He that heareth you, heareth me
This is said for the encouragement of the seventy disciples, that though they would be rejected by some, they would be received by others, who would hear them, and embrace their doctrine, as if the Messiah himself had been among them; they looking upon them as representing him: and so Christ himself considers them as ambassadors in his name, and as representing his person, taking what is done to them, as done to himself; (See Gill on Matthew 10:40)
and he that despiseth you, despiseth me:
every degree of contempt cast upon them by words or actions, Christ looked upon as cast on himself, and will resent it another day, and punish for it. The despising of wise men, or doctors, and their disciples or scholars, was accounted with the Jews a very heinous crime, and was severely punished both by excommunication and fines: for thus it is said F8,
``a great iniquity it is to despise the wise men, or to hate them. Jerusalem was not destroyed until the disciples of the wise men were despised in it, as it is said, ( 2 Chronicles 36:16 ) "but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets": as if he should say, they despised those that taught his words: and thus saith the law, "if ye despise my statutes"; they that teach my statutes ye will despise; and every one that despiseth the wise men, hath no part in the world to come; and lo! this is included in that general rule, "for he hath despised the word of the Lord". Although he that despiseth the wise men hath no part in the world to come, if witnesses come (and depose) that he hath despised them even in words, he is guilty of excommunication: and the sanhedrim excommunicate him publicly, and fine him a pound of gold in every place, and give it to the wise men: and he that despiseth a wise man by words, even after his (the wise man's) death, the sanhedrim excommunicate him; and they free him when he returns by repentance: but if the wise man is alive, they do not free him till he pleases.''And he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me:
this is said to aggravate the sin of the despisers of Christ's ministers, and to deter from it; since the contempt does not terminate in them, nor even in Christ, but reaches his Father also. The Ethiopic version adds, "and he that heareth me, heareth him that sent me": but is not supported by any copy, or any other version.
F8 Maimon. Hilch. Talmud Tora, c. 6. sect. 11, 12.