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Matthew Ten

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Matthew 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.

gave them power. The Lord Jesus, being Creator, has the authority and ability to give supernatural power to specially called men. They did not seek such power, but it was given to them for a special time and purpose. It is dangerous for others to seek it for themselves (e.g., Acts 8:18-20).

Matthew 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;

twelve apostles. Note that the twelve are called both “disciples” (“learners,” or “followers”) and “apostles” (sent ones, possibly equivalent in essence to missionaries). Although all believers should be disciples of Christ, these are called the twelve disciples because they were taught directly by Him continuously over three years. They were also specially sent out by Him into all the world, and so were called His twelve “apostles” (note Mark 16:14, 15; John 20:19-23; Acts 1:8). Later a few others (e.g., Paul), with similar special training and commissioning directly by Christ, were also recognized as apostles. This designation is not appropriate for others, especially anyone after the “apostolic period.”

Matthew 10:3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;

Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite. Thaddeus is also called Judas (Luke 6:16), and Bartholomew is probably the same as Nathaniel (John 1:45-49). Simon the Canaanite is elsewhere called Simon the Zealot.

The names of the disciples are combined in pairs, probably because it was by these pairs that they were sent out “by two and two” (Mark 6:7) on this first missionary assignment.

Matthew 10:4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

Matthew 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:

Matthew 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Matthew 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

raise the dead. The disciples were even given the power to raise the dead; although no instances of this are recorded (until Peter's much later raising of Tabitha, as noted in Acts 9:40), the testimony of Jesus heard by John the Baptist in prison (Matthew 11:5) may indicate that a number of such miracles did occur.

Matthew 10:9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,

Matthew 10:10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

staves. The parallel account of these instructions (Mark 6:8) says that Jesus told “them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only.” Since “stave” and “staff” are from the same Greek word, there seems to be a slight contradiction as to what Jesus actually said. However, “provide” (Matthew 10:9) is from a different Greek word than “take” in Mark 6:8. That is, the disciples were told to take only what they already had, namely, the ordinary walking stick that they normally carried as they walked from place to place. But they were not to make other special preparations, nor to acquire an extra staff or new shoes or an additional coat, but to rely entirely on the Lord through His people to provide their needs.

scrip. A “scrip” was a wallet or small bag in which to carry money or provisions for a journey.

worthy of his meat. Paul quotes this assertion is in the same way as he used the Old Testament Scriptures, viewing both as divinely inspired (1 Timothy 5:18; see also Luke 10:7).

Matthew 10:11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.

Matthew 10:12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.

Matthew 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.

Matthew 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.

shake off the dust. Once the saving gospel has been clearly presented, so the hearers truly understand, and is rejected by them, then the witnessing believer should not argue further for a conversion. There are multitudes of others still waiting to hear, and he should go on to present the gospel to them. The Holy Spirit must convict those he leaves.

Matthew 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.

more tolerable. This statement clearly sets forth the principle of degrees of punishment in hell, corresponding to that of degrees of reward in heaven. Sodom and Gomorrah were incredibly wicked, and are destined to suffer “the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7), but the somewhat less wicked cities of Israel are more culpable because they rejected much greater divine light, and so are destined for even greater judgment. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).

Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Matthew 10:17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;

Matthew 10:18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

before governors. This would obviously not happen during the disciples' first missionary journey around Israel, but it was fulfilled in intense measure later. Jesus was giving instructions to His disciples not only for their immediate assignment, but for the future worldwide evangelization ministry He would give them, and all subsequent disciples. The instructions from Matthew 10:16 to the end of the chapter, therefore, apply to all believers from then until “the Son of man be come” (Matthew 10:23).

Matthew 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.

Matthew 10:20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

Matthew 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.

Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Matthew 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.

Matthew 10:24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

master. Christ is our master (or “teacher”); we are His disciples (or students). Also, He is our “lord” (“ruler”); we are His servants (actually slaves). The disciple must believe what his master teaches, and the servant must do what his lord commands. It is interesting to note that Christians are called disciples only in the four gospels and the book of Acts, never in the epistles. They are called His servants, however, throughout eternity (Revelation 22:3).

lord. Compare John 15:19. The world hates Christ because He said, “I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil” (John 7:7). It is not strange, then, that the world will hate His servants, for they must preach the same truths.

Matthew 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, how much more shall they call them of his household?

Matthew 10:26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

Matthew 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.

Matthew 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.

Matthew 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

farthing. Jesus also said that “five sparrows [are] sold for two farthings” (Luke 12:6). Evidently the sparrow merchants of that day had already introduced the sales method of quantity discounts!

without your Father. God cares deeply about every creature in His creation. Man has been given dominion over all of them, but as a steward, not a spoiler (Genesis 1:26-28; see especially Job 38-39).

Matthew 10:30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Matthew 10:31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Matthew 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

not to send peace. Jesus was prophesied to be the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) and “peace on earth” was the angel's song at His birth (Luke 2:14), yet He has been the very center of conflict in the world ever since He came. Those who receive Him, however, do “have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). The promise of global peace will finally be fulfilled, when Christ returns.

Matthew 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.

Matthew 10:36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

Matthew 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.

Matthew 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Matthew 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

lose it. This apparently paradoxical principle was emphasized by the Lord Jesus more often than any other (Matthew 16:25; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24; 17:33; John 12:25). The same truth is also stressed by Paul (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 6:9-10; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:5-11; 2 Timothy 2:11-12). This divine paradox of dying to self and living unto God is the very essence of a truly happy and fulfilling life in this world and eternal life in the world to come.

Matthew 10:40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

Matthew 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.

Matthew 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.