Mat 10:1 KJV 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.
Adam Clarke Twelve disciples – Our Lord seems to have had the twelve patriarchs, heads of the congregation of Israel, in view, in his choosing twelve disciples. That he had the plan of the ancient Jewish Church in his eye is sufficiently evident from Mat_19:28; and from Luk_10:1; Luk_22:30; Joh_17:1, etc., and Rev_21:12-14.
He gave them power against unclean spirits – The word κατα, against, which our translators have supplied in Italic, is found in many MSS. of good note, and in the principal versions.
Russell:His twelve disciples — Not until they had received considerable instruction from him were they recognized in their office as apostles and fully empowered for their special work.
Gave them power — The power for the healing of the sick was Jesus’ power. The disciples did not use their own ability, but merely his, which he communicated to them and authorized them to use.
They had not the Father’s appointment. They had not yet received the holy Spirit. But, by virtue of the holy Spirit given without measure to Jesus, he conferred upon them his own special powers.
Unclean spirits — Greek, daimonion, demons, familiar spirits, the fallen angels.
To cast them out — A power used by St. Paul in Philippi. (Act_16:16-18)
And to heal — The same power Jesus had because he gave them the same message of the Kingdom to proclaim.
Guzik: He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease: Jesus did not only call the twelve. He also gave them power to do what He has called them to do. The same principle holds true today: whom God calls, God equips.
TPT: The number twelve speaks of governmental authority. Israel has twelve tribes, and Jesus chose twelve disciples. Only after Jesus gave them this authority were they called apostles. The authority Jesus gave them is what he had demonstrated over the previous 5 chapters of Matthew. After Christ’s resurrection he reminded them, as he sent them again to the nations, that “all authority has already been given you.” Here Jesus makes these twelve men the answer to their own prayers for the Lord of the Harvest to send out more reapers.
Barnes: Now the names of the twelve apostles – The account of their being called is more fully given in Mar_3:13-18, and Luk_6:12-19. Each of those evangelists has recorded the circumstances of their appointment. They agree in saying it was done on a mountain; and, according to Luke, it was done before the sermon on the mount was delivered, perhaps on the same mountain, near Capernaum. Luke adds that the night previous had been spent “in prayer” to God. See the notes at Luk_6:12.
Mat 10:2 KJV 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;
Adam Clarke Apostles – This is the first place where the word is used. ΑποϚολος, an apostle, comes from αποϚελλω, I send a message. The word was anciently used to signify a person commissioned by a king to negotiate any affair between him and any other power or people.
It is worthy of notice, that those who were Christ’s apostles were first his disciples; to intimate, that men must be first taught of God, before they be sent of God. Jesus Christ never made an apostle of any man who was not first his scholar or disciple. These twelve apostles were chosen.
1. That they might be with our Lord, to see and witness his miracles, and hear his doctrine.
2. That they might bear testimony of the former, and preach his truth to mankind.
The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; etc. – We are not to suppose that the word πρωτος, first, refers to any kind of dignity, as some have imagined; it merely signifies the first in order – the person first mentioned.
TPT: James: Translations of the Bible have substituted Jacob with James. Both Greek and Aramaic leave the Hebrew name as it is, Jacob.
Barnes:Simon, who is called Peter – The word “Peter” means a rock. He was also called Cephas, Joh_1:42; 1Co_1:12; 1Co_3:22; 1Co_15:5; Gal_2:9. This was a Syro-Chaldaic word signifying the same as Peter. This name was given probably in reference to the “resoluteness and firmness” which he was to exhibit in preaching the gospel. Before the Saviour’s death he was rash, impetuous, and unstable. Afterward, as all history affirms, he was firm, zealous, steadfast, and immovable. The tradition is that he was at last crucified at Rome with his head downward, thinking it too great an honor to die as his Master did. See the notes at Joh_21:18. There is no certain proof, however, that this occurred at Rome, and no absolute knowledge as to the place where he died.
James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother – This James was killed by Herod in a persecution, Act_12:2.
Russell:Are these — Mentioned apparently in the order of their sending forth, two by two.
