Matthew 10

Mission of the Twelve

1 He called his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to throw them out and to heal every disease and every sickness.
2 Here are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, who is called Peter; and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee; and John his brother;
3 Philip; and Bartholomew; Thomas; and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus; and Thaddaeus;
4 Simon the Cananaean; and Judas, who betrayed Jesus.

Commissioning of the Twelve

5 Jesus sent these twelve out and commanded them, “Don't go among the Gentiles or into a Samaritan city.
6 Go instead to the lost sheep, the people of Israel.
7 As you go, make this announcement: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.'
8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with skin diseases, and throw out demons. You received without having to pay. Therefore, give without demanding payment.
9 Workers deserve to be fed, so don't gather gold or silver or copper coins for your money belts to take on your trips.
10 Don't take a backpack for the road or two shirts or sandals or a walking stick.
11 Whatever city or village you go into, find somebody in it who is worthy and stay there until you go on your way.
12 When you go into a house, say, ‘Peace!'
13 If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if the house isn't worthy, take back your blessing.
14 If anyone refuses to welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet as you leave that house or city.
15 I assure you that it will be more bearable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on Judgment Day than it will be for that city.

Response to harassment

16 “Look, I'm sending you as sheep among wolves. Therefore, be wise as snakes and innocent as doves.
17 Watch out for people—because they will hand you over to councils and they will beat you in their synagogues.
18 They will haul you in front of governors and even kings because of me so that you may give your testimony to them and to the Gentiles.
19 Whenever they hand you over, don't worry about how to speak or what you will say, because what you can say will be given to you at that moment.
20 You aren't doing the talking, but the Spirit of my Father is doing the talking through you.
21 Brothers and sisters will hand each other over to be executed. A father will turn his child in. Children will defy their parents and have them executed.
22 Everyone will hate you on account of my name. But whoever stands firm until the end will be saved.
23 Whenever they harass you in one city, escape to the next, because I assure that you will not go through all the cities of Israel before the Human One comes.
24 “Disciples aren't greater than their teacher, and slaves aren't greater than their master.
25 It's enough for disciples to be like their teacher and slaves like their master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, it's certain that they will call the members of his household by even worse names.

Whom to fear

26 “Therefore, don't be afraid of those people because nothing is hidden that won't be revealed, and nothing secret that won't be brought out into the open.
27 What I say to you in the darkness, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, announce from the rooftops.
28 Don't be afraid of those who kill the body but can't kill the soul. Instead, be afraid of the one who can destroy both body and soul in hell.
29 Aren't two sparrows sold for a small coin? But not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father knowing about it already.
30 Even the hairs of your head are all counted.
31 Don't be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.

Confessing Christ to people

32 “Therefore, everyone who acknowledges me before people, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven.
33 But everyone who denies me before people, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

Trouble in the family

34 “Don't think that I've come to bring peace to the earth. I haven't come to bring peace but a sword.
35 I've come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
36 People's enemies are members of their own households.
37 “Those who love father or mother more than me aren't worthy of me. Those who love son or daughter more than me aren't worthy of me.
38 Those who don't pick up their crosses and follow me aren't worthy of me.
39 Those who find their lives will lose them, and those who lose their lives because of me will find them.

Rewards

40 " Those who receive you are also receiving me, and those who receive me are receiving the one who sent me.
41 Those who receive a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet's reward. Those who receive a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person's reward.
42 I assure you that everybody who gives even a cup of cold water to these little ones because they are my disciples will certainly be rewarded."

Matthew 10 Commentary

Chapter 10

The apostles called. (1-4) The apostles instructed and sent forth. (5-15) Directions to the apostles. (16-42)

Verses 1-4 The word "apostle" signifies messenger; they were Christ's messengers, sent forth to proclaim his kingdom. Christ gave them power to heal all manner of sickness. In the grace of the gospel there is a slave for every sore, a remedy for every malady. There is no spiritual disease, but there is power in Christ for the cure of it. There names are recorded, and it is their honour; yet they had more reason to rejoice that their names were written in heaven, while the high and mighty names of the great ones of the earth are buried in the dust.

