Matthew 10:1-42 - Outline of Matthew (Book Notes menu page)
10:1. And when he had called unto [him] his twelve disciples, he gave them power
[against] unclean spirits, to cast them out,
and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
10:2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these;
The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother;
James [the son] of Zebedee, and John his brother;
10:3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican;
James [the son] of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
10:4 Simon the Canaanite,
{ie,. the zealot, Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13}
and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
{cp. Joh 6:70,71}
disciples - GK=mathetes, a learner, a student, a trainee.
apostles - GK=apostolos, a person sent forth with orders, a messenger.
The disciples, who had prayed that laborers would be sent into the Lord's harvest (9:38), are themselves sent out, as the King's representatives.
    The twelve men, who Jesus sent forth, were from different walks of life (fishermen, business men, a tax collector, a political activist...), with different abilities and personalities (the Sons of Thunder, impetuous Peter, double minded Thomas, tender Lebbaeus (lit., 'a man of heart,' who was also called Judas). There were rugged outdoorsmen, and men like Matthew and Judas Iscariot, who were 'men of the cities' (the literal meaning of 'Iscariot' HB=Ish-Kerioth').
    What did they have in common? They were followers of Jesus... His disciples... He sent these twelve men out, two by two (Mark 6:7), on a ministry practicum assignment... to practice and proclaim what they had learned of Him.
    Which of these men would you want to have been paired with? How did they do? Apparently, they all, including Judas Iscariot, brought back good reports of their experiences (Mark 6:30; Luk 9:10). I wonder which of them was considered 'most likely to succeed,' by the other class members. Sometimes things are not what they seem to be. Only the Lord knows the hearts.
when he had called them...- Those whom the Lord calls to serve must first be...
- - prepared (eg., 2Tim 3:16,17), and...
- - commissioned for His service (eg., Rom 10:14,15).
he gave them power {GK=exousia, authority}...-
  • Jesus, whose credentials identified Him as the Messiah of OT prophecy (cp. Mat 9:35),
    now gave His representatives authority to display those credentials on His behalf.
  • His two miracles, which preceded their sending forth, illustrate the need for power. We also need His power if we are to bear witness for Him. Mat 28:18-20; Acts 1:8
10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying,
Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into [any] city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
{cp. Jer 50:6; Mat 15:24}
10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils:
freely ye have received, freely give.
10:9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses
{money belts},
10:10 Nor scrip
{ie., small bag} for [your] journey,
neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves:
for the workman is worthy of his meat.
10:11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter,
enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.
10:12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.
10:13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it:
but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words,
when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
10:15 Verily I say unto you,
It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment,
than for that city.
Jesus sent them forth...-
This commission, to the twelve, differs from His commission to the church.
These two commissions apply to different periods of time:
during His earthly ministry-
(cp. Mark 6:7-13; Luk 9:1-6)
during the Church age- (after His departure)
Mat 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-18; Luk 24:47,48;
Joh 20:21-23; Acts 1:6-8
Go... only to Israel,
not to Gentiles, v.5,6
Go... to all nations, Mat 28:19; Acts 1:8
The gospel of the Kingdom, v.7 -
(Prepare for the Kingdom...
for the King is at hand.)
The gospel of the Grace of God -
(Be reconciled to God...
for His Son has died for you. 2Cor 5:20,21)
Miraculous signs to Israel, v.1,8
(Contrast those who claim to be 'faith healers', today, but cannot raise the dead.)
While such external signs did accompany the apostolic era (eg., Acts 3:6-8; 9:40),
they are not the norm for the Church age.
Rather, the dynamic is the Holy Spirit's internal working to convict unbelievers, and to equip and transform believers. Joh 16:7-15; Acts 4:31; Rom 8:11-14
Provide not...
The messengers were dependent upon the hearers for provision, v.9-15
--Their task was urgent, time did not allow for self-provisioning, due to the brevity of the King's presence.
--As representatives of Israel's King, they could expect support from Israel.
The messengers were self-provisioning (Luk 22:35-37), with support from other believers (2Cor 11:9; 1Thes 2:9; 2Thes 3:8; 1Cor 9:6-15).
--Their task, while urgent, would extend over a long period of time.
