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Bible Commentaries

John Broadus' Commentary on Matthew
Matthew 10

 

 

Verse 35

Matthew 9:35 to Matthew 10:15.
Mission Of The Twelve

Our Lord here undertakes another circuit of Galilee, similar to that described in Matthew 4:23 ff., and in connection with it he now sends out the Twelve to engage in the same work, viz., to make the Same proclamation of the near approach of the Messianic reign (compare Matthew 10:7 with Matthew 4:17), and to work similar miracles of healing. (Matthew 10:1, Matthew 10:8) Before sending forth the Twelve, our Lord addressed them a long discourse, (Matthew 10:5-42) giving them instruction not only for this mission, but for all their subsequent labours in his name; after which discourse he went to his work, (Matthew 11:1) and they to theirs. (Mark 6:12 f.; Luke 9:6)—Some prefer to consider this as not the record of a distinct journey, but simply a return to the general statement of Matthew 4:23. The idea would thus be, that having given a grand specimen of our Lord's teaching (ch. 5-7), and a group of specimens of his miracles (ch. 8 and 9), the Evangelist now repeats the general description of his journeying, teaching and healing (same terms in Matthew 9:35 as in Matthew 4:23), and presently branches off again to describe the mission of the Twelve. But it seems more likely that this was a second and distinct journey. Indeed, Luke appears to give a third journey, (Luke 8:1-3) which a Harmony would make intermediate between the two in Matthew.—Our present section includes so much of the address to the Twelve as is given by Mark and Luke also. The remainder (Matthew 10:16-42) is given by Matthew only.

I. Matthew 9:35 to Matthew 10:1. Jesus Is Moved To Send Out The Twelve

While engaged in a circuit of Galilee, he is moved with compassion at the spiritual destitution of the people, and begins to prepare the Twelve for going out as teachers. The portion in Matthew 9:35-38 is found in Matthew alone, except that Mark (Mark 6:6) says simply, 'And he went round about the villages teaching.'

Matthew 9:35. Same as Matthew 4:23, except that for 'went about all Galilee' we here have more particularly, went about all the cities and (the) villages, referring still to Galilee, as the connection and the circumstances show. All is so placed in the Greek as to be confined to the cities; and he could not have visited all the villages. Josephus says there were in Galilee not less than two hundred and four cities and populous villages. (See on "Matthew 4:12".) The word rendered villages denotes properly a town without walls, as opposed to a fortified town. The larger places would of course all be fortified. We learn then that our Lord made a thorough circuit, going into all the large towns, and very generally into the smaller places also. He did not go only where he could have a very large congregation. For every sickness and every disease—i.e., every kind, not necessarily every case—and for the other terms, see on "Matthew 4:23". Among the people, com. Greek text, is omitted on overwhelming evidence. Here again, as in Matthew 8:16 and Matthew 4:23, we must pause and dwell on the strong general statement, or we shall not adequately conceive of the immense extent of our Lord's work as a Healer.

Matthew 9:36. But when he saw the multitudes—crowds—as in Matthew 5:1. As there his compassion led to a long address on the Mount, so here it leads him to send out the Twelve, that they might aid in the so much needed work of teaching and healing. Similarly after the return of the Twelve. (Mark 6:34) In the present case, as in Matthew 5:1, we understand that what follows took place at some unassigned time in the course of the circuit just described. Because they fainted, best text, were distressed, or 'harassed,' 'worried,' rendered 'trouble' in Mark 5:35, Luke 8:49. The evidence for this Greek word rather than 'fainted' (com. Greek text) is ample. Scattered, literally, 'thrown,' 'hurled,' might mean prostrate (so Davidson), lying down, as being worn out and unable to go forward, or might mean cast off, neglected; the general conception remains the same, that of a flock worried and suffering for lack of a shepherd's care. In the East, where sheep wander freely in wild, unenclosed regions, so as to require constant attention, this image is very striking. Meyer supposes that our Lord saw the people to be worn out with following him in long journeys, and that this suggested to him the image of a flock tired down; but the supposition seems quite improbable. (Weiss). The people were greatly in need of spiritual instruction and guidance, for those who professed to be their shepherds were not faithful and safe guides. (See the same expression in Numbers 27:17, and compare 1 Kings 22:17; Jeremiah 50:6; Ezekiel 34:5; Zechariah 10:2)

Matthew 9:37-38. He seeks to awaken a similar compassion in his followers. Disciples, see on "Matthew 5:1". There were probably other disciples present, besides the Twelve, (Matthew 10:1) and the exhortation to pray was addressed to them all, but only the Twelve were at that time sent forth; at a later period, seventy others. (Luke 10:1) The figure of reaping a harvest he had employed before (perhaps a year before), at Jacob's well, (John 4:25 ff.) and will use again when sending out the seventy. (Luke 10:2) Truly represents the Greek word (men) explained on Matthew 3:11, which denotes merely that this clause is set in contrast with what follows. The idea is sufficiently expressed in English by an emphatic utterance of 'harvest' and 'labourers'; it was so rendered by Tyn. and Gen. (so also Davidson), 'truly' being introduced by Great Bible. The harvest signifies, not (as some explain) the elect, those who will actually be saved, but men in general, who unless gathered and saved will perish like wheat that is not reaped.—This compassion for perishing men will naturally lead to prayer for labourers, (Matthew 9:38) and such compassion and prayer will form the best preparation for going forth to be labourers ourselves. (Matthew 10:1) Any man who is called of God to devote himself to preaching the gospel will have felt something, ought to have felt much, of this pitying love for his perishing fellow men, and will have prayed much for their rescue; and those engaged in that work should be careful to maintain, as long as they live, this same pity and prayer. And not only preachers, but all Christians, should feel as Jesus felt, and should regularly and habitually pray this prayer. Send forth is literally cast out, 'throw out,' or 'thrust out,' the same word that is used in Matthew 9:33 f., in Matthew 10:1, and above in Matthew 9:25 (where see note). Compare its use in Mark 1:12; James 2:25. It always implies urgency, haste, constraint, or some such idea, and here means that the labourers should be sent out promptly, pushed into their work. Beza: "For we are all very tardy, especially in such matters."This same word is retained when our Lord speaks to the seventy. (Luke 10:2)(1) Such labourers as the Lord of the harvest does put forth, we may endeavour, with his blessing, to train for the better performance of their work (see on "Matthew 10:1"); but they must be his labourers, not ours, called into the work, and urged to the performance of it, by himself.

Mission Of The Twelve, Cont

Matthew 10:1. Having led the disciples to feel interest in perishing throngs of men, and encouraged them to pray for labourers, Jesus now bids them go forth to labour themselves. We ought carefully to observe the slow and gradual process by which our Lord prepared the Twelve for their great and important life-work. First, he called various individuals to be his disciples, as, for example, those in John 1:35-51; these went with him for a time, but afterwards returned to their homes and their secular employments. Next, he called some to attach themselves permanently to him, as above in Matthew 4:18-22, stating at the time his intention to make them fishers of men. After a while, he selected from the general mass of his followers the Twelve, who were to be specially near to him, and to be trained for special duties; delivering to them, immediately after their selection (see on "Matthew 5:1"), a great discourse on the true nature of that Messianic reign which they were to aid in bringing about. And now, at a still later period, when they have been long hearing his discourses to the people, talking with him familiarly in private, and witnessing his multiplied miracles, he sends them forth, two and two, to preach and heal; but not yet to work independently of him, for they are only to go before and prepare the way for his coming. After a season spent in such personal labours, they will return, and remain long with him, receiving further instruction, which they will more earnestly desire and more fully appreciate, from their attempts at actual preaching. And finally, after his ascension, they will be ready, with the Holy Spirit as their abiding Instructor, to go and disciple all nations. After all this training they could do nothing without the Spirit; yet, though they were to have the Spirit, they must also have this training—doing what they could, meanwhile, to reap the great and perishing harvest, but devoting themselves mainly to preparation for wider usefulness in the coming years.

With Matthew 10:1-15 compare Mark 6:7-11, Luke 9:1-5. Disciples, see on "Matthew 5:1".—Power, authority, which in such a case would carry with it the power, see on "Matthew 9:6". As to demoniacal possessions, see on "Matthew 8:28". These spirits are called unclean, because of their own wickedness, and perhaps because their presence was a pollution to the person possessed (compare on Matthew 12:43 ff.); and this served to distinguish them from good or pure spirits. Sometimes they are called 'evil spirits.' All manner of, etc., every disease and every infirmity, compare Matthew 9:35, Matthew 4:23.

II. Matthew 10:2-4. List Of The Twelve

Matthew has not mentioned the selection of the Twelve, which took place before this. (Mark 3:13, Luke 6:13, compare on Matthew 5:1) At the time when he wrote, the twelve apostles were well known, and he speaks of them accordingly: 'his twelve disciples,' 'the twelve apostles.' The number twelve was probably chosen with reference to the number of tribes (see on "Matthew 19:28"). Apostles; the name, borrowed from Greek apostolos, 'one sent off,' or 'sent forth,' is here introduced by Matt. for the first time, in connection with the occasion on which they were first actually sent forth (Matthew 10:5) to labour. But our Lord gave them that name when he selected the Twelve. (see Luke 6:13) The word is translated 'one that is sent' in John 13:16; 'messenger' in 1 Corinthians 8:13, Philippians 2:25; everywhere else in Com. Ver. and Rev. Ver., it is 'apostle.' Jesus himself is called an apostle, i.e., sent by God, in Hebrews 8:1. Our word missionary, derived from the Latin, likewise signifies "one sent."

Curious, and in some respects instructive results, may be obtained from a comparison of the four lists of the Twelve.

Matthew 10:2

Mark 3:16 f.

Luke 6:14 f.

Acts 1:13 f.

