Matthew 10

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve

1 Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;
4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans.
6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.
7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’
8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy[a], drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts—
10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep.
11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave.
12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting.
13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.
14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.
15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues.
18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles.
19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say,
20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.
22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master.
25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!
26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.
27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.
28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.[b]
30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.
33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
35 For I have come to turn “ ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’[c]
37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.
41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.
42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

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.

Cross References 41

  • 1. Mark 3:13-15; Mark 6:7; Luke 4:36; Luke 9:1
  • 2. S Matthew 4:23
  • 3. Matthew 26:14-16,25,47; Matthew 27:3; Mark 14:10; John 6:71; John 12:4; John 13:2,26,27; Acts 1:16
  • 4. 1 Kings 16:24; 2 Kings 17:24; Luke 9:52; Luke 10:33; Luke 17:16; Jn 4:4-26,39,40; John 8:48; Acts 8:5,25
  • 5. Jeremiah 50:6; Matthew 15:24
  • 6. S Matthew 3:2
  • 7. Luke 22:35
  • 8. S 1 Timothy 5:18
  • 9. 1 Samuel 25:6
  • 10. Nehemiah 5:13; Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5; Luke 10:11; Acts 13:51; Acts 18:6
  • 11. Genesis 18:20; Genesis 19:24; 2 Peter 2:6; Jude 7
  • 12. Matthew 12:36; Acts 17:31; 2 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 3:7; 1 John 4:17; Jude 6
  • 13. Matthew 11:22,24
  • 14. Luke 10:3; Acts 20:29
  • 15. S 1 Corinthians 14:20; Romans 16:19
  • 16. S Matthew 5:22
  • 17. Matthew 23:34; Mark 13:9; Acts 5:40; Acts 22:19; Acts 26:11
  • 18. Acts 25:24-26
  • 19. Exodus 4:12
  • 20. Luke 12:11,12; Acts 4:8
  • 21. ver 35,36; Micah 7:6
  • 22. Mark 13:12
  • 23. S John 15:21
  • 24. Matthew 24:13; Mark 13:13; Luke 21:19; Revelation 2:10
  • 25. S Luke 17:30
  • 26. Luke 6:40; S John 13:16; John 15:20
  • 27. S Mark 3:22
  • 28. Mark 4:22; Luke 8:17
  • 29. Isaiah 8:12,13; Hebrews 10:31
  • 30. 1 Samuel 14:45; 2 Samuel 14:11; 1 Kings 1:52; Luke 21:18; Acts 27:34
  • 31. Matthew 6:26; Matthew 12:12
  • 32. Romans 10:9
  • 33. Mark 8:38; 2 Timothy 2:12
  • 34. ver 21
  • 35. Micah 7:6
  • 36. Luke 14:26
  • 37. Matthew 16:24; Luke 14:27
  • 38. Luke 17:33; S John 12:25
  • 39. Exodus 16:8; Matthew 18:5; Galatians 4:14
  • 40. Luke 9:48; Luke 10:16; John 12:44; John 13:20
  • 41. Proverbs 14:31; Proverbs 19:17; Matthew 25:40; Mark 9:41; Acts 10:4; Hebrews 6:10

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. The Greek word traditionally translated "leprosy" was used for various diseases affecting the skin.
  • [b]. Or "will" ; or "knowledge"
  • [c]. Micah 7:6

Matthew 10 Commentaries

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