ( Matthew 8:23 to Matthew 9:8), and that men receive healing through their faith in His Word ( Matthew 9:18-34). Thus, the Twelve understood at this time that Jesus gave them His name as their authority to heal the multitudes. 426] In support of the authority of Jesus' name for public ministry, we read a parallel verse in Luke 9:1, stating that Jesus gave the seventy δύναμις (power) and ἐξουσία (authority) over all devils, and the seventy disciples returned in Luke 10:17 saying, "Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name." Jesus gave them His name and all the authority that is in His name. Note that this event took place before the believers were filled with the Holy Ghost in Acts 2. Thus, the disciples were using His name by faith in His name rather than by walking in the anointing and gifts of the Holy Spirit, for they did not receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit until the day of Pentecost. Now we are certain that even those Christians who have not received the baptism of the Holy Ghost apart from salvation can successfully use the name of Jesus against Satan. The apostles were taught to use Jesus" name before Pentecost and this teaching continued to be practiced afterwards ( Acts 3:4-6). For example, Peter explains the healing of the lame man at the gate of the Temple by saying, "And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong..." ( Acts 3:16).

426] The association of the name of Jesus with the delegation of His authority to the Twelve in Matthew 10:1 goes back to the early Church fathers. For example, Jerome comments on this verse, saying, "A kind and merciful Lord and Master does not envy His servants and disciples a share in His powers. As Himself had cured every sickness and disease, He imparted the same power to His Apostles. But there is a wide diiference between having and imparting, between giving and receiving. Whatever He does He does with the power of a master, whatever they do it is with confession of their own weakness, as they speak, In the name of Jesus rise and walk." (Commentariorum in Evangelium Matthaei 110) (PL 26, Colossians 61A) See Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Four Gospels, collected out of the Works of the Fathers, vol 1 (Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1841), 363.

Luke 9:1, "Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases."

Luke 10:17, "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name."

Acts 3:4-6, "And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John , said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk."

Acts 3:16, "And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all."

Matthew 10:1Comments - Literary Evidence of a Common Theme between the Second Narrative Section and the Discourse that Follows - There is literary evidence that the second narrative section shares a common theme with the discourse that follows. The motif of Jesus' authority is first mentioned at the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount ( Matthew 7:29); but it is carried forward into the next narrative section ( Matthew 8:9; Matthew 9:6; Matthew 9:8) as Jesus demonstrates to His disciples His authority over the storm, over the paralytic, and over the leper. He will then commission twelve disciples by giving them this same authority to carry out public ministry ( Matthew 10:1). While the Greek word ἐ ξουσί α is used five times within Matthew 7:29 to Matthew 10:1, it only occurs five other times outside this passage in Matthew's Gospel ( Matthew 21:23 2], 24, 27; Matthew 28:18). 427] Thus, the authority motif is clearly present here. This authority motif provides literary evidence that the narrative material ( Matthew 8-9) reflects the theme of the discourse that follows ( Matthew 10).

427] Christopher R. Smith, "Literary Evidences of a FiveFold Structure in the Gospel of Matthew ," in New Testament Studies 43 (1997): 545.

Matthew 10:1Comments- The Matthean Rabbinical Motif - Some scholars believe that Matthew's account of Jesus being seated and His disciples (or crowds) coming to Him in the opening verses of three of the five major discourses was intentional, since it describes the traditional setting of the Jewish scribe being surrounded by his pupils ( Matthew 5:1; Matthew 13:1-2; Matthew 24:3). 428] The second and fourth discourses begin with one aspect of this formula, either Jesus gathering His disciples ( Matthew 10:1), or them coming to Him ( Matthew 18:1). In addition, this rabbinic formula is found in the middle of the third discourse simply because Jesus changes locations before completing this discourse ( Matthew 13:36).

428] Christopher R. Smith, "Literary Evidences of a FiveFold Structure in the Gospel of Matthew ," in New Testament Studies 43 (1997): 542.

Matthew 5:1, "And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:"

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."

Matthew 13:1-2, "The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore."

Matthew 13:36, "Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field."