Mat 10:3 KJV Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
Adam Clarke Bartholomew – Many are of opinion that this was Nathanael, mentioned Joh_1:46, whose name was probably Nathanael bar Talmai, Nathanael, the son of Talmai: here, his own name is repressed, and he is called Bar Talmai, or Bartholomew, from his father.
Matthew the publican – The writer of this history.
James the son of Alpheus – This person was also called Cleopas, or Clopas, Luk_24:18; Joh_19:25. He had married Mary, sister to the blessed Virgin, Joh_19:25.
Barnes:Philip and Bartholomew – These two were probably sent out together. Philip was a native of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. He is not the same as Philip the evangelist, mentioned in Act_6:5; Act_21:8. Bartholomew (literally, “the son of Tolmai”).
Thomas – Literally, “a twin,” in reference to which he is also called “Didymus,” Joh_11:16.
And Lebbeus, called Thaddeus – These two words have the same signification in Hebrew. Luke calls him “Judas,” by a slight change from the name “Thaddeus.” Such changes are common in all writings.
James, the son of Alpheus, was stationed at Jerusalem, and was the author of the epistle that bears his name. See Gal_1:19; Gal_2:9; Act_15:13. A James is mentioned Gal_1:19 as “the Lord’s brother.” It has not been easy to ascertain why he was thus called. He is here called the son of “Alpheus,” that is, of Cleophas, Joh_19:25. Alpheus and Cleophas were but different ways of writing and pronouncing the same name. This Mary, called the mother of James and Joses, is called the wife of Cleophas, Joh_19:25.
JFB:Matthew the publican — In none of the four lists of the Twelve is this apostle so branded but in his own, as if he would have all to know how deep a debtor he had been to his Lord. (See on Mat_1:3, Mat_1:5, Mat_1:6; see on Mat_9:9).
James the son of Alphaeus — the same person apparently who is called Cleopas or Clopas (Luk_24:18; Joh_19:25); and, as he was the husband of Mary, sister to the Virgin, James the Less must have been our Lord’s cousin.
and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus — the same, without doubt, as “Judas the brother of James,” mentioned in both the lists of Luke (Luk_6:16; Act_1:13), while no one of the name of Lebbaeus or Thaddaeus is so. It is he who in John (Joh_14:22) is sweetly called “Judas, not Iscariot.” That he was the author of the … Epistle of “Jude,” and not “the Lord’s brother” (Mat_13:55), unless these be the same, is most likely.
Mat 10:4 KJV Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
Adam Clarke Simon – He was third son of Alpheus, and brother of James and Jude, or Judas, Mat_13:55.
The Canaanite – This word is not put here to signify a particular people, as it is elsewhere used in the Sacred Writings; but it is formed from the Hebrew קנא kana, which signifies zealous, literally translated by Luke, Luk_6:15, or the zealous, probably from his great fervency in preaching the Gospel of his Master. But see Luk_6:15.
Judas Iscariot – Probably from the Hebrew איש קריות ish kerioth, a man of Kerioth, which was a city in the tribe of Judah, Jos_15:25, where it is likely this man was born.
As אסכרא iscara, signifies the quinsy, or strangulation, and Judas hanged himself after he had betrayed our Lord, Dr. Lightfoot seems inclined to believe that he had his name from this circumstance, and that it was not given him till after his death.
Who also betrayed him – Rather, even he who betrayed him, or delivered him up; for so, I think, ο και παραδους αυτον should be translated. The common translation, who Also betrayed him, is very exceptionable, as it seems to imply, he was betrayed by some others, as well as by Judas.
JFB:Simon the Canaanite — rather “Kananite,” but better still, “the Zealot,” as he is called in Luk_6:15, where the original term should not have been retained as in our version (“Simon, called Zelotes”), but rendered “Simon, called the Zealot.” The word “Kananite” is just the Aramaic, or Syro-Chaldaic, term for “Zealot.” Probably before his acquaintance with Jesus, he belonged to the sect of the Zealots, who bound themselves, as a sort of voluntary ecclesiastical police, to see that the law was not broken with impunity.
and Judas Iscariot — that is, Judas of Kerioth, a town of Judah (Jos_15:25); so called to distinguish him from “Judas the brother of James” (Luk_6:16).
who also betrayed him — a note of infamy attached to his name in all the catalogues of the Twelve.