Simon Peter

Simon Peter

Simon Peter

Simon Peter

Andrew

James

Andrew

James

James

John

James

John

Philip

Philip

Philip

Philip

Bartholomew

Bartholomew

Bartholomew

Bartholomew

Thomas

Matthew

Matthew

Bartholomew

Matthew

Thomas

Thomas

Matthew

James the son of Alpheus

James the son of Alpheus

James the son of Alpheus

James the son of Alpheus

Thaddeus

Thaddeus

Simon the Zealot

Simon the Zealot

Simon the Canaanite

Simon the Canaanite

Judas the brother of James

Judas the brother of James

Philip

Philip

Philip

Philip

Judas Iscariot

Judas Iscariot

Judas Iscariot

(Vacant)

We observe at once that, with all the variety in the order of succession, Simon Peter is always first, and Judas Iscariot last. Again, the first six names in Matthew, Mark, and Luke are the five earliest known converts., (John 1:35-51) together with James, the brother of one of them; and the first four in all the lists are the two pairs of brothers whose call to follow Jesus is the earliest mentioned. (Matthew 4:18-22) Furthermore we note in each of the lists three groups of four, headed respectively in every list by Peter, Philip, and James, which groups contain always the same four persons, though within the limits of each group the order greatly varies, except as to Judas Iscariot. It seems a natural and unavoidable inference that the Twelve were in some sense divided into three companies of four, each having a recognized leader. The foremost in the first company, and at the head of all the Twelve, is Simon Peter. When Matthew says, First, Simon who is called Peter, he cannot mean merely that this happens to be the name first mentioned by him; and there is no explanation in the fact that those are mentioned first who first came to Jesus; for then Andrew and probably John, ought to precede Peter. (John 1:35 ff.) It is unquestionable that Simon Peter was a sort of leader among the Twelve. (See on "Matthew 16:18".) As regards the remaining members of the first company or group of four, we may suppose that Matthew and Luke put Andrew next to Simon because they were brothers; while Mark and Acts and Mark 13:3 place James and John next to Simon, because they three were admitted to special intimacy and favour with Jesus, being the only persons present on several solemn occasions. (See on "Matthew 17:1".) The four who formed this first group are mentioned in Mark 13:3 as making private inquiries of Jesus concerning the destruction of the temple, etc. In the second company, Matthew puts Thomas before himself (compare Acts), while Mark and Luke place Matthew first. After Philip, Matthew, Mark and Luke put Bartholomew, probably the same as Nathanael, who was brought to Jesus by Philip (John 1:46 ff) In the third company of four, Simon the Cananite in Matthew and Mark is obviously the same as Simon the Zealot in Luke and Acts (see below); hence Thaddeus (Lebbeus is a false reading) must be only another name of Judas the brother of James. He might naturally be put next to his brother, as by Matthew and Mark; or Luke's order may indicate that Simon the Zealot was reckoned the more important personage. Observe that there are among the Twelve three pairs of brothers—Simon and Andrew, James and John, James the son of Alpheus, and Judas the brother of James (though this last may be 'son,' see below); also that Matthew and Luke give the list in couples, and Mark (Mark 6:7) says they were sent forth 'by two and two,' and these couples would easily lead to the grouping into fours. It would be natural that in different journeyings the couples should somewhat vary, and this might perhaps account for the different order of names in the several groups of four.

Simon who is called Peter. Simon was a Greek name, but in the New Testament is pretty certainly a contraction of Simeon, which form is given in Acts 15:14, and by some authorities in 2 Peter 1:1. Simeon signified hearing. (Genesis 29:33) Simon was a native of Bethsaida, (John 1:44) a town on the Sea of Galilee, described below on Matthew 11:21. His father's name was Jonah or John (see on "Matthew 16:17"). He and his brother Andrew were fishermen on the Lake of Galilee. Andrew, and probably Simon also. was a disciple of John the Baptist, before coming to know Jesus. (John 1:35 ff.) Jesus gave to Simon when he first approached him, the surname of Cephas, (John 1:43) which in the Aramaic language spoken by them, signified a rock or stone (Kepha, Greek form Kephas), and which was translated into the Greek, signifying the same thing; hence Latin Petrus, English Peter. The Aramaic Cephas is always used by Paul (1 Corinthians, Gal. correct text), and nowhere else in N. T. (except John 1:43) After following Jesus for some time, Simon appears to have returned to his business as a fisherman, and was subsequently prominent among those called to be regular attendants. (See on "Matthew 4:18 ff.") The principal events of his subsequent life are given in Matthew 8:14 ff Matthew 14:28 ff.; Matthew 16:16 Matthew 16, 22 ff.; John 13:6 ff.; Matthew 26:33, Matthew 26:69 ff.; John 21:15 ff.; then in Acts 1:15, Acts 2:14, Acts 4:8, Acts 5:3, Acts 8:14 ff.; Acts 10:1 ff.; Acts 12:3 ff.; Acts 15:7. He was an ardent and impulsive man, of great force of character, and extremely self-confident. Sad experience, through the special influences of the Sprit, wrought a great change in him, though still, the last time he appears distinctly in the N. T. history, we discern the same impulsiveness and readiness to change, as of yore. (Galatians 2:11) He seems to have been at Babylon, where there were many Jews, at the time of writing his First Epistle. (1 Peter 5:13) The traditions concerning his later life are very uncertain, and so as to all the apostles except John. As regards Peter's position of leader among the Twelve, see on "Matthew 16:18"f.

Andrew. The name is Greek, signifying 'manly.' The facts concerning his parentage. residence, occupation, and early discipleship have been mentioned in connection with Peter. The only other cases in which he appears are John 6:8, John 12:22, Mark 13:3. The traditions concerning him are wholly unreliable. Yet he is important to us, not only as one of the inspired apostles, but as the means of bringing to Jesus his own brother Simon. All the usefulness of Simon Peter is, in one sense, due to the brother who told him of Jesus. And so, many a one in every age, little known himself, and of no marked influence otherwise, has been among the great benefactors of mankind, by bringing to Jesus some other person who proved widely useful.

James and John. James was probably the elder, as he is usually mentioned first, while John is sometimes put foremost, (Luke 9:28, Acts 12:2) probably because more prominent, and because alone surviving when the books were written. James is originally the same name as Jacob, 'supplanter,' being written in the Greek, Iacobos, Latin, Iacobus, then Jacopus, Jacomus, and so James. John is the Hebrew Johanan, 'Jehovah graciously gave,' see on "Matthew 3:1". Their father, Zebedee, was a fisherman on the Lake of Galilee, (Matthew 4:21) but apparently a man of some property, as he employed hired servants, (Mark 1:20) and as his wife was one of the women who contributed to the support of Jesus and his disciples (Matthew 27:55 f.; Luke 8:3), and probably a man of good social position, as we find John familiarly acquainted at the house of the high priest. (John 18:15 f.) Prom their mother Salome (see on "Matthew 27:56") was perhaps inherited the ambition (see on "Matthew 20:26"), and perhaps also the ardor, intensity, vehemence, and warm affection, which characterized her sons. These qualities of theirs were doubtless the ground of the name Boanerges, 'sons of thunder,' which Jesus gave to the two brothers. (Mark 3:17) John appears to have been a disciple of John the Baptist, it being almost certain that he was the unnamed disciple of John 1:35-41.

We have no account of any call of James, until the time when the two brothers, with Simon and Andrew, were called to become our Lord's constant followers; (Matthew 4:21) John at least was probably with Jesus during the previous labours recorded in his Gospel. (Matthew 2-4.) The peculiar temperament of the brothers appears in Mark 9:38 ff.; Luke 9:52 ff.; Matthew 20:20 ff. After this last event, we hear nothing of James, save as present at Gethsemane, and included in the list of Acts 1:13, until the time when Herod Agrippa I. put him to death, (Acts 12:2) the first martyr among the apostles.

John, however, appears quite frequently, usually in immediate association with Peter, between whom and himself there was probably a special friendship. Together they were sent to prepare for the Paschal Supper, (Luke 22:8) at which John was allowed to lean on Jesus' breast, "the disciple whom Jesus loved." Together they (and James) witnessed the agony in the garden, and both followed to the trial. (John 18:15.) At the cross, John only of the Twelve seems to have been present, drawn by his ardent affection, and perhaps relying to some extent on his acquaintance with the high-priest for safety; and there he received the mother of his dying friend as one of his own family. Peter and John were also together in John 20:2 ff.; John 21:2 ff.; Acts 3:1 ff.; Acts 8:14, Galatians 2:9. From Revelations Galatians 1:9 we learn that at some time he was in exile on the Island of Patmos. There seems little doubt that he spent many years in "Asia," i.e., Proconsular Asia, particularly about Ephesus, and there wrote his inspired works. Several early traditions in regard to him are pleasing and probably true, particularly the story of his reclaiming the young robber, of his keeping a tame bird, of his saying, "Little children, love one another," and of his leaving a house because a noted false teacher was there. John as disciplined by grace, exhibits one of the noblest types of human character. The love with which his Epistles abound has in it nothing effeminate. He strongly condemns and severely denounces the prevailing errors and evils. He is not merely contemplative, but intensely practical; insisting that Christian love must show itself in holiness and usefulness, or it is naught. Still vehement, uncompromising, and outspoken, the loving and beloved old man has not ceased to be the "Son of Thunder"; but the vaulting ambition which once aspired to be next to royalty in a worldly kingdom, now seeks to overcome the world, to bear testimony to the truth, to purify the churches, and glorify God.

Matthew 10:3. Philip. The name is Greek, signifying "lover of horses." Philip, like Peter and Andrew, was a native of Bethsaida, (John 1:45) and one of those who left the Baptist at the Jordan to follow Jesus, his friend Nathanael, or Bartholomew, being also brought to Jesus through his influence. (John 1:44 ff.) The only recorded incidents of his life are given in John 6:5 ff.; Matthew 12:21, Matthew 14:8 ff. And yet he was apparently one of the leaders among the Twelve, always standing at the head of the second group of four. The traditions concerning him are quite unreliable. He must of course be distinguished from Philip the Evangelist, of whom we read in the Acts. The name Bartholomew is Bar Tolmai, 'son of Tolmai,' and Tolmai (perhaps 'plowman') is an O. T. name, having in the Septuagint of Joshua 15:14 the form Tholami, and in Josephus "Ant.," 20, 1, 1, the form Tholomeus. Nathanael denotes 'God-given,' like Theodore, etc. From John 21:2 we naturally suppose Nathanael to have been one of the Twelve; and as it was Philip who brought Nathanael to Jesus, (John 1:44 ff.) and Bartholomew stands immediately after Philip in the catalogues of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, we conclude that Nathanael and Bartholomew were the same person. The only fact known in his history is that he was a native of Cana. (John 21:2) The traditions concerning him are of little or no value. But he stands out in conspicuous lustre from the tribute of Jesus when he first approached him,"Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile"! (John 1:47) Thomas. This name signifying 'twin' was sometimes translated into the Greek Didymus, (John 11:16) which means the same thing, just as Cephas and Peter are used, or Messiah and Christ. The incidents given of his life are in John 11:16, John 14:4 f.; John 20:24 ff. He does not deserve to be called "doubting Thomas,"in the usual sense of the phrase; he was desponding, slow to believe what he ardently desired (as he had been ready to believe the worst, John 11:16), but when convinced, uttering the noblest confession in the Gospels. (John 20:28) The traditions concerning him are uncertain. As to Matthew, see on "Matthew 9:9". It is a trait of humility that he speaks of himself as Matthew, the publican; recalling the discreditable business which he had formerly followed, while the other catalogues make no such allusion. Eusebius says ("Hist." iii. 24, 6) that "Matthew, after first preaching to the Hebrews, when he was about to go also to other nations, committed to writing in his native tongue the Gospel according to him, thus supplying the place of his presence." Papias, who wrote about A. D. 130, says: "Matthew composed in the Hebrew language the oracles, and every one interpreted them as he was able." The term "oracles" might mean simply discourses, or might have a more general sense, including narrative, as in Romans 3:2. The relation of this Hebrew (Aramaic) writing to our Greek Gospel we have scarcely the means of determining. See the works on Canon and on Introduction.—The later history of Matthew is unknown; the traditions are unreliable.