Matthew 18:1, "At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

Matthew 24:3, "And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"

Matthew 10:2 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;

Matthew 10:2 — "Now the names of the twelve apostles are these" - Word Study on "apostle" - Jesus did not invent the term "apostle" for the Twelve whom He commissioned and sent out to preach the Gospel and heal the sick; rather, He reached into the culture of the people and chose a word that accurately described the office and anointing for which He had commissioned the Twelve. The Greek word ἀπόστολος (G 652) (apostle) was in frequent use during the time of Jesus and it is found throughout Classical Greek literature centuries prior to the birth of Christ. The word ἀπόστολος is associated in ancient literature with the sending out of someone with a commission. It is found as a technical term in secular Greek literature to describe someone who has been send forth with divine authorization. The word ἀπόστολος and its derivatives are used more than seven hundred (700) times in the LXX, being used as a rendering of the Hebrew word שָׁלַח (H 7971) (to send), so that it was a familiar term in Judaism as well as Hellenism, describing a messenger in the Old Testament given a particular task. For example, God says in His commission to Isaiah , "Who shall I send?" ( Isaiah 6:8) In the New Testament, the word ἀπόστολος is used one hundred and thirty-five (135) times, being found all but twelve times in the Gospels and the book of Acts. As a result of its usage by the early Church and the New Testament writings, the word ἀπόστολος became a theological term to denote one of the five-fold offices of the Church. (TDNT)

"The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother" - Comments - Peter, James , and John were the inner circle of apostles because Jesus drew them closer to Himself than the other Twelve. He took these three with Him when healing the ruler of the synagogue's daughter ( Mark 5:37, Luke 8:51). He took these three with Him on the Mount of Transfiguration ( Matthew 17:1, Mark 9:2, Luke 9:28). During the night before His Passion, He takes these three men apart for prayer ( Mark 14:33).

Mark 5:37, "And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James , and John the brother of James."

Matthew 17:1, "And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James , and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,"

Mark 14:33, "And he taketh with him Peter and James and John , and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;"

Matthew 10:1 says Peter was selected by Jesus first. The book of Acts testifies that he became the leader of the Church in the earliest days.

Matthew 10:3 Philippians , and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;

Matthew 10:3 — "and Bartholomew" - Comments- The name "Nathanael" is only mentioned in John's Gospel ( John 1:45-49; John 21:2). Since John does not mention Bartholomew, while the Synoptics do not mention Nathanael, but instead use the name Bartholomew ( Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:14), scholars suggest that Nathanael was the same person as Bartholomew. Also, the fact that the Synoptic Gospels list Bartholomew with the five earliest disciples (Andrew [John], Philippians , Simon Peter, Nathanael) suggests he was one of those early disciples mentioned in John 1:35-51.

Matthew 10:3"and Lebbeus, whose surname was Thaddeus" - Comments- Lebbeus, or Thaddeus, is also believed by many scholars to be Judas, the brother of James. The Gospel of Matthew records his surname. When a child is born in Africa today, he is given a Christian or Muslim name, depending upon the religion of his parents. The child is then given a surname of a relative, usually the name of a grandfather or uncle for boys, and the name of a grandmother for girls. Finally, a child also carries the name of his father if a boy and the name of her mother if a girl. The purpose of a surname is to carry the name of an ancestor so that the name is not lost in a particular tribe. In Africa, when some gives his or her name, others immediately know which tribe that person is from. Therefore, tribes are identified by particular names. These names are handed down throughout generators. It is a way of tracing genealogies, since not written records were kept in African tribes. The surnames that Jesus gave to His disciples identified them with the kingdom of God.

Matthew 10:4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.


Verses 5-15

The Commissioning of the Twelve Apostles ( Mark 6:7-13, Luke 9:1-6) - Matthew 10:5-15 gives us the story of Jesus commissioning His twelve apostles before sending them out. The Twelve are charged to preach the Gospel and heal the sick. They are to entrust the care of earthly provisions to divine providence and bless those who support their ministry.