TPT: Or “the patriot” The Zealot party was also known as the Daggar party. Some manuscripts read “Simon the Canaanite.”
Judas: The name Judas is actually Judah. Iscariot is not his last name, but could be taken from the name of the town, Kerioth, twelve miles south of Hebron. But more plausibly, Iscariot is taken from a Hebrew word meaning “lock,” Judah being a locksmith. He likely was the one chosen to lock the collection bag, which means he had the key and could pilfer the fund at will. It is his sad history that he wanted to lock up Jesus and control him for his own ends.
Barnes: Simon the Canaanite – Luke calls him “Simon Zelotes,” the zealous. It is probable that he was one of a small sect of the Jews called “Zealots,” on account of special zeal in religion. His native place was probably “Cana.” Afterward he might with propriety be called by either title.
Vincent Word Studies: The Canaanite (ὁ Καναναιος)
Rev., Cananaean. The word has nothing to do with Canaan. In Luk_6:15; Act_1:13, the same apostle is called Zelotes. Both terms indicate his connection with the Galilaean Zealot party, a sect which stood for the recovery of Jewish freedom and the maintenance of distinctive Jewish institutions. From the Hebrew kanná, zealous; compare the Chaldee kanán, by which this sect was denoted.
Gill: all the disciples of Christ were Jews; though in Munster’s Hebrew Gospel he is called שמעון הכנעני, “Simeon the Canaanite”, or of Canaan, as if he belonged to that country; nor is he so called from Cana of Galilee, as Jerorm and others have thought; but he was one of the קנאים, “Kanaim”, or “Zealots”; and therefore Luke styles him, “Simon called Zelotes”, Luk_6:15. The Kanaites, or Zelotes, were a set of men, who, in imitation of Phinehas, who slew Zimri and Cozbi in the very act of uncleanness, when they found any persons in the act of adultery, idolatry, blasphemy, or theft, would immediately kill them without any more ado: this they did, from a pretended zeal for the honour and glory of God: nor were they accountable to any court of judicature for it; yea, such an action was highly applauded, as a very laudable one (z): under this specious name of Zealots, innumerable murders, and most horrible wickedness were committed, both before, and during the siege of Jerusalem, as Josephus (a) relates. Now Simon was one of this sect before his conversion, and still retained the name afterwards.
Judas, the last of the twelve, is called Iscariot; concerning which name, the notation of it, and the reason of his being so called, many are the conjectures of learned men: … Some copies read it, σκαριωτες, “scariotes”: others are of opinion, that he is so called, from the manner of death he died, which was strangling: for אסכרא, “ascara”, a word often used in the (e) Talmudic writings, signifies “strangling”; and is accounted by the Jews the hardest of deaths, and an evil one; and which seems to bid fair for the true reason of his name: however, it is mentioned here, as elsewhere, to distinguish him from Jude, or Judas, the true and faithful apostle of Christ; for this was he,
who also betrayed him; that is, Christ, as the Persic version reads it; and which is mentioned, not only for further distinction’s sake, but to his great reproach. We learn from hence, that in the purest society on earth there has been an impure person; nor can it therefore be expected it should be otherwise in the best of churches, in the present state of imperfection; yea, that a man may have the highest gifts and attainments, as Judas had, ministerial gifts, and power of performing miracles, and yet be a vile person.
Mat 10:5 KJV 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:
Adam Clarke Go not into the way of the Gentiles – Our Lord only intended that the first offers of salvation should be made to the Jewish people; and that the heathen should not be noticed in this first mission, that no stumbling-block might be cast in the way of the Jews.