James the son of Alpheus. If we adopt the much more probable view that this James is distinct from "James the brother of the Lord" (see on Matthew 13:55), we are left with scarcely any knowledge of this eminent apostle, the leader in the third group of four. His father's name was Alpheus or Halpheus, which was also the name of Matthew's father. (Mark 2:14) Clopas (John 19:25) might be another form of the same name, but we cannot say that it was the same person. As to whether James was the brother of Judas Thaddeus, see below.

The copious accounts sometimes given of him result from identifying him with James the brother of the Lord. Thaddeus. This alone is the name in Matt. and Mark, according to the correct text.(1) We have seen from comparing the catalogue that Thaddeus must be only another name of 'Judas the brother of James,' as given in Luke and Acts. He was thus known as Judas the beloved, or darling. In Luke and Acts he is distinguished from Judas Iscariot by calling him 'Judas of James,' or 'James's Judas,' a form of expression which is quite common in Greek, and which usually adds the father of the person described, but sometimes another connection, such as husband, son, brother, or even friend. (See Winer, p. 190 237.) An eminent example is that of the early Christian writer Eusebius, who, after the death of his friend Pamphilus, always called himself Eusebius of Pamphilus. If nothing were known to the contrary, we should naturally translate 'Judas son of James,' as is done by the Peshito and Thebaic versions, and by our Rev. Ver. (Luke 6:16, Acts 1:13) Compare Bishop Lightfoot on Gal., p. 256. But as the Epistle of Jude begins 'Judas, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James' (where brother is expressed in the Greek), we seem entirely warranted in using that fact to solve the ambiguity of Luke's expression 'Judas of James,' and understanding it to mean the brother of James; yet it is impossible to determine the question with certainty, for we cannot even be certain that the Epistle was written by the apostle Judas. The only incident in the life of Judas Thaddeus is given in John 14:22. The traditions concerning him are worthless.

Simon the Canaanite, or Cananaean. The name Simon being very common, this apostle is distinguished from Simon Peter and others by the surname Cananaean, which in Aramaic would signify the same thing as the Greek word Zelotes given in Luke and Acts, viz., 'Zealot.' Thirty years later than this, as we find from Josephus ("War,"4, 3, 9), there existed a party calling themselves Zealots, as being very zealous for the national religion and institutions. (Compare Acts 21:20, Romans 10:2) They were accustomed to punish without trial, to "lynch" any Jew who seemed to them a traitor or violator of the law, finding precedent and sanction in the ease of Phinehas. (Numbers 25:7) This practice, as must always happen when it is continued, led finally to gross abuses and horrid cruelties, and the Zealots had no small part in the ruin of the nation. It is likely that the party already existed in the time of our Lord (having come down from Judas the Galilean), (Acts 5:27) though on a much smaller scale than afterwards, and that Simon had at one time belonged to it, and thus acquired his surname, Zelotes or Cananaean. It is quite a mistake to confound this with Canaanite, which in Greek is materially different; (Matthew 15:22) the mistake is found as early as Great Bible, "Simon of Canaan," (so in Bagster's Hexapla, both in Matt. and Mark. Bishop Lightfoot Rev. seems to be mistaken in ascribing the double a to the Bishop's Bible.) Of this apostle's history we know nothing at all. The fact that he had been a Zealot would suggest an ardent nature; it is probable that, like Paul, he showed in doing good the same fiery zeal he had shown in doing evil.

Judas Iscariot has the same surname in John 12:4, John 13:2. His father was called Simon Iscariot. (John 6:71, John 13:26, correct text.) Judas is a Greek form of Judah. (See on "Matthew 1:2".) The surname Iscariot is Ish-Kerioth, 'man of Kerioth,' a town in the tribe of Judah; (Joshua 15:15) it is spelled Iscarioth in the better Greek text of Mark 3:19, Luke 6:16. So Ish-Tob, 'man of Tob' or 'men of Tob' is in the Sept., Istob, and in Josephus Istobos. The fact that his father had the same surname quite excludes Lightfoot's fanciful etymologies from Latin scortea, a leathern apron, because he carried the hag, or from Hebrew askara, strangling. All the other disciples appear to have been Galileans (though that is not certain), and this difference might have some effect on Judas in preventing full sympathy with the others. We know nothing of his early history or his call to he a disciple. It was not only a matter of divine foreknowledge that he would betray his Teacher—as all things are—but was distinctly foreseen from an early period by Jesus, (John 6:64) who in his human mind was not omniscient. (Matthew 24:36) That a person in whom this was foreseen should be chosen one of the Twelve, is not more mysterious than a thousand other things which are done in the providence of the same Lord. Weiss : "The other disciples, too, were not without great weaknesses and faults of character, which were certainly no secret to Jesus..... On the other hand, Judas must have possessed special endowments, for Jesus to consider it desirable to secure him as a disciple." His talent for business, with the care of the common fund, seems to have developed a ruinous avarice, even in the very company of Jesus. He shows us that the greatest outward privileges may be of no avail, and may even be perverted into a curse; and he exemplifies the gradual progress, the terrible power, and the awful results, of covetousness. It may very well be that in the beginning he was sincere and meant to be faithful; but as so often happens, his gift became his snare.—It is some relief to our distress when we see men in high places of Christian usefulness at the present day falling utterly away, to remember that it was so at the beginning, even among our Lord's chosen Twelve. Judas must have wrought miracles like the others, (compare Matthew 7:22 f.) and his preaching must have produced effects like theirs, or the difference would have been noticed by him and them. In like manner now, a bad man sometimes preaches, and God converts souls through his instrumentality; and these, when he afterwards turns out to have been all the while a bad man at heart, may well mourn for him, but need have no fears as to the preciousness of the truths he proclaimed, or scruples as to the validity of the ordinances he administered. As to the motives of Judas in the betrayal, see on "Matthew 26:14 ff.", and as to his remorse and self-destruction, see on "Matthew 27:3 ff." Betrayed, is literally, delivered up (margin Rev. Ver.), the same word as in Matthew 10:17, Matthew 10:19, Matthew 10:21, above in Matthew 5:25, and often, It is a part of the characteristic moderation of the Evangelists that never, except in Luke 6:16, do they apply to Judas the harsh words betray and traitor, which have become so fixed in our usage. Compare on Matthew 17:22.

III. Matthew 10:5-15. Instructions To The Twelve

The remainder of Matthew 10 contains the charge given to the Twelve on sending them out. (Compare on Matthew 9:35) The earlier portion of this, (Matthew 10:5-15) is also briefly reported by Mark, (Mark 6:8-11) and Luke. (Matthew 9:3-5) The rest (Matthew 10:16-42) is found in Matthew only. (See below on "Matthew 10:16".) A charge closely resembling the earlier part of this discourse was also given to the Seventy, when sent out some time later. (Luke 10:1-16)

Matthew 10:5 f, These twelve Jesus sent forth; in Greek the verb from which comes apostolos, 'one sent off.' (See on "Matthew 10:2".) We learn from Mark (Mark 6:7) that he sent them 'two and two.' This arrangement may possibly have been suggested by the fact that there were among the Twelve two or three pairs of brothers (see on "Matthew 10:2"f.), but it had also some important advantages, both as regards the apostles themselves, and as to their work. The two served as company for each other, preventing the loneliness which the apostle Paul took so much pains to avoid on his journeys. They could also relieve each other in preaching, which, in the open air, and to the crowds gathered by their miracles, would be laborious, as our Lord himself found it. And then the testimony of the two witnesses concerning the teachings and miracles of the Great Prophet who was coming after them, would be more impressive among the people than that of one alone. The Seventy also were sent forth two and two. (Luke 10:1) Compare Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Luke 7:19.—how long these journeyings and labours of the six pairs of apostles continued, we have no means of ascertaining; one would conjecture a few weeks. Way of the Gentiles, like 'the removal of Babylon' (compare on Matthew 1:11), and 'the way of the tree of life,', (Genesis 3:24) readily signifies a way leading to the Gentiles (so rendered by Tyndale), a road to Gentile countries. (Compare also Jeremiah 2:18, Acts 2:28, Acts 16:17) In travelling on the southern border of Galilee, they would of course come near some Samaritan towns; thus we see that the language is quite precise—Do not enter a city of the Samaritans, do not go off into a road to the Gentiles.

Samaritans. samaria was the district lying between Judea and Galilee. The dislike between the Jews and the Samaritans had its beginnings as far back as the earliest times of Israel in the jealousy existing between the tribes of Judah and Ephraim, which finally led to the division into two kingdoms. When the people of the Northern Kingdom (who came to be called Samaritans from the capital city, Samaria, 1 Kings 16:24), were carried into captivity by the Assyrians, the country was partly occupied by Mesopotamian colonists, who were idolaters. These gradually coalesced with the dregs of the Israelites who had been left in the land, and with the fugitives who returned from surrounding countries, into a half-heathen nation, attempting to unite idolatry with the worship of Jehovah. When the people of the Southern Kingdom, the Jews, returned from their captivity in Babylon, and undertook to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem, the Samaritans proffered to help them; and being repulsed, as not of pure Israelitish descent, they then did all in their power to hinder the building of the temple, and the fortification of the city. A brother of the Jewish high-priest, having married a Samaritan woman, and being unwilling to put her away as required went over to the Samaritans, and was made priest in a temple built for him on Mount Gerizim (Jos."Ant.," 11, 8, 2), which the Samaritans from that time began to contend was the proper place for the worship of Jehovah, rather than Jerusalem. (John 4:20) These causes naturally led to bitter hatred between Jews and Samaritans, and they were constantly attempting to injure and insult each other, while under the dominion of the Greek kings of Syria. John Hyrcanus conquered the Samaritans, destroying their temple and capital (about B. C. 125). Pompey established their independence (B. C. 63). At the time of our Lord's public ministry, Judea and Samaria were governed by the same Roman procurator, but as distinct administrative districts; and the hatred between the two nations, cherished through centuries, and combining all the elements of race jealousy, religious rivalry, political hostility, and numerous old grudges, had become so intense that the world has probably never seen its parallel. The theory of some writers that the Samaritans were of purely heathen origins would suppose that the entire population of tile Northern people was deported by the Assyrians—a thing extremely improbable; would render the frequent claim of the Samaritans to be Jews an absurdity; and would make it difficult to account for the Samaritan Pentateuch, and the Samaritan expectation of Messiah. For the Samaritans, like the Jews, expected the Messiah, (John 4:25, John 4:29) and something like a year before this mission of the Twelve our Lord's preaching among them at Sychar was warmly received, and many believed on him. (John 4:39-42) Some time after this mission he also went twice through Samaria, and spoke and acted kindly towards them. (Luke 9:51 ff.; Luke 17:11 ff.) Why, then, might not the Twelve go into their cities? It is enough to reply that the Twelve had not then such feelings towards that people as would qualify them to do good there. The proposal of James and John to call down fire from heaven upon a Samaritan village (Luke 9:52 ff.) shows that there would have been bitter controversies, with the old national hate ever ready to burst out. (Compare Bruce,"Training of the Twelve.") In Acts 1:8, Samaria is expressly included in the field of their appointed labours after the ascension. (Compare Acts 8:5)