Matthew 10:5 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:

Matthew 10:5Comments - Jesus would not have sent forth the Twelve apostles in Matthew 10:5 without first training and equipping them, an event that took place in the preceding narrative section of Matthew 8-9. Jesus trained them in the three aspects of ministering healing and deliverance while preaching the Gospel. First, Jesus taught the Twelve that it is God's will to heal every child of God ( Matthew 8:1-17). Second, Jesus demonstrated the authority of His name and He sent them forth in His name ( Matthew 8:23 to Matthew 9:8). Third, Jesus showed the Twelve the necessity of the aspect of faith in the heart of the believer to receive healing ( Matthew 9:18-34). Thus, Jesus equips His disciples for the work of the ministry by teaching them that healing is in the atonement, and that it is implemented through the authority of the name of Jesus Christ through faith in His name.

Matthew 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Matthew 10:6Comments - In Matthew 9:36 Jesus has just compared Israel to sheep having no shepherd, weak and scattered. In Matthew 10:6 He now calls them "lost sheep."

Matthew 9:36, "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd."

Matthew 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 10:7Comments - In Matthew 10:5-42 Jesus instructs His disciples to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom "as they go." I can see them trying to come up with a sermon or the words to say before they went out into the villages and highways to preach to the people. They would have felt the need to prepare a message before leaving, but as God's servants must learn that the Holy Spirit will always be faithful to inspire God's servants and to anoint them in due season. This is why He had to tell them in this discourse not to worry about what to say, for God would give them the very words to say ( Matthew 10:19). Mark's Gospel, which places more emphasis upon the proclamation of the Gospel, says it better in its parallel passage, "But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost." ( Mark 13:11) Mark had certainly seen Peter the apostle preaching under the anointing of the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 10:19, "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."

When we compare the verse where Paul gives young Timothy a similar charge to preach the Gospel, we are able to better understand what Paul meant by "being instant in season, out of season."

2 Timothy 4:2, "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."

Thus, Paul's phrase of "be instant in season, out of season" means to be always ready to speak under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit because He will be their every time to anoint him. Paul was simply telling this young preach from years of personal experience that God would be faithful to speak through him on all occasions and with all types of messages. Young Timothy must learn to let the Holy Spirit lead him on what needed to be said for each occasion, whether it was with reprove, rebuke, or exhortation with all longsuffering and doctrine. For we see Jesus Christ in the Gospel speaking different ways to different people. Some He instructed and encouraged because of their good hearts. Others He rebuked because of the hardness of their hearts. While others He corrected because of their simple ignorance.

Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Matthew 10:8Comments - Note that Jesus had been performing miracles of healing and casting out devils in chapters 8-9. Therefore, the disciples had been taught how to do it by this time in Jesus" ministry. Jesus did not tell His disciples to pray for the sick, but rather, to heal the sick. They were to take the name of Jesus and take authority over every sickness and disease they encountered, without doubting any situation was too hard for the authority of the name of Jesus ( Luke 10:17). Jesus Himself has been training the Twelve by demonstrating His authority over every realm of creation. He now expects these disciples to go do the same.

Matthew 10:7-8Comments - We are Called to Set the Captives Free- Jesus called His disciples to do more than preach. They were to set the captives free. It is the same for us today as God's servants. Note Jeremiah 23. Also:

Ezekiel 34:4, "The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them."

Matthew 10:9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,

Matthew 10:9Comments - The currency of this time consisted of coins made of gold, silver and copper.

Matthew 10:13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.

Matthew 10:13Comments - In a similar way that the early apostles were instructed by Jesus to let their peace come upon the home of their host ( Matthew 10:13), so did Paul the apostle opening every one of his thirteen New Testament epistles with a blessing of God's peace and grace upon his readers.

Matthew 10:14 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.

Matthew 10:14Comments - Jesus left Nazareth and moved to Capernaum because His home town rejected Him.

Matthew 10:15 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.