Into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not – The Samaritans had afterwards the Gospel preached to them by Christ himself, Joh_4:4, etc., for the reason assigned above. …
The history of the Samaritans is sufficiently known from the Old Testament. Properly speaking, the inhabitants of the city of Samaria should be termed Samaritans; but this epithet belongs chiefly to the people sent into that part of the promised land by Salmanezer, king of Assyria, in the year of the world 3283, when he carried the Israelites that dwelt there captives beyond the Euphrates, and sent a mixed people, principally Cuthites, to dwell in their place. These were altogether heathens at first; but they afterwards incorporated the worship of the true God with that of their idols. See the whole account, 2Ki_17:5, etc. From this time they feared Jehovah, and served other gods till after the Babylonish captivity. From Alexander the Great, Sanballat, their governor, obtained permission to build a temple upon Mount Gerizim, which the Jews conceiving to be in opposition to their temple at Jerusalem, hated them with a perfect hatred, and would have no fellowship with them. The Samaritans acknowledge the Divine authority of the law of Moses, and carefully preserve it in their own characters, which are probably the genuine ancient Hebrew; the character which is now called Hebrew being that of the Chaldeans.
Gill: The Samaritans, though they boasted of their descent from Jacob, were a mongrel sort of people, partly Jews, and partly Gentiles, a mixture of both; and therefore are distinguished from both and though they had, and held the law, and five books of Moses, yet corrupted them in many places, to serve their purpose, and countenance their religion, particularly their worshipping at Mount Gerizim; on which account they were looked upon by the Jews as apostates, idolaters, and even as Heathens (f), and are therefore here joined with them; and to shun giving offence to the Jews, seems to be the reason of this prohibition; see Gill on Joh_4:20.
Barnes:And into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not – This people was formerly composed of a few of the ten tribes and a mixture of foreigners. When the ten tribes were carried away into captivity to Babylon, the King of Assyria sent people from Cutha, Ava, Hamath, and Sepharvaim to inhabit their country, 2Ki_17:24; Ezr_4:2-11. These people at first worshipped the idols of their own nations; but, being troubled with lions, which had increased greatly while the country remained uninhabited, they supposed it was because they had not honored the God of the country. A Jewish priest was therefore sent to them from Babylon to instruct them in the Jewish religion. They were instructed partially from the books of Moses, but still retained many of their old rites and idolatrous customs, and embraced a religion made up of Judaism and idolatry, 2Ki_17:26-28.
The grounds of difference between the two nations were the following:
1. The Jews, after their return from Babylon, set about rebuilding their temple. The Samaritans offered to aid them. The Jews, however, perceiving that it was not from a love of true religion, but that they might obtain a part of the favors granted to the Jews by Cyrus, rejected their offer. The consequence was, that a stare of long and bitter animosity arose between them and the Jews.
2. While Nehemiah was engaged in building the walls of Jerusalem, the Samaritans used every art to thwart him in his undertaking, Neh_6:1-14.
3. The Samaritans at length obtained leave of the Persian monarch to build a temple for themselves. This was erected on “Mount Gerizim,” and they strenuously contended that that was the place designated by Moses as the place where the nation should worship. Sanballat, the leader of the Samaritans, constituted his son-in-law, Manasses, high priest. The religion of the Samaritans thus became perpetuated, and an irreconcilable hatred arose between them and the Jews. See the notes at Joh_4:20.
4. Afterward Samaria became a place of resort for all the outlaws of Judea. They received willingly all the Jewish criminals and refugees from justice. The violators of the Jewish laws, and those who had been excommunicated, betook themselves for safety to Samaria, and greatly increased their numbers and the hatred which subsisted between the two nations.
5. The Samaritans received only the five books of Moses, and rejected the writings of the prophets and all the Jewish traditions. From these causes arose an irreconcilable difference between them, so that the Jews regarded them as the worst of the human race Joh_8:48, and had no dealings with them, Joh_4:9.
Our Saviour, however, preached the gospel to them afterward John 4:6-26, and the apostles imitated his example, Act_8:25. The gospel was, however, first preached to the Jews.
Mat 10:6 KJV But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Benson: He calls the Jews lost sheep, because, as he had told his disciples, Mat_9:36, they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd, and so were in danger of perishing. See Isaiah 49.
