Matthew 10:1 “…His twelve disciples…”
Jesus had other people following Him, but He had chosen twelve from among them to be with Him always. And within these, he had something of an inner circle of Peter, James, and John.
1 “…He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out…”
Gave it to them specifically. After He ascended, the disciples would be able to do miraculous things, but through Him, not on their own. We need to do the same and not take it upon ourselves as though we’ve been given specific power or authority.
4 …Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him”
Hard to wrap your mind around this one. Why did Jesus choose Judas, knowing he would be the betrayer. Was that the reason he was chosen. Problem comes in trying to reconcile single point viewpoint with linear time viewpoint. God is above all of it while we’re in the middle of it.
6 “…go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”
First charge was to the Jews. The way it was intended from Abraham.
7 “…as you go, preach…”
They were given power to heal and cast out demons, but the main point was to preach the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Priorities.
8 “…Freely you have received, freely give”
Good way of living. We aren’t given everything just for ourselves, but to also share with others. Provide for ourselves and ours, then pass it on.
10 “…nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food”
Interesting little issue. Matthew mentions staffs, although some notes in the original list it as singular. Mark records that they could take a staff. Question becomes why would someone take more than one staff, therefore, were they supposed to take even one. Can’t get hung up on the bits and pieces of speech. Step back and look at the idea being expressed. Jesus didn’t want them making preparations. Just take what they had and trust God for the rest. No money, no extra clothes or sandals, nothing but what they had. Probably did have a single staff if they normally used one. The idea of being worthy of food is that their support would come through those they helped. Not as payment as such, but as in sharing in all good things. And in all, God would supply what they needed. Later on, Jesus would tell them to prepare otherwise, so this should be viewed as a special circumstance, not the routine for ministry workers. We should always trust God to supply, but we should be open to the many and diverse ways He does so.
11 “…who in it is worthy…”
Commentary suggests amenable to hosting them. Who would welcome strangers and be hospitable.
14 “…shake off the dust from your feet”
Have always thought this was an interesting action. Not taking anything away, not even the dust of the place. Like washing your hands of the matter.
15 “…more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city”
From whom much is given, much is required. As bad as Sodom and Gomorrah were, they will fare better than those who heard the truth and rejected it.
16 “…be wise as serpents and harmless as doves”
Just because we’re supposed to be kind and Christ-like to all doesn’t mean we should ever be naive. Be trusting, but also be watchful.
17 “…beware of men…”
Jesus begins to describe things that will happen to the disciples, but they go way beyond what the disciples will experience during this short period. Jesus is apparently giving some insight into what they will encounter in the future. He mentions Gentiles even though He has told them to go only to the Jews, so obviously the time is further out.
19 “…do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak”
I worry too much about this, especially in witnessing. While it is wise to consider possible ways to start a conversation, we should not be so concerned about what we will say that it prevents us from saying anything at all. I have experienced something of this idea in sharing with a family member. I discovered that a tremendous amount of God’s word came to mind as I was trying to explain things, much more than I can usually produce on my own. The only explanation is that the Spirit brought those things to mind as I needed them. Also, I had taken the time daily to study the Word, so there was something from which to draw. I hadn’t planned for that particular incident, but in doing what I should do, being obedient to read and study, I gave the Spirit freedom to pull those things out for me to use as needed. Another instance of God choosing to operate in partnership with us.
22 “…you will be hated by all for My name’s sake…”
Both Christians and Jews are despised by the world because of Christ. Just because the Jews as a whole don’t accept Him doesn’t save them from the persecution. Jesus came from the Jewish line. God spoke salvation through that line so the world rejects everything that has to do with Him. In this place Jesus is probably referring to just His followers, but I think much of the present day hatred of the Jews is a result of Christ.
23 “…you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes”
Not clear how this should be understood within the context. Timing seems off. Commentaries were no help, varied ideas and complex thoughts. The context places the time in the future, a time when Christianity is being rejected by the world. But the part about going through the cities of Israel before Christ comes doesn’t appear to fit. I wonder. If the idea He’s conveying here is that they should flee to another place when the persecution becomes too much, then when He says they won’t have gone through the cities before He comes may mean that they will not have exhausted their options before He comes. That actually makes sense, within the context. Assurance of His rescue before they reach a point of not having anywhere to flee. Like the ark and the rapture. God provided a way of rescue for His people before the destruction.
24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.”
What they do to Christ they will certainly do to us. Actually, it may not even have anything to do with us, simply because we identify with Him. The hatred of the world is directed at Christ. We get it because we belong to Him, not because we’re of any importance.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.