Verses 16-39

Many Will Reject the Gospel: Jesus Exhorts His Disciples to Fear God Amidst Persecutions - The subject of Matthew 10:16-39 is about rejection and persecution. Jesus exhorts His disciples to fear God rather than man because they will be persecuted ( Matthew 10:16-26). They were to speak what He tells them to speak ( Matthew 10:27-31). If they do not speak forth God's Word from fear of Prayer of Manasseh , Jesus will not speak of him before the Father ( Matthew 10:32-33). The Gospel message was not intended to bring peace, but rather division ( Matthew 10:34-39). This passage will be followed with Jesus' promise that some will receive the Gospel message ( Matthew 10:40-42).

Outline- Here is a proposed outline:

The Gospel Brings Persecutions — Matthew 10:16-26

Speak What the Lord Tells Us to Speak — Matthew 10:27-31

Confessing Christ Before Men — Matthew 10:32-33

The Gospel Brings Division, not Peace — Matthew 10:34-39

Matthew 10:16-26 — The Gospel Brings Persecutions ( Mark 13:9-13, Luke 21:12-17) - Matthew 10:16-25 gives us the warnings that Jesus gave to His twelve apostles about the persecutions that will follow as a result of preaching the Gospel.

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.

Matthew 10:16Word Study on "wise" - Strong says the Greek word φρόνιμος (G 5429) means, "thoughtful, that Isaiah , sagacious or discreet, implying a cautious character." Zodhiates says it means, "to think, have a mindset. Prudent, sensible, practically wise in relationships with others."

Word Study on "harmless" - Strong says the Greek word ἀκέραιος (G 185) literally means, "unmixed," and figuratively means, "innocent"; thus, harmless, simple." Zodhiates says it means, "without any mixture of deceit, without any defiling material."

Matthew 10:16 — "be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" - Comments- Before the Fall we are told that the serpent was the most cunning animal that God had made among the beasts of the field ( Genesis 3:1). Hence, the term "wise" is used. We also know that a dove seems to be so pure and innocent and gentle among birds. My wife and I were given two white doves during our wedding ceremony. As we took them in our hands and released them into the room in a customary Filipino wedding fashion, the birds did not struggle to be free, nor did they try to bits us. They were gentle and harmless, pure and innocent of what was taking place. Thus, the primary characteristic of the serpent is his mental wisdom to outsmart his opponent, while the dove reflects innocence and purity of heart. Thus, we see Jesus taking two characteristics of animals in order to illustrate a point.

Comments- As children of God we are to walk with integrity; however, the world deals with us in a clever manner. Please let me explain what an American goes through in the early years on the mission field. When an American first moves into the mission field, he or she goes through several phases of adjustment. The first phase happens in the first few months of an assignment when everything is new and exciting. The local people are trying to make friends with these new missionaries; however, this friendship is often an effort to gain financial support. This excitement soon fades away when a young missionary engages with the culture and confronts corruption and dishonesty everywhere he turns. Then, for the first several years, a missionary goes through what is commonly known as "culture shock." The foods are foreign, the behavior of the local people is confusing, they miss home and the strong support of a local church, etc. In this phase, a missionary can withdraw himself somewhat from the local people in order to feel protected and safe. This is the time when missionaries often return home, simply because they are not willing to crucify the flesh and follow their calling. In order to remain in the mission field, they must experience a painful process of dying to one's own will and relinquishing oneself to the will of God. Not everyone is willing to go through this process. Because of culture shock, a missionary new to the mission field, fresh from the love and support of a strong Christian fellowship back home, often feels like returning home to this warm embrace of loving saints. This phrase of culture shock is a time when it becomes hard for a missionary to be open and transparent and friendly with the local culture. If a missionary endures this phase of culture shock, and he accepts his fate (or calling) of living overseas in a foreign land, he begins to understand this new mindset of the culture in which he now lives. He learns to relax and engage with the culture without so much stress. He can behave normally again, friendly, and communicating with the people because he understands that they think differently, and he has stopped expecting them to behave like himself.

Illustration- When I first became a missionary in Africa, I was naive about the way people thought and reasoned. I had entered a culture where people dealt with others through cleverness, having come from a Judeo-Christian culture where integrity was praised. I soon learned to conduct myself wisely, not believing everything someone told me. As a Christian, I could not respond to them in the same deceitful, clever manner that they were dealing with me. I had to walk in love and as harmless as a dove. The culture were like wolves in that they would like to devour all of my material assets. Song of Solomon , I had to protect myself by using wisdom while buying in the market place.