Verses 5-15 The Gentiles must not have the gospel brought them, till the Jews have refused it. This restraint on the apostles was only in their first mission. Wherever they went they must proclaim, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. They preached, to establish the faith; the kingdom, to animate the hope; of heaven, to inspire the love of heavenly things, and the contempt of earthly; which is at hand, that men may prepare for it without delay. Christ gave power to work miracles for the confirming of their doctrine. This is not necessary now that the kingdom of God is come. It showed that the intent of the doctrine they preached, was to heal sick souls, and to raise those that were dead in sin. In proclaiming the gospel of free grace for the healing and saving of men's souls, we must above all avoid the appearance of the spirit of an hireling. They are directed what to do in strange towns and cities. The servant of Christ is the ambassador of peace to whatever place he is sent. His message is even to the vilest sinners, yet it behoves him to find out the best persons in every place. It becomes us to pray heartily for all, and to conduct ourselves courteously to all. They are directed how to act as to those that refused them. The whole counsel of God must be declared, and those who will not attend to the gracious message, must be shown that their state is dangerous. This should be seriously laid to heart by all that hear the gospel, lest their privileges only serve to increase their condemnation.

Verses 16-42 Our Lord warned his disciples to prepare for persecution. They were to avoid all things which gave advantage to their enemies, all meddling with worldly or political concerns, all appearance of evil or selfishness, and all underhand measures. Christ foretold troubles, not only that the troubles might not be a surprise, but that they might confirm their faith. He tells them what they should suffer, and from whom. Thus 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. Persecutors are worse than beasts, in that they prey upon those of their own kind. The strongest bonds of love and duty, have often been broken through from enmity against Christ. Sufferings from friends and relations are very grievous; nothing cuts more. It appears plainly, that all who will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution; and we must expect to enter into the kingdom of God through many tribulations. With these predictions of trouble, are counsels and comforts for a time of trial. The disciples of Christ are hated and persecuted as serpents, and their ruin is sought, and they need the serpent's wisdom. Be ye harmless as doves. Not only, do nobody any hurt, but bear nobody any ill-will. Prudent care there must be, but not an anxious, perplexing thought; let this care be cast upon God. The disciples of Christ must think more how to do well, than how to speak well. In case of great peril, the disciples of Christ may go out of the way of danger, though they must not go out of the way of duty. No sinful, unlawful means may be used to escape; for then it is not a door of God's opening. The fear of man brings a snare, a perplexing snare, that disturbs our peace; an entangling snare, by which we are drawn into sin; and, therefore, it must be striven and prayed against. Tribulation, distress, and persecution cannot take away God's love to them, or theirs to him. Fear Him, who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. They must deliver their message publicly, for all are deeply concerned in the doctrine of the gospel. The whole counsel of God must be made known, ( Acts 20:27 ) . Christ shows them why they should be of good cheer. Their sufferings witnessed against those who oppose his gospel. When God calls us to speak for him, we may depend on him to teach us what to say. A believing prospect of the end of our troubles, will be of great use to support us under them. They may be borne to the end, because the sufferers shall be borne up under them. The strength shall be according to the day. And it is great encouragement to those who are doing Christ's work, that it is a work which shall certainly be done. See how the care of Providence extends to all creatures, even to the sparrows. This should silence all the fears of God's people; Ye are of more value than many sparrows. And the very hairs of your head are all numbered. This denotes the account God takes and keeps of his people. It is our duty, not only to believe in Christ, but to profess that faith, in suffering for him, when we are called to it, as well as in serving him. That denial of Christ only is here meant which is persisted in, and that confession only can have the blessed recompence here promised, which is the real and constant language of faith and love. Religion is worth every thing; all who believe the truth of it, will come up to the price, and make every thing else yield to it. Christ will lead us through sufferings, to glory with him. Those are best prepared for the life to come, that sit most loose to this present life. Though the kindness done to Christ's disciples be ever so small, yet if there be occasion for it, and ability to do no more, it shall be accepted. Christ does not say that they deserve a reward; for we cannot merit any thing from the hand of God; but they shall receive a reward from the free gift of God. Let us boldly confess Christ, and show love to him in all things.

Footnotes 3

Matthew 10 Commentaries

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