Matthew 10:6. To the lost sheep, etc., compare on Matthew 9:36; and see the same figure employed in Isaiah 53:6, Jeremiah 50:6, Ezekiel 34:5. Our Lord confined his own personal labours almost entirely to the Jews; he declares, in Matthew 15:24, that his mission was 'to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,' the same expression as here; though at a later period he says that he has other sheep which are not of this fold.' (John 10:16) It was a part of the peculiar privileges of the Jewish nation that the gospel should be first preached to them; (Luke 24:47, Acts 13:46, Romans 1:16) yet Jesus frequently intimated that these exclusive privileges could not last always (Matthew 8:11, Matthew 10:18, Matthew 21:43, Matthew 22:9, Matthew 24:14) By confining his labours and those of the Twelve to them he avoided exciting their prejudices, and thus deprived them of even the poor excuse for rejecting him which they would have found in his preaching freely among the Gentiles and Samaritans. Accordingly, Matthew mentions this limitation, while Mark and Luke do not. Even at a later period, Paul found it almost impossible to convince some Jewish Christians that the Gentiles were to be admitted to the privileges of the gospel, without becoming Jews. And then had the reign of Messiah been proclaimed to the Gentiles before it had been welcomed by many Jews, the former might have made it a very plausible objection to the new religion that it was not believed in at home, where it was best understood. Furthermore, as regards this mission of the Twelve, they were as yet too ignorant themselves of the true nature of Messiah's kingdom to undertake its propagation among the Gentiles; they would have introduced the current Jewish errors on the subject. Some years later, when their own course of early instruction was completed, and the Spirit was come, they were prepared to preach "repentance and remission of sins... unto all the nations." (Luke 24:47, Rev. Ver.) For the present they could prepare the Jews among whom they went for the preaching of Jesus, and what they said would not strengthen, but so far as it went would rather correct the popular errors. Such a restriction of labour to the Jews is not addressed to the Seventy, (Luke 10:1 ff.) but it is really involved in the statement that they were to go where Jesus was going.

Matthew 10:7 f. Preach, see on "Matthew 4:17". The kingdom of heaven is at hand, see on "Matthew 8:2". This was the same announcement that John the Baptist had made, and with which Jesus himself had begun his ministry in Galilee (compare on Matthew 4:17); so the Seventy likewise. (Luke 10:9) Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils—demons. The Greek has no article. The original means, Heal sick, i.e., persons, etc. They were not commanded to heal all the sick they met with. Probably they restricted their miracles, as Jesus himself usually did, to those who showed desire and faith. The Seventy also were commanded to heal the sick, in every city which received them. (Luke 10:9) As to leprosy, see on Matthew 8:2; and upon demoniacal possessions, see on Matthew 8:28-31. The clause raise dead, i.e., persons, is not certainly genuine, but most probably.(1) Freely (or, gratis) ye have received, freely (or, gratis) give. The word which Tyn., etc., and Com. Ver. here render 'freely' really signifies 'as a gift,' and is exactly rendered gratis, by the Latin versions and Rheims. It is not opposed to the idea of giving or receiving in a stingy way, or on a small scale, but to the idea of giving or receiving for pay. Observe the force of the word, as thus explained, in Romans 3:24; 1 Corinthians 11:7; Revelation 21:6, Revelation 22:17. (Compare Isaiah 55:1) The Jewish exorcisers who pretended to cast out demons were no doubt accustomed to have pay; and physicians of course took pay for healing the sick. The Twelve could easily have obtained money, in large sums, for the cures they were empowered to perform. We might think it strange that they should need to be told not to do so; but they had as yet very imperfect conceptions of the nature of Christ's work, and not merely might Judas Iscariot have been glad enough to drive a brisk trade in miraculous healing for pay, but others of them might have seen no impropriety in receiving compensation for conferring such important benefits. Jesus tells them they received gratis, and must give gratis. They had not purchased the power of miraculous healing—as Simon Magus wished to do, (Acts 8:18)—nor obtained it by long and expensive study, and laborious practice; it was received as a gift, and must be exercised in like manner. The miracles were really credentials for their teaching, as well as indications of divine benevolence, and should be used accordingly. As to teaching, we find Micah (Micah 3:11) making it a reproach that the heads of Israel "judge for reward, priests teach for hire, and prophets divine for money." Some of the later Jewish writers maintained very earnestly, though often on fanciful grounds, and though many rabbis acted quite otherwise, that a man ought not to teach the law for pay, but gratuitously—just as Socrates and Plato held with reference to philosophy.

Matthew 10:9 f. While they were thus to work their miracles, and teach the people, without pay, they must, on the other hand, look to those among whom they went for food and clothing, (Matthew 10:9 f.) and for a hospitable reception. (Matthew 10:11-15) They must neither seek for gain, (Matthew 19:8) nor be anxious about their livelihood, but laying aside both selfish aims and personal cares, devote themselves to their appointed task. He therefore directs them to lay in no money, whether gold, silver, or copper, no provision bag, nor staff, nor extra clothing, nor even a loaf of bread; (Mark 6:8, Luke 9:3) since the labourer is worthy of his sustenance. Our Lord is not giving an exact list of objects to be dispensed with, but is only illustrating the principle; and so (Luketteroth) it is not strange that the other Gospels give the details somewhat differently.

Provide neither gold, etc., or, as in Rev, Ver., Get you no gold, nor silver, nor copper, in your girdles. The expression involves a climax—not gold, nor yet silver, nor even copper. Mark (Mark 6:8) mentions only copper; Luke (Luke 9:3) only silver, 'Brass,' as in Com. Ver., a mixture of copper and zinc, is not believed to have been in use among the ancients; they made coins, and a great variety of utensils and implements, sometimes of pure copper, but more frequently of bronze, a mixture of copper and tin, and it is this that is commonly meant in Scripture by the word copper. The 'girdle' (see on "Matthew 3:4") was often of fine materials and elegant workmanship, and made hollow so as to carry money. The word rendered 'purse' in Luke 10:4, is different, and denotes a small pouch, like our purse. No scrip, etc., or, no bag for the road, (travelling bag, or haversack), the word signifying a leather bag or wallet, used for carrying provisions when travelling. The English word 'scrip' was formerly used in that sense, but is now obsolete. Two coats, the word meaning the inner garment or long shirt, described on Matthew 5:40. It was not uncommon to wear two of them at once, but was unnecessary; and so John the Baptist (Luke 3:11) directed him who had two to give to him who had none. In setting out on a journey it is natural to assume additional or thicker clothing; and even this is here prohibited. (Compare Mark 6:9) Or it may mean that they must not carry with them a change of clothing, but trust to obtaining it when needed. Neither shoes, or, sandals. See on "Matthew 3:11". Nor yet staves —better— nor staff. The singular is tile best supported reading of the Greek text. Mark, (Mark 6:8) 'he charged them to take nothing for their journey save a staff only,' would not necessarily conflict with Matthew. The one forbids them to procure a staff for the purpose, the other allows them to carry with them one already possessed. But Luke (Luke 9:3) uses the same Greek term as Mark, they must not carry a staff, and we have to fall back upon the principle stated above; there are indeed many cases in which the Evangelists give details differently, while the substance is the same. So in Matthew they are forbidden to procure sandals, while Mark has it, 'but to go shod with sandals.' These soles of leather or raw hide, bound under the feet, would very soon wear out in travelling, and one setting out on a long pedestrian journey would naturally wish to lay in a supply of them; but the disciples must go with those they had on. Compare as to the Seventy Luke 10:4. We might take for granted that these specific directions were designed only for the existing circumstances of the disciples, and were meant to be followed after the Ascension only according to the principles involved, not according to the particular details. Still more clearly is that seen in the directions of Matthew 10:11 ff., which are manifestly founded upon the peculiar usages of Oriental hospitality. And this view is established beyond controversy by Luke 22:35 ff., where under different circumstances they are commanded to pursue an altogether different course. Yet there have not been wanting some to contend, and even persons fanatical enough to attempt carrying the idea into practice, that ministers now, and especially foreign missionaries, should always go forth in the way here directed. But our Lord himself and the Twelve with him sometimes had money, which Judas carried in a purse, (John 12:6) and expended from time to time in supplying their wants and in relieving the poor. (John 13:29) For the workman is worthy of his meat—or—sustenance, this being the exact meaning of the word—whatever is needed to sustain life. To the Seventy he said, (Luke 10:7) 'for the labourer is worthy of his hire,' and this is the form in which Paul quotes the saying. (1 Timothy 5:18) Aristotle says,"A slave's hire is his sustenance." (Compare Numbers 18:31) It was a very useless variation for Tyndale, etc., and Com. Ver., to put 'workman' here, when the same word is rendered 'labourers' just above in Matthew 9:37 f., and also in the corresponding passages of Luke and 1 Timothy Our Lord here distinctly sets forth the same truth concerning the preacher's right to have his wants supplied by those among whom he labours, which Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 9, and 1 Timothy 5:17 f. Some think the meaning bore to be that as God's labourers they had a right to expect that he would give them sustenance, by his providence; but that view does not well suit the connection here, or in Luke 10:7, nor at all accord with Paul's use of the saying in 1 Tim. See also 1 Corinthians 9:14, which seems to refer to this passage, if we there understand 'the Lord' to mean, as so often in the Epistles, the Lord Jesus.

Matthew 10:11-13. Whatsoever city or town (village), see on "Matthew 9:35". Nearly all the people were gathered into cities or villages, it being unusual to live alone in the country, and indeed unsafe, from the unsettled condition of affairs and the prevalence of robbers; in fact, travellers in Palestine have to pursue a similar course now. Inquire, search out, or 'ascertain by investigation,' a stronger term than 'enquire.' Who in it is worthy, i.e., a man of piety and hospitality such as would make a fit associate and a willing host. And there abide till ye go hence, viz., forth from the city. In addressing the Seventy, (Luke 10:7) he adds 'go not from house to house.' The chief object of this injunction seems to have been to make them feel perfectly easy about the burden of entertaining them; they must not even trouble themselves to change their stopping-place in a town, with a view to divide the burden. They had a right to a support, and must go without fear to a suitable place and stay there. It would not prove a real burden to entertain two men on a hurried journey, and they would of course not go to stay with a family which they learned was very poor. We can see another advantage of this course in that they could give themselves more uninterruptedly to their public labours. Thomson says (Vol. ii., 407), that at the present day, "when a stranger arrives in a village or an encampment, the neighbours, one after another, usually invite him to eat with them. There is a strict etiquette about it, involving much ostentation and hypocrisy, and a failure in the due observance of such hospitality is frequently resented, and often leads to alienations and feuds amongst neighbours."—The apostles found in carrying out the directions here given, that they lacked nothing—all their wants were supplied. (Luke 22:35) Into a (the) house, i.e., the one selected according to his direction. Salute it. The form of salutation would be readily understood, and was stated to the Seventy, (Luke 10:5) "Peace be to this house." This was the common salutation among the Jews, e. g., Luke 24:36; John 20:19, John 20:21, John 20:26; 1 Samuel 25:6; Psalms 122:7, Psalms 122:8. The Hebrew word employed, shalom, signified originally wholeness, soundness, and hence health, welfare, prosperity, well-being in general; and then peace, as opposed to war, because this so greatly conduces to prosperity and welfare in general. As a salutation, the term was thus an invocation of good of every kind, a benediction, a wish that one might be blessed in every respect. It is important to observe this breadth of meaning in the term, when studying various passages, such as John 14:27; James 2:16, and the opening and closing salutations of several of the Epistles. The same word, salaam, is now used by the Arabs. If the house be worthy, i. e., of your abiding in it, as in Matthew 10:11. The emphasis in the Greek is on 'be,' and if the house be worthy, as you were informed.—If (Matthew 10:11) it be not worthy, let your peace return to you, without having accomplished anything. (Compare Isaiah 45:23, Isaiah 55:11) The explanation offered by many, that he says the benediction would come back and do good to themselves, does not appear to be warranted by the usage of similar expressions, although the idea which would thus be conveyed, is itself just and Scriptural.

