Matthew 10

The Twelve Disciples; Instructions for Service

1 Jesus 1summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to 2heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.
2 3Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, 4Simon, who is called Peter, and 5Andrew his brother; and 6James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
3 7Philip and Bartholomew; 8Thomas and 9Matthew the tax collector; 10James the son of Alphaeus, and 11Thaddaeus;
4 Simon the Zealot, and 12Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him.
5 13These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: "Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the 14Samaritans;
6 but rather go to 15the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 "And as you go, preach, saying, '16The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'
8 "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.
9 "17Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts,
10 or a bag for your journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff; for 18the worker is worthy of his support.
11 "And whatever * city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city.
12 "As you enter the house, 19give it your greeting.
13 "If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.
14 "Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, 20shake the dust off your feet.
15 "Truly I say to you, 21it will be more tolerable for the land of 22Sodom and Gomorrah in 23the day of judgment than for that city.

A Hard Road before Them

16 "24Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be 25shrewd as serpents and 26innocent as doves.
17 "But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the 27courts and scourge you 28in their synagogues;
18 and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.
19 "29But when they hand you over, 30do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say.
20 "For 31it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
21 "32Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and 33children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.
22 "34You will be hated by all because of My name, but 35it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.
23 "But whenever they 36persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel 37until the Son of Man comes.

The Meaning of Discipleship

24 "38A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master.
25 "It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. 39If they have called the head of the house 40Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!
26 "Therefore do not 41fear them, 42for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
27 "43What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim 44upon the housetops.
28 "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable * to kill the soul; but rather 45fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in 46hell.
29 "47Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.
30 "But 48the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 "So do not fear; 49you are more valuable than many sparrows.
32 "Therefore 50everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.
33 "But 51whoever * denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
34 "52Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
35 "For I came to 53SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW;
36 and 54A MAN'S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.
37 "55He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
38 "And 56he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
39 "57He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

The Reward of Service

40 "58He who receives you receives Me, and 59he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.
41 "60He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
42 "And 61whoever * in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his 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 61

  • 1. Mark 3:13-15; Mark 6:7
  • 2. Matthew 9:35; Luke 9:1
  • 3. Matthew 10:2-4: {Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16; Acts 1:13}
  • 4. Matthew 4:18
  • 5. Matthew 4:18
  • 6. Matthew 4:21
  • 7. John 1:43f
  • 8. John 11:16; John 14:5; John 20:24f; John 21:2
  • 9. Matthew 9:9
  • 10. Mark 15:40
  • 11. Mark 3:18; Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13
  • 12. Matthew 26:14; Luke 22:3; John 6:71; John 13:2, 26
  • 13. Mark 6:7; Luke 9:2
  • 14. 2 Kings 17:24f; Luke 9:52; Luke 10:33; Luke 17:16; John 4:9, 39; John 8:48; Acts 8:25
  • 15. Matthew 15:24
  • 16. Matthew 3:2
  • 17. Matthew 10:9-15: {Mark 6:8-11; Luke 9:3-5; Luke 10:4-12;} Luke 22:35
  • 18. 1 Corinthians 9:14; 1 Timothy 5:18
  • 19. 1 Samuel 25:6; Psalms 122:7, 8
  • 20. Acts 13:51
  • 21. Matthew 11:22, 24
  • 22. Matthew 11:24; 2 Peter 2:6; Jude 7
  • 23. Matthew 7:22; Matthew 11:22, 24; Matthew 12:36; Acts 17:31; 1 Thessalonians 5:4; Hebrews 10:25; 2 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 3:7; 1 John 4:17; Jude 6
  • 24. Luke 10:3
  • 25. Genesis 3:1; Matthew 24:25; Romans 16:19
  • 26. Hosea 7:11
  • 27. Matthew 5:22
  • 28. Matthew 23:34; Mark 13:9; Luke 12:11; Acts 5:40; Acts 22:19; Acts 26:11
  • 29. Matthew 10:19-22: {Mark 13:11-13; Luke 21:12-17}
  • 30. Matthew 6:25; Luke 12:11, 12
  • 31. Luke 12:12; Acts 4:8; Acts 13:9; 2 Corinthians 13:3
  • 32. Matthew 10:35, 36; Mark 13:12
  • 33. Micah 7:6
  • 34. Matthew 24:9; Luke 21:17; John 15:18f
  • 35. Matthew 24:13; Mark 13:13
  • 36. Matthew 23:34
  • 37. Matthew 16:27
  • 38. Luke 6:40; John 13:16; John 15:20
  • 39. Matthew 9:34
  • 40. 2 Kings 1:2; Matthew 12:24, 27; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15, 18, 19
  • 41. Matthew 10:26-33: {Luke 12:2-9}
  • 42. Mark 4:22; Luke 8:17; Luke 12:2; 1 Corinthians 4:5
  • 43. Luke 12:3
  • 44. Matthew 24:17; Acts 5:20
  • 45. Hebrews 10:31
  • 46. Matthew 5:22; Luke 12:5
  • 47. Luke 12:6
  • 48. 1 Samuel 14:45; 2 Samuel 14:11; 1 Kings 1:52; Luke 21:18; Acts 27:34
  • 49. Matthew 12:12
  • 50. Luke 12:8; Revelation 3:5
  • 51. Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; 2 Timothy 2:12
  • 52. Matthew 10:34, 35: {Luke 12:51-53}
  • 53. Micah 7:6; Matthew 10:21; Luke 12:53
  • 54. Micah 7:6; Matthew 10:21
  • 55. Deuteronomy 33:9; Luke 14:26
  • 56. Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; Luke 14:27
  • 57. Matthew 16:25; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24; Luke 17:33; John 12:25
  • 58. Matthew 18:5; Luke 10:16; John 13:20; Galatians 4:14
  • 59. Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48; John 12:44
  • 60. Matthew 25:44, 45
  • 61. Matthew 25:40; Mark 9:41

Footnotes 32

Matthew 10 Commentaries

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