--As representatives of the rejected Messiah, they could expect rejection from unbelievers.
whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words...-
The disciple is not representing himself but His Master. The words rejected are His words. (Mat 10:40; also see Peter's message, Act 3:22-26, which quotes Deu 18:15-19)
...shake off the dust of your feet (cp. Luk 10:10-12) -
By this action the disciple would express complete disassociation from those who reject the Lord and His Word. (eg., Paul, at Antioch of Pisidia, Act 13:50,51; in the synagogue in Corinth, Act 18:4-6)
...It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom... in the day of judgment, than for that city.-
Why? Because those cities did not have such an opportunity to hear. Luk 10:13; Mat 11:20-24
    If those cities will be held accountable for rejecting the message delivered to them by a few men, over the course of several months... How much more accountable is the world which rejects the Word of God, proclaimed for thousands of years, by countless believers, who were sent forth as representatives of the Lord Jesus? (Heb 2:1-4)
10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves:
be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
{cp. Eph 5:15-17; Rom 16:17-19; Php 2:14-16}
10:17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils,
and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
10:18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake,
for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak:
for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
{cp. Luk 12:11,12; 21:14,15}
10:20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
10:21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child:
and the children shall rise up against [their] parents, and cause them to be put to death.
10:22 And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name's sake:
{Mat 24:9,10}
but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
{Mat 24:13}
10:23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you,
Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
{Mat 24:14}
beware of men... will scourge you in their synagogues... ye shall be brought before governors... for my sake...
The disciples did not experience such difficulties, when Jesus sent them forth, during His earthly ministry. However, from the time of His ascension until His return, persecution frequently has been, and will be, the lot of His servants.
     ''The scope of v.16-23 reaches beyond the personal ministry of the twelve, covering in a general sense the sphere of service during the present age. Verse 23 has in view the preaching of the remnant [of Israel] (Isa 1:9; Rom 11:5) in the Tribulation (Psa 2:5; Rev 7:14), and immediately preceding the return of Christ in glory (Deu 30:3; Acts 1:9-11). The remnant, then, will not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Lord comes.'' [ScofRB]
he that endures unto the end shall be saved {ie., delivered from the evil world system}-
  • The Lord Jesus was able to keep His disciples during His 3.5 year ministry. Joh 17:12
  • He is able to keep His saints of the Church age. 2Thes 3:3; Jude 1:1,24
  • He will keep His servants during the Tribulation period. Mat 24:29-31
    Note that during the Tribulation, His servants again proclaim "the gospel of the Kingdom," because the King's return is at hand. Mat 24:14
when they deliver you up {GK=paradidomi, give you over, betray you}... shall be given {GK=didomi} you... what ye shall speak-
  • This promise is for His servants under persecution, who suddenly must give answer without time for preparation. (1Pet 3:14,15)
  • Those charged, with teaching God's Word, cannot use these verses to excuse a lack of preparation. (2Tim 2:15; 1Pet 4:10,11)
10:24 The disciple is not above [his] master, nor the servant above his lord. {Joh 15:20}
10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.
If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub,
{cp. Mat 9:34; 12:24; Joh 10:20}
how much more [shall they call] them of his household?
Discipleship is costly (v.24-42).
Along with the authority to represent Him (v.1), and the words to speak for Him (v.19,20), the Lord gives His disciples the privilege of suffering for His sake (Php 1:29).
As they follow the Master, who suffered and endured (Heb 12:2), His disciples...
  1. have true confidence. v.26-31 (three "Fear nots", v.26,28,31)
  2. hold a true confession. v.32,33
  3. endure conflict and a cross. v.34-39
10:26 Fear them not therefore:
for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed;
{there is nothing} hid, that shall not be known.
10:27 What I tell you in darkness, [that] speak ye in light:
and what ye hear in the ear, [that] preach ye upon the housetops.
ie., Do not be intimidated by those who would silence the message I have given you.
cp. Isa 41:10-14; 51:7-15; Eze 2:6,7; Acts 4:19,20; 1Pet 3:14,15
the 'covered' {GK=kalupto, veiled} shall be revealed {GK=apokalupto, unveiled}.
What things are veiled?