Matthew 10:14 f. Out of that house or (that) city. He refers at the same time to the case of an individual refusing them hospitality, and of a community refusing to hear their message. They would turn away from an individual, shaking off the dust of their feet, if he refused to receive or hear, but would not necessarily abandon the whole community for his sake. But if a city refused to receive or hear, then they would turn away from that city, shaking off the dust of their feet. These two directions are blended in one sentence. Whosoever is singular here, plural in Luke 9:5. Shaking off the dust, etc., denoted that they wanted nothing whatever to do with them, counting them vile, and all that pertained to them polluting. We find Paul doing this in Acts 13:51, Acts 18:6. The Talmud represents it as common for Jews to do so when re-entering the Holy Land from a heathen country. Similar is the ancient and modern Oriental custom of removing shoes when entering a holy place. Our Lord himself had already been rejected at Nazareth, (Luke 4:16) and in the country of the Gadarenes, and was rejected afterwards at a Samaritan village; (Luke 9:52) indeed, in general, 'he came to his own, and his own received him not.' (John 1:11) We need not then be surprised if some reject us and our message, since it was so with Jesus, and so with the apostles, even on the Day of Pentecost. More tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah, compare on Matthew 11:22, Matthew 11:24. This solemn utterance is here given by Matthew only, the corresponding sentence in Mark 6:11 being an unquestionably spurious though early addition to the text, such as we so often find made in parallel passages.

Homiletical And Practical

Matthew 9:36-38. What a theme for meditation is the Saviour's compassion—at once human compassion and divine—and not a mere sentiment, but leading him to corresponding action, as Teacher and as Redeemer; and also leading him to send out others to teach the way of salvation. Every one now who is truly sent forth of God to spend his life in proclaiming salvation is really a fruit of the Saviour's compassion for the perishing. Looking over a congregation, or any crowd, do you feel a tender concern for their salvation? Thinking of the millions who are perishing, in our own and other lands, do you long for their salvation and pray for it? If not, you are not like Jesus.—The prayer for labourers ought much oftener to form a part of our public and private supplications. All Christian men and women, and boys and girls, ought to feel that they have a work to do in gathering the great harvest of souls, that waves wide and perishing over all the earth.

Matthew 9:36-38. Luther: "The world think nothing more trifling and despicable than the ministers of the word, or labourers in the Lord's harvest; but that is like rejoicing over their own endless misfortune."

Matthew 9:36 to Matthew 10:6. Origin and development of a call to the ministry. (1) Compassionate reflection upon the perishing condition of men, Matthew 10:36 f. (2) Prayer that God will send forth labourers, Matthew 10:38. (3) Conviction that we ourselves must go, Matthew 10:1, Matthew 10:5. Henry: "Those who are to be ministers ought, (1) to live near to Christ; (2) to be taught by him."

Matthew 10:1. Henry: "This was that famous jury, (and to make it a grand jury, Paul was added to it) that was impanelled to inquire between the King of kings and the body of mankind; and in this chapter they have their charge given them by him to whom all judgment was committed."

Matthew 10:2. Henry: "Kinsmen may be dear companions in Christian labour."

Matthew 10:7 f. The relation between the supernatural and the miraculous.

Matthew 10:9-13. Hospitality to travelling preachers; compare Hebrews 13:2, 2 John 1:10.

Matthew 10:12 f. The courtesies of life may be the vehicles of temporal and spiritual blessing.

Matthew 10:14 f. Dreadful guilt of rejecting the gospel. Henry: "The best and most powerful preachers of the gospel must expect to meet with some who will not so much as give them the hearing, nor show them any token of respect."—It may be suggested that in sermons on the twelve apostles it would be well to group two or more of those concerning whom we know very little into one discourse, rather than use uncertain traditions as material.


Verse 16

Matthew 10:16 to Matthew 11:1.
Further Instructions To The Twelve

Our Lord's instructions to the Twelve close in Mark (Mark 6:11) and Luke (Luke 9:5) at this point. But Matthew goes on to give much additional matter spoken on the same occasion. There are several other remarkable cases, as the Sermon on the Mount, the discourse in Matthew 18, and that on the Mount of Olives (ch. 24 and 25), in which Matthew gives much more than Mark and Luke. The remainder of the present address consists of warnings as to coming persecutions, directions how to act when persecuted, and reasons why they should not shrink from duty because of danger. Some of these warnings and directions look beyond this brief mission in Galilee and on to their labours after the Ascension. In the address to the Seventy (Luke 10:2-16) there is no such reference to future time. It was natural that he should, on first sending them out to labour, give directions which would be of service to them throughout their appointed course. Bruce: "It was his way on solemn occasions, to speak as a prophet, who in the present saw the future, and from small beginnings looked forward to great ultimate issues. This Galilean mission, though humble and limited compared with the great undertaking of after years, was really a solemn event. It was the beginning of that vast work for which the Twelve had been chosen, which embraced the world in its scope, and aimed at setting up on the earth the kingdom of God." The parts most peculiar to that journey apply in principle (Edersheim) to us and to all time; the parts which pointed to the remotest future applied in principle to the immediate journey about Galilee. These considerations form a sufficient reply to those who insist that Matthew has here put together matters actually spoken on different occasions at a later period. Mark and Luke give some similar sayings in the discourse on the Mount of Olives, and Matthew there omits them. It was natural that if similar things were said in different discourses an Evangelist should give them in one case and omit them in another; and it was perfectly natural that Jesus should say similar things on different occasions. On this point compare at the beginning of Matthew 5. In applying the present discourse to ourselves, allowance must be made for the difference of situation. We do not work miracles, and are not inspired; the opposition we meet is rather moral than physical; we often go to foreign countries.

I. Matthew 10:16-23. They Must Be On Their Guard Against Coming Persecution

"We have here the general intimation and counsel of Matthew 10:16; warnings as to the persecutions which awaited them," (Matthew 10:17 f.) with directions as to the defense of themselves when brought before the tribunals; (Matthew 10:19 f.) further statements concerning persecutions and hatred; (Matthew 10:21 f.) and the direction to flee from any town in which they were persecuted into the next.

Matthew 10:16. They are going forth into the midst of perils, and must therefore exercise a blended prudence and simplicity. These ideas are beautifully and strikingly expressed by figures. Behold, I send you forth. 'Behold' calls special attention to what follows. 'I' is expressed in the Greek, and therefore in some sense emphatic. The idea perhaps is that they are not going out like sheep wandering into dangers, without the knowledge of their shepherd; he himself sends them forth into the midst of these perils; and hence both a reason why they should strive to come off safe, and an encouragement to hope they would succeed. He sends them forth as sheep, weak and defenceless, and not only in a region where there was danger of wolves, but in the midst of wolves—the language is very strong. To the Seventy (Luke 10:3) it is still stronger; they are 'lambs.' Herodotus speaks of leaving a man as a sheep among wolves. Be ye therefore wise (prudent) as serpents, and harmless (simple) as doves. 'Be' is more exactly 'become,' get to be, implying that they are not so now. 'Therefore' may be taken as an inference not merely from the fact that they would be as sheep in the midst of wolves, but also from the fact that he sent them as sheep in the midst of wolves; there is a duty to themselves and a duty to him. 'Wise,' more exactly 'prudent' (compare on Matthew 7:24); Latin versions prudentes or astuti. Serpents show great caution and skill in avoiding danger. The Egyptian hieroglyphics use the serpent as the symbol of wisdom. We may understand that they were to be prudent in the recognition of danger, and in the choice of means for opposing or escaping it—in general as to their behaviour when in danger. But such prudent regard for self-preservation is very apt to be accompanied, in men as in serpents, with the tricks of low cunning. This is forbidden by the other injunction. The word rendered 'harmless,' better 'simple' (margin Rev. Ver.) signifies literally unmixed, and hence pure (as pure wine, pure gold), uncorrupted, and so guileless, sincere. The Latin versions all have simplices: the Peshito, a word denoting whole-minded, upright, sincere; Chrys. explains by simple and artless. The English use of 'simple' does not quite clearly express the idea, but it is exactly hit by the substantive 'simplicity.' The other proposed derivation, without horns, and so 'harmless,' adopted by King James, is highly improbable. The Greek word is used also in Philippians 2:15, and Romans 16:19, Rev. Ver., "wise unto that which is good, and simple unto that which is evil. "In our passage the word is translated 'simple' in Wyc. and Rheims, McClellan, and Davidson, and 'innocent' in Tynd., Great B., and Geneya. They were not to deserve injury, or afford any pretext for it; and were to employ no trickery or other improper means of escaping from danger. They must combine prudence and simplicity. If the dove alone were taken as model, they might become silly; (Hosea 7:11) if the serpent alone, they would become tricky. (Genesis 3:1) Stier : "So that thy wisdom shall never degenerate into cunning, nor thy simplicity into ignorance or imprudence." Plato : "Knowledge without justice should be called cunning rather than wisdom." If we are to fail in either, it is doubtless better to be lacking in Christian prudence than in Christian simplicity. But the injunction is to combine both in due proportion; and the example of Jesus shows this to be possible. How prudent he was, constantly taking pains to avoid danger till his hour was come and at the same time how innocent, guileless, and pure. Not merely in respect to persecution, but in all the dangers to ourselves and our work which throng about Christian labourers, we have constant need of prudence, united with simplicity. In a late Jewish commentary (Midrash), a Rabbi says: "God says, toward me the Israelites are simple as doves, but toward the Gentiles subtle as serpents." This may have been borrowed from the Gospels; we know that the later Jews borrowed from every direction.