Genesis 3:1, "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"

Matthew 10:18-20Comments- Our Testimony Before Leaders - In Matthew 10:18-20 Jesus tells us how to conduct ourselves when men rise up against us and ask us for a testimony of our faith in Him. The idea of being wary of men continues the thought from the preceding verse to be wise as serpents. We are to have use prudence in our dealings with others, since some men will try to take advantage of us and persecute us. However, in purity and innocence as doves, we are to allow the Holy Spirit to speak through us.

We find that Paul the apostle is the best illustration of how God places His children before kings and leaders for a witness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul stood before Felix and Festus, the Roman governors over Judea and he stood before the Roman Emperor in Rome. It appears from Paul's opening statement in Acts 23:1 that he had prepared a strong defense and was ready to deliver it unto the Sanhedrin. However, a slap in the face can be intimidating and cause one to lose his focus, concentration, and composure. However, in Acts 23:6 the Spirit of God intervenes and gives Paul a new strategy when the Scripture says, "But when Paul perceived…" This is a perfect example of what Jesus told the apostles in Matthew 10:18-20

Matthew 10:23 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.

Matthew 10:23Comments- Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:23 that the disciples will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man returns. We now understand this to be a reference to Christ's Second Coming. It is a puzzling statement none the less. Benny Hinn suggests that the Christians fled the land of Palestine in 70 A.D. when Jerusalem was destroyed by Titus , the Roman Emperor, and was not inhabited again until recent years when the nation of Israel was reborn. He says that this verse may be referring to the evangelism of the people of Israel immediately before His Return. 429] If we then refer to the previous verses where Jesus refers to intense persecutions coming upon believers and that "he that endureth to the end shall be saved," we get a sense that Jesus is speaking about the end times immediately before His Return, and not just the first century of the early Church.

429] Benny Hinn, This is Your Day (Irving, Texas), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Joyce Meyer understands this statement to mean that the disciples will have plenty of cities to go to and will not run out of cities by the time Jesus Christ returns again. 430] In this case, Israel would simply represent the first phase of the Great Commission to go into all the world, as is seen in the book of Acts.

430] Joyce Meyer, Life in the Word (Fenton, Missouri: Joyce Meyer Ministries), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Matthew 10:24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

Matthew 10:25 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?

Matthew 10:25Scripture Reference- Note:

Luke 6:40, "The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master."

Matthew 10:26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

Matthew 10:27-31 — Speak What the Lord Tells Us to Speak ( Luke 12:2-7) - In Matthew 10:27-31 Jesus tells His disciples that they must speak what He tells them to speak.

Matthew 10:27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.

Matthew 10:27Comments- Note these similar words from Frances J. Roberts:

"Write those things which I say unto thee. Write and hold back nothing of all that I shall say unto thee. For I shall speak unto thee in the darkness and shall make thy way a path of light. I will cry unto thee out of the confusion round about, and thou shalt hear My voice and shall know that which I do. For My way is hid from the rebellious and from the disobedient, and from them that seek to walk in their own wisdom." 431]

431] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 41.

Matthew 10:32-33 — Confessing Christ Before Men ( Luke 12:8-9) - In Matthew 10:32-33 Jesus tells His disciples the results of either obeying Him or denying Him. If we confess Jesus before men, Jesus will confess us before the Father. But if we deny Him, He will deny us before the Father. The parallel passage in Luke's Gospel entitles Jesus Christ as "the Son of Man", which fits the theme of His Gospel. Luke's Gospel says that Jesus is confessing before the angels of God rather than the Father.