  • The truth of the Gospel. 2Cor 4:3,4 (where 'hid' is GK= kalupto)
  • The hypocrisy within the hearts of religious leaders who oppose the Lord and His servants. Luk 12:1-3
  • The failure of God's servants to proclaim His message. Luk 8:16-18
the hidden {GK=kruptos, secret, concealed} things will be openly known. These include:
  • Service for God which is unknown to others. eg., Mat 6:3-4,6,17-18
  • Actions in keeping with, or in violation of one's conscience. Rom 2:15,16
  • Motives and purposes of every person's heart (1Cor 4:5).
    The Lord will judge our hearts, at the end of the age.
    But He does so today, as His Word is proclaimed. 1Cor 14:24,25; cp. 1Cor 11:30-32
    Therefore, He has commissioned us to broadly proclaim the message which is obscured by the darkness of the world (v.27; Joh 1:4,5).
10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul:
but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
ie., Do not fear men or Satan, but rather, fear God.
cp. Isa 8:13; Luk 12:5; 2Cor 5:10,11; 2Thes 1:4-10; Rev 2:10; 20:14,15
10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing {ie., a coin of small value}?
and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
{Luk 12:6,7}
10:30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
{Luk 21:17-19}
10:31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
ie., Do not fear that God has forgotten you. cp. Heb 13:5,6
10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men,
him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men,
him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
confess- cp. Joh 9:22; Rom 10:9,10; 1Joh 4:15; Rev 2:13; 3:4,8
deny- cp. Luk 9:26; 12:9; 2Tim 2:12; 2Pet 2:1; 1Joh 2:23
10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth:
I came not to send peace, but a sword.
10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father,
and the daughter against her mother,
and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
10:36 And a man's foes [shall be] they of his own household.
10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me:
and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it:
and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
not peace, but a sword.- The conflict, here, centers around the confession of v.32,33.
The world is divided concerning the Person and Work of Christ.
cp. Luk 12:49-52; Joh 7:40-43; Acts 14:4
not peace on earth...-
For believers, Christ came to give Peace with God (Eph 2:14-17; Rom 5:1); and the Peace of God (Joh 14:27; Php 4:6,7). But, 'Peace on earth' will not be realized until He comes again and is received as King (Psa 72:7; Isa 9:6,7).
his cross (v.38) - When Jesus took up His cross, He was about to die by crucifixion. (Joh 19:17,18)
     The true disciple chooses to follow Christ at all costs, including rejection by family (v.36), forfeiture of his life aspirations, or even of life itself. cp. Mat 16:26,27; Php 1:20,21; 2Tim 4:6-8
     For the disciple, nothing is of greater worth than knowing Christ. cp. Php 3:7,8
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose." [Nate Saint] v.39
not 'worthy' of me (v.37,38)- GK=axios, having the weight of another thing, of like value,
befitting, corresponding to a standard (cp. English 'axiom' or 'axiomatic,' corresponding to the truth).
Any person, who regards the things of this life as of greater worth than Christ, is not worthy of Him who gave His life for you. 2Cor 5:14,15; Col 3:1-4; Heb 11:37,38; Rev 3:4
10:40 He that receiveth you receiveth me,
and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
cp. Mat 25:40,45; Joh 12:44-50; 13:20; 20:21; Gal 4:14
10:41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward;
and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man
shall receive a righteous man's reward.
10:42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold [water] only in the name of a disciple,
verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
little ones - ie., those who belong to Christ, cp. Mat 18:3-8; Mark 9:41,42
reward {GK=misthos, wages, compensation (that which is due, whether 'reward' or 'punishment')}
The issue here is not salvation (which is a free gift), but compensation for services rendered.
The Lord takes note of how men treat His servants. He will settle accounts in due time. cp. Heb 6:10
At the beginning of this chapter, the Lord called, prepared, commissioned and sent out His twelve disciples, on a short practicum as His respresentatives. His teaching (from v.16-42) looked far beyond their brief ministry, to the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ throughout the Church Age, and to the proclamation of the Gospel of the Kingdom by the Jewish Remnant, just prior to the return of the the King. The harvest is plenteous... the labourers are few... the work is not easy... Yet, He empowers... sustains... sees... and rewards His servants, as they carry His Word to the ends of the earth.
But how will the hearers receive the message from the King? This question is answered in the following chapters.

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