Matthew 10:17 f. With Matthew 10:17-22 compare similar things said to the four disciples in the great discourse On the Mount of Olives; (Mark 13:9-13, Luke 21:12-19) there Matt. does not record them. But beware of men, i.e., of mankind in general, spoken Of as hostile to them, like 'the world' in John 15:18, John 17:14. They were few, and men were against them. Councils does not here mean the great Sanhedrin, as in Matthew 26:59, but apparently refers to the smaller judicial bodies which existed in every city and village, as in Matthew 5:22. Synagogues, see on "Matthew 4:23". Other allusions to scourging in the synagogues, apparently in the very place of worship, and in the actual presence of the worshipping assembly, are found in Matthew 23:34, Mark 13:9, Acts 22:19; compare Acts 26:11. At a later period it is said that, on one occasion, the Jews sung a psalm while a man was receiving a scourging in the synagogue; and Maimonides says that the principal judge would read passages of Scripture throughout the scourging. The Jews were very scrupulous not to exceed forty stripes, according to the law which Moses made (Deuteronomy 25:3) to mitigate the dreadful severity of the common Oriental scourgings; and to make sure of not going beyond forty they stopped at thirty-nine. (2 Corinthians 11:24) And ye shall be brought (even) before governors and kings for my sake. This is introduced as more important ('even') than what precedes; and it was so not merely because they would be tribunals of greater dignity, but because they could punish with death, which the Jewish tribunals at that time could not do. It was also a remarkable thing that they were authorities of their own people, but before the civil authorities, the highest Roman officials. The word rendered 'governors' is a general term, which would include several kinds of Roman rulers of provinces, viz.: propraetor, proconsul (like Sergius Paulus, and Gallio), and procurator (like Pilate, Felix, Festus), and is used in the same broad sense in 1 Peter 2:14. As to their being brought before 'kings,' we have examples in the persecutions of James and Peter by Herod Agrippa I, (Acts 12) and the appearance of Paul before his son Herod Agrippa II. (Acts 26) The term king was also frequently applied to the Roman imperator or emperor, (1 Peter 2:13 f.) and in that sense we should have an example in Paul's trials before Nero. For a testimony against (to) them and against (to) the Gentiles. The Greek might mean 'against them' (Com Ver.), but the other is a more natural meaning, and better suits the connection. 'To them' may mean the rulers just mentioned, as distinguished from the nation at large; or it more probably means the Jews, spoken of as 'they,' 'them;' as in Matthew 10:17, in Matthew 11:1, and often. The idea would thus be that the design of Providence in suffering the disciples to be brought before these tribunals was, that they might bear witness to rulers and people—or, more probably, to Jews and Gentiles—-of (Philippians 1:13, 2 Timothy 4:17) the truths they were going forth to proclaim. (Compare a similar expression in Matthew 8:4, Matthew 24:14) All this we cannot understand as referring simply to their brief journey about Galilee, during which they would perhaps encounter some persecution (see on "Matthew 10:23"), but were certainly not brought before governors and kings. It must therefore be understood as glancing forward to persecutions they would suffer in future days, while prosecuting that mission as Christ's apostles, of which this journey would be the first stage. (Compare on Matthew 10:16) How plainly our Lord spoke to his followers of the perils and persecutions which awaited them in doing his work. He would have them count the cost. And they did not shrink from his service, though warned what it would cost them, being doubtless sustained by their own devotion, and by such promises as those of Matthew 10:19 and Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:19 f. When thus called before the authorities for trial, they need not be anxiously considering as to the defense they shall make, the testimony they are to bear, for it shall be communicated to them by the Divine Spirit, (Matthew 10:19) who indeed will be speaking in them as his instruments. (Matthew 10:20) Compare the similar promise on the Mount of Olives, (Mark 13:11, Luke 21:14 f.) and on another occasion. (Luke 12:12) Take no thought, be not anxious , or 'do not anxiously consider.' See on "Matthew 6:25". They would be more likely to feel anxious what they should say, because it was common to make very elaborate addresses and affecting appeals; and before the Roman tribunals, even to employ counsel, such as Tertullus, (Acts 24:1) who would understand Roman law and judicial methods, and could deliver high-wrought orations. Knowing that importance was attached to such addresses, and conscious of inexperience in Roman legal procedure, the disciples might naturally feel, when they were delivered up, great solicitude; and this would be increased by the fact that they were called to present, not only a defense of themselves, but a testimony for Jesus. There was thus great comfort for them in the promise here given. As specimens of the addresses made by some of them under such circumstances, we have the speeches of Peter and Stephen before the Sanhedrin, and of Paul before Felix, Festus, and Agrippa. How or what ye shall speak, 'How' suggests the general plan and delivery of their defence, and 'what' suggests the subject matter. Compare 'mouth and wisdom' in Luke 21:15; and compare Luke 12:12.

Matthew 10:20. For it is not ye that speak, etc. With the form of expression compare Genesis 45:8, "It was not you that sent me hither, but God," and so Exodus 16:8. Your Father, see on "Matthew 6:9". This was clearly a promise of special inspiration, in the highest sense and degree. (compare Exodus 4:12) To apply it to uninspired preachers of to-day, is unwarranted and absurd. They may expect, and should earnestly seek, the gracious aids of the Holy Spirit in their previous reflections and in their actual preaching; but they have no right whatever to expect inspiration. This promise of inspiration was repeated by our Lord in the promise of the Comforter (John 14-16); and that assures us that in their writings also the apostles were inspired.

21 f. Not only will the public authorities be disposed to persecute them, but men will deliver to the tribunals their own dearest kindred for being Christians, and will put them to death, and the hatred against them will be universal; yet let them endure to the end, and they shall be saved. See a similar passage in Mark 13:12 f. and Luke 21:16-19, as spoken on the Mount of Olives, and part of it is in this case given by Matthew also. (Matthew 24:9-13) And the children shall rise up against their parents, and, literally, put them to death, (see margin of Rev. Ver). This doubtless means, will put them to death through the instrumentality of the authorities. But Rev. Ver. ought hardly to have followed Com. Ver. in giving a mere interpretation a place in the text, and throwing into the margin the correct translation of Tyn. and his successors, and of Davidson, Noyes, Darby. The dreadful effects of religious bigotry, as here predicted, and as so often witnessed in the world's history, should impress us with the immense power and importance of the religious principle in man; just as when a train of cars runs off the track, or a dynamite factory explodes, we see all the more clearly from the ruinous consequences the power of the' forces in question, and the importance of their being properly directed and controlled. For the motive to such persecutions has usually been, not opposition for its own sake to the religion persecuted, but attachment to another religion with which it was thought to interfere. But he that endureth to the end, shall be saved. It seems proper here, as is manifestly necessary in the discourse on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 24:13, Mark 13:13) to understand the assurance as having a twofold application; first, he that endures to the end of the persecutions and other evils in question shall at last be saved, delivered, from those evils; but also more widely, he that endures to the end of life's trials shall be saved, in the usual sense of attaining eternal life. The propriety of understanding a twofold: allusion in such passages, or making a varied application of them, will be discussed at the beginning of Matthew 24; see also on the next verse.

Matthew 10:23. Flee ye into another, or the other, i.e., into the next. The particular city in which they are persecuted, and the one next in order are conceived of as forming a pair, 'this,' 'the other.'(1) In thus avoiding persecution they would be 'prudent as the serpents'; (Matthew 10:16) so Paul and Barnabas acted in going from Antioch in Pisidia to Iconium, etc. (Acts 13-14.) For verily I say onto you, see on "Matthew 5:18". Some fancy that this expression in Matthew 10:15, Matthew 10:23, Matthew 10:42, marks the close of three distinct sections of the discourse; but this is supposing a very artificial use of the phrase, and if so designed, it ought also to occur in Matthew 10:33 and Matthew 10:35. Ye shall not have gone over (or, finish) the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. 'Not' is a strong negative, translated 'in no wise' in John 6:37 and Hebrews 13:5, and in Matthew 5:20, Matthew 10:42, etc. 'Finish' (so rendered by Tyn., Gen., Rheims, and margin of Com. Ver.), in the sense of visiting them all. They must not stay in one city, vainly endeavouring to overcome opposition and persecution, but flee to the next; for there were more cities than they would be able to visit before the Son of man should come. It is quite difficult to determine the meaning of this last expression, as here employed. It has been supposed to mean: (1) Till he come and rejoin the Twelve at the end of this journey. (2) Till he make his appearance as the Messiah, distinctly present himself as such. (3) Till he come spiritually to console and support. (John 14:23) (4) Till he come to put an end to the Jewish institutions at the destruction of Jerusalem. (5) Till he come to judge the world. The first sense might at the outset strike one as natural and good, and it would be possible that he should return from the more general view of their coming labours and persecutions, to speak of the particular journey then before them; as in the discourse on the Mount of Olives he sometimes returns from the second topic to the first. In the mission of the Seventy, (Luke 10:1, R.V.) it is said that be sent them 'before his face into every city and place, whither he himself was about to come.' It is natural to suppose that he was going to follow the Twelve also; and indeed he must have done so, since their work was confined to Galilee (see on Matthew 10:5), and he himself went about all the cities of Galilee. When the objection is made that it is hardly probable they were persecuted during this journey, one may reply that Jesus himself was persecuted at Nazareth, and seriously threatened with death at various other places. The greatest difficulty in the way of understanding the expression in this sense is that the language seems too elaborate and solemn for so simple an idea. He does not say "for I you will not finish the cities of Galilee till I come," but employs the solemn phrase 'till the Son of man come,' and prefaces it by 'verily I say to you,' using also the more general term Israel. The second sense proposed is not supported by any similar use of the phrase elsewhere, and does not seem very appropriate to the connection. There was indeed no broadly marked epoch at which he appeared as the Messiah, and the occasional intimations of his Messiahship commenced long before the delivery of this discourse. The third sense is that of Chrys. and his followers, of Beza, Maldonatus; while Calvin and Bleek understand similarly his coming in the mission of the Holy Spirit. But the time of his spiritual coming would be a very vague chronological epoch; and Jesus certainly seems to be speaking of some personal coming. The fourth sense is accepted by many recent writers. In Matthew 16:28, 'the Son of man coming' unquestionably refers to the destruction of Jerusalem. The idea here would thus be that they would not reach all the Jews with their ministry before the overthrow of the Jewish institutions; and hence they must not waste time in remaining where they were persecuted. But in the discourse on the Mount of Olives (ch. 24 and 25), the coming to destroy Jerusalem and the coming at the end of the world are constantly associated, and sometimes both referred to in the same expression. So, also, in Matthew 16:27 f. It would, therefore, seem natural to combine with this fourth the fifth sense. On no occasion would there be greater propriety in employing the obscure language and perspective view of prophecy than here. He wishes to give counsel which shall apply not only to this journey, but to their labours after the Ascension, and perhaps even to the labours of his followers in all ages; and to intimate that in each of those periods there would be more to do than they could complete before the season in question would end. It may, therefore, be that the phrase was intended to include in some obscure fashion the first, fourth, and fifth senses. It was manifestly impossible that the Twelve should at that time understand any distinct reference to the coming to destroy Jerusalem; indeed it is not probable that they understood when he spoke of it on the Mount of Olives. It was necessary, therefore, as so often in O. T. and N. T. prophecies, to employ language which would refer to each of these at the same time; which would be understood at once as regarded the present journey, and would afterwards be viewed in its broader meaning when needed. (Compare on Matthew 10:22, and at the beginning of Matthew 24.) The notion of Origen, that Scripture has everywhere a twofold, or even threefold, sense, is now justly rejected; our present danger is that of rejecting along with it the unquestionable fact that Scripture does sometimes use language referring at once to a nearer and a remoter event.