Matthew 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 10:34-39 — The Gospel Brings Division, not Peace- ( Luke 24:26-27) - Jesus continues His exhortation to His disciples by explaining that the proclamation of the Gospel did not bring immediate peace, but rather conflict and division among people. This is a spiritual battle for the souls of men, which will not be done without a battle. Jesus was the Prince of Peace ( Isaiah 9:6, Daniel 8:25). At His birth the angels announced peace on earth and goodwill towards men to the shepherds in the field ( Luke 8:14). However, Jesus' first coming was to bring revolution, and not peace. It would be a time when the powers of darkness that held men in blindness and sin would be challenged and defeated. It would be a time of battle for the souls of men, culminating in the seven-year Great Tribulation Period that would usher in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. True peace would come when Jesus returns to rule and reign from Jerusalem; but mankind would have to wait two thousand years for such peace to come upon earth.

Isaiah 9:6, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

Daniel 8:25, "And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand."

Luke 2:14, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

In world religions it is normal for children to follow their parents in their beliefs. A proselyte is often enticed into a new religion by offering earthly benefits. I have seen in Africa that cults easily attract members by offering food and clothing to the poor. But in Christianity, serving the Lord comes at a great cost. This is because mankind is naturally depraved and resists the truth, and he persecutes those who obey the truth. Man's depravity is not held back by family ties.

Matthew 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Matthew 10:34Comments- In Matthew 10:34 Jesus tells His disciples that He has come to send a sword. He speaks this within the context of warning His disciples about impending persecutions against them. This statement serves to forewarn the New Testament Church of pending persecutions. Jesus was not saying that He was coming as a rebel to revolt against the Roman oppression in Palestine; for Josephus described Judea as a place of much insecurity, with "ten thousand other disorders" and "full of robberies." (Antiquities 17104; 17108; 2061) There were numerous revolts among the Jews during this period of Jewish history. Rather, Jesus was telling His disciples that with the preaching of the Gospel comes persecutions.

Matthew 10:37 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.

Matthew 10:37Comments- F. F. Bruce explains that the Hebrew thought and speech is making an extreme contrast Matthew 10:37 for the sake of emphasis. He uses Luke 14:26 to illustrate this Hebrew way of saying that someone must love God far more than his earthly family. 432]

432] F. F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1963), 46.

Luke 14:26, "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."

This is exactly what the parallel passage in Matthew 10:37 says when Jesus tells us that we must love Him more than our parents or children.

Matthew 10:37, "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."

Thus, God is saying that our love for Him must be far more than any earthly love that we should have.

When God says that He loved Jacob and hated Esau, He was saying that He loved Jacob far more than his closest blood kin. This statement is meant to place emphasis upon the immeasurable love that God has for His people.

Malachi 1:2-3, "I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob"s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness."

Comments - In this passage of Scripture ( Matthew 10:1-42), Jesus is sending out His twelve disciples to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus is not saying that God does not care about our families when we must leave them in order to serve the Lord. As a missionary in Africa for thirteen years, I was willing to leave my family and go overseas. I watched God take care of my family through divine providence and provision through the course of those years. He loves our parents, brothers, wives, and children and longs to take care of them, but He needs those who are willing to make great sacrifices for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Matthew 10:38"is not worthy of me" - Comments - That Isaiah , "not worthy of fellowship with me and blessings" (Thayer), or "does not deserve to belong to Jesus (perhaps ‘is not suited for me')" (BDAG).

Matthew 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Matthew 10:39 Scripture Reference- Note:

John 12:25, "He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal."


Verses 40-42

Some Will Accept the Proclamation of the Gospel- The Rewards of Faithfulness- ( Mark 9:41) - In Matthew 10:40-42 Jesus tells His disciples that some will accept the message of the Gospel and receive his reward.

Matthew 10:40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

Matthew 10:41 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.

Matthew 10:41Comments- When a person receives and helps a prophet or a righteous Prayer of Manasseh , he will receive the same reward that these men of God are receiving because they are of God

Matthew 10:42 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.

Matthew 10:42 Comments- If someone gives even so much as a cup of cold water to the least of Jesus' disciples, he will be rewarded in heaven for his kind deed. Jesus uses the example of a cup of cold water to say that if we are willing to do what we are able to do, even if it is little, we will receive a reward. Note:

2 Corinthians 8:12, "For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Matthew 10:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/matthew-10.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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