II. Matthew 10:24-33. Encouragement To The Persecuted

The key-note is here 'fear not,' which occurs three times, in Matthew 10:26, Matthew 10:28, Matthew 10:31.

Matthew 10:24 f. They need not think strange, or complain that they were going to be persecuted; this would only be sharing-the fate of their Teacher and Master, The disciple is not above his master (teacher,) nor the servant above his lord (master), (see margin Rev. Ver.) For 'disciple' see on "Matthew 5:1"; for 'teacher' (didaskolos), and 'master' (kurios), on Matthew 8:19; and for 'slave' (doulos), on Matthew 8:6. This saying is also given by Luke, (Luke 6:40) as used in the Sermon on the Mount; by John, (Matthew 13:16) as employed in an other connection; and also in John 15:20, where the application is much the same as here. The saying, "It is enough for the slave to be as his master", (compare Matthew 10:25) occurs repeatedly in the later Jewish writings, and was perhaps proverbial when used by Jesus. (Compare on Matthew 7:5, Matthew 7:12) There are of course exceptional cases in which a pupil does have a better lot than his teacher, or even a slave than his master; but the general fact is as here expressed, and so the disciples need not be surprised at hearing that they would suffer the same treatment to which Jesus himself was exposed. If they (i.e., people, the impersonal use) called the master of the house Beelzebub, or Beelzebul (see margin Rev. Ver.). 'Master' is here (see on "Matthew 8:19"), which we borrow as despot. The compound term of the original 'house-master' presents him as ruler of the household in general a man's authority over his wife and children was then scarcely less absolute than over his slaves. The Pharisees had already charged Jesus with being in league with Beelzehul (see on "Matthew 9:34"; also see on "Matthew 12:24"); are we to understand here that they had actually applied the name to Jesus? The expression does not necessitate this supposition, but we know they had said what amounted to it, and on other unrecorded occasions they may have literally called him by that name.

Matthew 10:26 f. With Matthew 10:26-33 compare Luke 12:2-9, where substantially the same things are said in another discourse. The thought of Matthew 10:26 is also found in Luke 8:17, as introduced in yet another connection. The injunction, Fear them not (i.e., the persecutors, Matthew 10:25, Matthew 10:16-23) is presented on the one hand as an inference from what precedes—' therefore do not fear,' viz., because if they oppose and persecute you, it is nothing more than your Master encounters; and on the other hand is supported by the assurance that the truths they bear forth are destined, in spite of all opposition, to be made known—for there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed (or uncovered); and hid that shall not be known. And so they must proclaim everything boldly and publicly, even what he taught them in his private instruction. (Matthew 10:27) Luke 8:26 might also mean, as some suppose, that the apostles, so misunderstood and persecuted, should in a coming day be differently regarded, all men then perceiving that they were the benefactors of their time; but the other view better suits the connection. The expression of Matthew 10:27 gives a different turn to the idea than that found in Luke 12:3, but it amounts to the same thing. There is repeated mention in the Talmud of Jewish teachers as having one standing by, to whom the teacher would whisper something, and who would then proclaim it to the audience. It is likely that such a practice existed already in our Lord's time, and it may be that he here alludes to it, not as meaning that he literally did this, but as a figurative and striking way of saying that they were to keep nothing back through fear, but even his private instructions to them were to be proclaimed in the most public manner. Upon the housetops. The roofs of the houses were fiat, and surrounded by a narrow battlement. It was common (and still is) for persons to walk on the roof, and this would naturally afford an elevated stand from which to proclaim anything to the people in the street below. Thus Josephus, having taken refuge in a house from a mob in Tarichaea, "went up on the roof, and with his right hand quieting the uproar, said," etc. ("War.," 2, 21, 5.) The Talmud represents a religious official as proclaiming from a housetop, with the sound of a trumpet, the approach of any religious festival; and the same thing is often done at the present day. Indeed, the muezzin's call to prayer, from the minaret of the mosque, is the same sort of thing.

Matthew 10:28. Let them not fear men, but fear God. The idea of some that the phrase Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell, means Satan, is wholly unwarranted and unsuitable. God is able to destroy; he does not wish that any should perish. (2 Peter 3:9) Jesus does not say that God will kill the soul, but, avoiding that term, says he will destroy both soul and body. For 'destroy' need not mean annihilation, but only ruin, perdition, the destruction of all that makes existence desirable. Hell is gehenna, see on Matthew 5:22, and compare on Matthew 5:29. Fear is natural to man; and our Lord does not say we must root it out and have no fear, but that the less fear must give way to the greater. The gospel does not teach stoicism or self-abnegation, but appeal to the human mind according to its actual constitution. Compare the appeal to a higher self-interest in Matthew 5:29, and to hope and fear in Matthew 10:32 f. below. In proportion as one has a true fear of God he will feel no fear of man. It was a saying of Col. Gardiner, "I fear God, therefore there is none else that I need fear." And not only with reference to persecution or any open opposition, but to a concern for approbation or blame, does the thought of this passage apply. How much more important that we should avoid God's displeasure, than that of our fellow-men. Compare Luke 12:4 f.; James 4:12. The thought occurs often in Jewish writings. In 2 Maccabees 6:26, "For even if for the present I shall be delivered from the vengeance of men, yet neither while living nor after dying shall I escape the hands of the Almighty." In 4 Maccabees 13:14, "Let us not fear him who thinks to kill the body; for great is the danger to the soul, consisting in eternal torment to those who transgress the commandment of God." Philo says, "For men reckon the extreme penalty to be death; but in the divine court of justice this is scarcely the beginning." And the Midrash on Numbers (Wet.): "He who causes a man to sin is worse than he who slays him: because he who slays, slays him in this world, and he has part in the world to come; but he who causes him to sin, slays him both in this world and in that which is to come."

Matthew 10:29-31. Let them not only dread God's displeasure, (Matthew 10:28) but trust in his protection; he who cares for the least objects, will not fail to care for them. Compare Matthew 6:26 ff., and Luke 12:6 f. (See above on Matthew 10:26) The word rendered farthing, denotes a Roman copper or bronze coin, actually equal not to about three farthings sterling (as in margin of Com. Ver.), or one and a half cents, but to about five-eighths of a cent (Edersheim I., 649), and frequently used to denote any trifling amount. Fall on the ground, viz., dead. Without your Father, without his agency or permission. On 'your Father,' compare on Luke 12:26, and see on "Matthew 6:9". The Midrash on Genesis says (Wet.), "A bird without heaven (God) is not taken, how much less so many souls of men." In Matthew 10:30 the position of the Greek words makes 'your' emphatic, and so with 'ye' in Matthew 10:31. A single hair falling from the head seems to us a matter of the most trifling consequence; (compare 1 Samuel 14:45) but every one of them is numbered by God. (Compare Luke 21:18, Acts 27:34) A late Jewish compilation (Wet.) represents God as saying, "Do I not number all the hairs of every creature?" This was very likely borrowed from the New Testament Our Lord's line of argument here is in precisely the contrary direction to that which men often follow on this subject. They will say that no doubt God controls great matters, but that it is questionable whether his care extends to such little things as the concerns of an individual man. Jesus says, God takes care of the smallest and most trifling things, and therefore we may be sure he cares for a man, who is so much more important.

Matthew 10:32 f. Whosoever (every one) therefore (who) shall confess me. 'Therefore' presents what follows as an inference from what precedes. Since God will protect, there is no excuse for shrinking from duty through fear of men, and therefore he will confess only those who confess him. This affecting statement stands last and highest in a climax of reasons for going forward undeterred by the fear of men: first, the fact that if they are maltreated and slandered, it is no more than their Master himself suffered; (Matthew 10:24 f.) second, that tile truths they proclaimed are destined to be made known, and thus no opposition will prevent it; (Matthew 10:26 f.) third, that God's wrath is more to be dreaded than man's; (Matthew 10:28) fourth, that he who cares for trifling things will certainly care for them; (Matthew 10:29-37) finally, that if we do not confess Christ before men he will not confess us before his Father in heaven. It is thus manifest that the confession here enjoined upon us does not consist merely in a particular ceremony, or other single act, but denotes in general that we come out as his followers, and speak and act as his, under all circumstances and at all hazards. The term rendered 'confess'(1) has been explained on Matthew 7:23, where it is rendered 'profess'; see also 1 Timothy 6:12. Observe that we have here a perfectly general proposition. (a) In Matthew 10:26-31 it is 'ye'; but in Matthew 10:32 f. it is 'every one' and 'whosoever.' (b) While the statement is here specially suggested by the idea of confessing Jesus when persecuted, when brought before tribunals, (Matthew 10:18) yet the language is general, and doubtless intended to include every kind of confession during the whole course of life. Many who have once publicly confessed Christ, and are numbered with his people, often fail to confess him afterwards in word or deed. It is of course possible that one should show bad judgment and bad taste in announcing himself a Christian where there is no occasion for it; but for every person who does this unseasonably, there are very many who shrink from such an avowal when it ought to be made, and still more fail to confess by the actions which "speak louder than words." Will I confess, acknowledge as mine. (Compare Matthew 7:23) What a question it is, whether we are going to be confessed or denied by Jesus, before his Father in heaven. Here again, as in Matthew 7:22 f., our Lord speaks freely of his coming exaltation as Messiah; but it is likely that the disciples at first understood it all of elevation and honour in a temporal kingdom. With Matthew 10:32 f., compare Luke 12:7 f. (See above on "Matthew 10:26".) As to deny, compare on Matthew 16:24.

III. Matthew 10:34-39. Persecution Is Inevitable

Let no one be surprised at learning that so much persecution is to be encountered by the Twelve, and by Christ's followers in general; for it was the object of Christ's mission to introduce principles which would be sure to cause divisions and conflicts among men, even within the bosom of families. His religion was so wholly opposed to the spirit of the world, that such a result was inevitable. Think net that I am come, (came) compare on Matthew 5:17. Here again, as so often, the Com. Ver. (but here following Tyn., Great B., and Gen.), introduces an unnecessary variation in the rendering of Matthew 10:34 f.; for in all three cases the Greek has the same form, 'I came.' Our Lord here, as in Matthew 5:17, speaks of himself as having come among men on a special mission. The Jews were accustomed to bloody conflicts between their politico-religious parties, the Pharisees and Sadducees, and (Lightfoot) between the followers of Hilleland Shammai, but they were likely to think Messiah's reign would be a reign of peace, for so the prophets had predicted; the disciples of Christ were especially apt to think so, if they then knew of the angelic song at his birth. The gospel does tend to bring men into peace with each other, but only in proportion as they are brought into peace with God. So as to the prophecies; men will beat their swords into plow-shares, only when men ground the arms of their rebellion against God. Till then the enemies of God will be enemies of his people, and often bitter enemies. To send (or cast as margin of R. V.) a sword upon the earth, is a natural image; and this led to the use of the same term with peace, 'to cast peace upon the earth'; compare Luke 12:49, 'to (cast) send fire upon the earth.' When he says that he came to cast a sword, etc., to divide the nearest relatives, etc., we understand that he came for the purpose of doing a work which would inevitably lead to this not that these evils were what he wished for. The language of Matthew 10:35 f. resembles that of Micah 7:6, where the prophet is describing the perfidiousness and general wickedness which existed in the reign of Ahaz. It is not here quoted as a prophecy, but the same ideas and similar expressions are introduced, and describe a similar state of things. Matthew 10:35 brings up again the ideas of Matthew 10:21 above. Plumptre thinks the statements may have been suggested by occurrences among our Lord's followers. "Had Zebedee looked with displeasure on the calling of his two sons?... Were the brethren of the Lord, who as yet believed not, as the foes of a man's own household?" With Matthew 10:34 f. compare Luke 12:51-53, where like sentiments and expressions are found introduced on another occasion.

In such a state of division even in families, the true follower of Christ must not hesitate. Better to give up the nearest kindred, (Matthew 10:37) take cross on shoulder, (Matthew 10:38) and be content to lose life itself, (Matthew 10:39) than to forsake Christ. The question whether one loves father or mother more than Christ, is put to the test in any case in which the wishes of parents stand opposed to the known will of Christ. As to the duty of keeping all natural affections subordinate to our love for the Saviour, compare on Matthew 8:22, Matthew 19:29. Is not worthy of me. On another occasion, (Luke 14:26) he uses still stronger expressions: 'If any man cometh unto me, and hateth not his father and mother.... he cannot be my disciple.' As to Matthew 10:38 f., see on "Matthew 16:24"f., where the same solemn truths are repeated in a different connection. The peculiar and striking expression of Matthew 10:39 was also repeated on two other occasions. (Luke 17:33, John 12:25) As to our Lord's frequent repetition of striking sayings, see at the beginning of Matthew 5. The apostles would readily understand the image of Matthew 10:38, since crucifixion was a common punishment for high crime (compare on Matthew 16:24), but they did not yet know that Jesus was to be crucified, and so this, like many other sayings of his, was not fully understood by them until later. The term find was obviously suggested by the contrast to lose; he who by yielding to persecution and failing to confess Christ has avoided the loss of his life (the natural life), shall lose his life (spiritual and eternal life); and he who has lost (margin Rev. Ver.) his natural life for Christ's sake, shall find life eternal (compare on Matthew 16:25). As to such uses of a word in two different senses in the same sentence, compare on Matthew 8:22.

IV. Matthew 10:40-42. Those Who Do Not Persecute, But Receive And Aid Them, Shall Be Rewarded

Having said so much about the unkind treatment his followers will often receive, Jesus returns to speak of those who will treat them kindly, and of the reward which such shall obtain. To receive them will be receiving him who sent them, yea, the Father who sent him. (Compare a similar thought in Matthew 18:5, and again in John 13:20) Receiveth is here meant especially of receiving into one's house, (Matthew 10:14) which would not only be an act of respect to the Lord's servant, but would be helping him in his work. (Compare 2 John 1:10 f.; 3 John 1:8) But any other act by which one encourages and assists a servant of the Lord in his work, is of the same class, and shall in like manner be rewarded; even if it be merely giving a cup of cool water to one of the humblest disciples because he is a disciple, it shall assuredly have a reward. 'Receiveth' may perhaps also include the notion of listening to their message and accepting it as truth. He said to the Seventy, (Luke 10:16) 'He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that rejecteth you, rejecteth me, etc.' Yet the notion of hospitality and help appears at least to be the prominent one in the present discourse, as is shown by the concluding thought of the series. (Matthew 10:42) He that receiveth a prophet (a person speaking by divine inspiration, see on "Matthew 7:22") in the name of a prophet, with reference to the name of a prophet, i.e., out of regard for the fact that he bears the name of a prophet, or, as we should say, because he is a prophet; not on any other account, such as kindred, friendship, admiration of abilities, etc., but because he is a prophet; and not simply from the hope of reward, for that would not be doing it because he is a prophet. (Compare Luke 14:14) Shall receive a prophet's reward, the Messianic, eternal reward. Since he treats kindly and helps the prophet because he is a prophet, he shall get in eternity the same sort of reward as if he had been himself an inspired teacher, because he has been helping an inspired teacher to do his work. So as to receiving any righteous man. Prophets and righteous men are in like manner united in Matthew 13:17, Matthew 23:29. We have among us no inspired teachers; but every member of a church, in so far as he encourages and assists his pastor, takes part in the pastor's labours, and shall in like proportion have the sort of eternal reward which pastors have; so in regard to missionaries, and all Christian workers. As to future rewards, compare on Matthew 6:1, Matthew 6:19. The sentiment of Matthew 10:42 is also given in Mark 9:41, as repeated on a different occasion.One of these little ones refers to Christ's disciples as despised and persecuted (compare on Matthew 18:6 ff). To do the very smallest kindness to the very humblest disciple because he is a disciple, shall not fail of reward.

Homiletical And Practical

Matthew 10:16. Luther: "That's a slim affair, when sheep preach to wolves, lay down the law to them, and judge them! Better send lions. But this comes to pass, as Paul says (1 Corinthians 2:5), that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."—Christian Prudence and Simplicity (Sermons by jeremy taylor)—Find examples of combined prudence and simplicity in the life of Paul and in the life of Jesus. gerhard (Lange): "Have a serpent's eye and a dove's heart." Chrys.: "These things have had an accomplishment, and men became prudent as serpents and simple as doves; not being of another nature, but of the same with us. Let not then any one account Christ's injunctions impracticable. For he, beyond all others, knows the nature of things; he knows that fierceness is not quenched by fierceness, but by gentleness." Bruce: "Happy they who can be both; but if we cannot, let us at least be doves. The dove must come before the serpent in our esteem, and in the development of our character. If we invert this order, as too many do, and begin by being prudent to admiration, the higher virtue will not only be postponed, but sacrificed; the dove will be devoured by the serpent."

Matthew 10:19. Chrys.: "It is no small consolation, that they are suffering these things both for Christ, and for the Gentiles' conviction." Lange: "The dangers of care for oratorical finery in preaching. (1) It springs from anxiety, and restrains the spiritual life. (2) It manifests itself by excitement and excess, and adulterates the spiritual life. (3) It leads to weariness or self-seeking, and destroys the spiritual life."—difference between inspiration, and the spiritual help which may now be expected.

Matthew 10:21. Christianity as awakening hatred and as promoting love.

Matthew 10:22. Unpopularity is not always alarming. It may be easier to persevere amid the world's frowns than its smiles.

Matthew 10:26. Two reasons why the Christian worker should not fear. (1) He need not be discouraged by reviling and assault, which even perfect innocence and perfect prudence did not escape. (Matthew 10:24 f.) (2) He may be encouraged by the assurance that the gospel must and will be made known. (Matthew 10:26 f.) Henry: "There is no part of Christ's gospel that needs, upon any account, to be concealed; the whole counsel of God must be revealed. (Acts 20:27) In never so mixed a multitude, let it be plainly and fully delivered."

Matthew 10:28-31. Two reasons why we must do our duty notwithstanding opposition. (1) If through fear of man we shrink from duty, God will punish us. (2) If amid all opposition we persevere, God will care for us.

Matthew 10:32 f. Confession and denial. (1) We are all constantly doing one or the other. (2) There are many ways of confessing Christ, and many of denying him. (3) There are present benefits in confessing him, and present losses in denying him. (4) Life-long confession will bring eternal reward, life-long denial, eternal ruin. Luther: "What a great difference. (1) The confessors, we and Christ; (2) The place, earth and heaven; (3) The hearers, wretched men and God and the angels."

Matthew 10:34-36. When Christianity divides families and produces wars, this is not the fault of Christianity, but of human nature. Luther: "If our gospel were received in peace, it would not be the true gospel." Henry: "They mistake the design of the gospel, who think their profession of it will secure them from, for it will certainly expose them to, trouble in this world. Christ has dealt fairly and faithfully with us in telling us the worst we can meet with in his service; and he would have us deal so with ourselves, in sitting down and counting the cost."

Matthew 10:37. Not that we should love kindred less, but Christ more.

Matthew 10:38. William Penn: "No cross, no crown."

Matthew 10:38 f. We ought to be ready to die for Christ; a fortiori, we ought to be living for him. But "men are ready to argue for Christianity, ready to fight for it, even to die for it, anything rather than live for it."—The great paradox—losing by finding, finding by losing. Contradictions in theory may often be completely reconciled in practice.

Matthew 10:40-42. Helping the great workers. (1) We cannot all be prophets or apostles, missionaries, evangelists, eloquent preachers, etc. (2) But the greatest workers need help, and the lowliest can give it. (3) Thus sharing the blessed work, we shall share the blessed reward.

Matthew 10:24-42. Thomas: "Encouragements to evangelical labour. (1) The cause for which the true evangelist suffers is most honourable, Matthew 10:22. (2) The example he has is most glorious, Matthew 10:24. (3) The success of the cause is most certain, Matthew 10:26 f. (4) The providential care of God over him is positively guaranteed, Matthew 10:29-31. (5) His reward will be most glorious at last, Matthew 10:32 f. (6) If actuated by the right spirit, he will find the greatest trials the greatest blessings, Matthew 10:38 f. (7) His interests are thoroughly identified with those of Christ, Matthew 10:40, Matthew 10:42."

Further Instructions To The Twelve, Cont

V. Matthew 11:1. Having Finished Instructing The Twelve, Jesus Resumes His Own Labours

With this concluding remark by the Evangelist, compare Matthew 7:28. Departed thence. It was somewhere in Galilee (compare on Matthew 9:35), but there is no intimation as to the precise locality. To teach and preach in their cities. He did not by any means send forth the Twelve in order to relieve himself, but immediately set out to continue his own labours. 'Preach' is the common word, explained on Matthew 4:17. In their cities, means not the cities of the disciples, though they are the persons just mentioned, but of the people, the Jews. (compare Matthew 10:18) This verse properly belongs to the preceding chapter, and should have been included in it. Matthew 4:2 introduces a new subject, and actually refers to a different period. As to the frequent awkwardness of our division into chapters, see on "Matthew 9:1". Matthew does not stop to say expressly that the Twelve also went forth as they were bidden, but leaves that to be taken for granted. Mark, (Mark 6:12 f.) and Luke, (Matthew 9:6) state that they went forth, preaching repentance and working miraculous cures, as the Lord had directed. Nor does Matt. say anything of their return and report, which is mentioned by Mark (Mark 6:30) and (Luke 9:10); see below on "Matthew 14:13".

 


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Bibliography Information
Broadus, John. "Commentary on Matthew 10:4". "John Broadus' Commentary on Matthew". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jbm/matthew-10.html. 1886.

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Thursday, January 17th, 2019
the First Week after Epiphany
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