Gill: …but also, because they were made to go astray, and were lost through the negligence and errors of their pastors, the Scribes and Pharisees: and this character is the rather given of them, partly to reflect upon the characters of the shepherds of Israel: and partly to magnify the grace of God, in having regard to such ruined and miserable creatures; and also to excite the compassion and diligence of the apostles, to preach the Gospel to them: respect seems to be had to Jer_1:16.
Russell:To the lost sheep — Not because they had wandered out of the land of Israel, nor because they had lost their identity as Israelites, but because they had wandered from the Lord and their covenant
The house of Israel — “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Mat_15:24) “You only have I known of all the families of the earth.” (Amo_3:2)
JFB: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel — Until Christ’s death, which broke down the middle wall of partition (Eph_2:14), the Gospel commission was to the Jews only, who, though the visible people of God, were “lost sheep,” not merely in the sense which all sinners are (Isa_53:6; 1Pe_2:25; compare with Luk_19:10), but as abandoned and left to wander from the right way by faithless shepherds (Jer_50:6, Jer_50:17; Eze_34:2-6, etc.).
Mat 10:7 KJV And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Adam Clarke —And as ye go, preach – πορευομενοι δε κηρυσσετε, and as you proceed, proclaim like heralds – make this proclamation wherever ye go, and while ye are journeying. Preach and travel; and, as ye travel, preach – proclaim salvation to all you meet. Wherever the ministers of Christ go, they find lost, ruined souls; and, wherever they find them, they should proclaim Jesus, and his power to save. For an explanation of the word proclaim or preach, see on Mat_3:1 (note).
From this commission we learn what the grand subject of apostolic preaching was – The Kingdom Of Heaven Is At Hand! This was the great message. “They preached,” says Quesnel, “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.”
Gill:And as ye go,…. Through the cities of Judea, and the streets thereof, from one city to another, from place to place; for these were itinerant preachers, who were not to abide long in any place, but to move about, that the Gospel might be spread all over the land, and the lost sheep in every corner be sought out and found.
Preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. This was to be the subject matter of their ministry, which they were to proclaim aloud in every place; and which is expressed in the same words with which John the Baptist, and Christ himself, began their ministry,
Mat_3:2 which shows the entire harmony, and strict agreement, there were between them: for the meaning of the phrase; see Gill on Mat_3:2. The Cambridge copy reads, “repent, for the kingdom”, &c.
Mat 10:8 KJV Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Adam Clarke –Raise the dead – This is wanting in the MSS. marked EKLMS of Griesbach, and in those marked BHV of Mathai, and in upwards of one hundred others. It is also wanting in the Syriac, (Vienna edition), latter Persic, Sahidic, Armenian, Sclavonic, and in one copy of the Itala; also in Athanasius, Basil, and Chrysostom. There is no evidence that the disciples raised any dead person previously to the resurrection of Christ. The words should certainly be omitted, unless we could suppose that the authority now given respected not only their present mission, but comprehended also their future conduct. But that our blessed Lord did not give this power to his disciples at this time, is, I think, pretty evident from Mat_10:1, and from Luk_9:6, Luk_9:10; Luk_10:19, Luk_10:20, where, if any such power had been given, or exercised, it would doubtless have been mentioned. Wetstein has rejected it, and so did Griesbach in his first edition; but in the second (1796) he has left it in the text, with a note of doubtfulness.
Freely ye have received, freely give – A rule very necessary, and of great extent. A minister or laborer in the Gospel vineyard, though worthy of his comfortable support while in the work, should never preach for hire, or make a secular traffic of a spiritual work. What a scandal is it for a man to traffic with gifts which he pretends, at least, to have received from the Holy Ghost, of which he is not the master, but the dispenser. He who preaches to get a living, or to make a fortune, is guilty of the most infamous sacrilege.
Barnes: Freely ye have received, freely give – That is, they were not to sell their favors of healing, preaching, etc. They were not to make a money-making business of it, to bargain specifically to heal for so much, and to cast out devils for so much. This, however, neither then nor afterward precluded them from receiving a competent support. See Luk_10:7; 1Co_9:8-14; 1Ti_5:18.
Mat 10:9 KJV Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,
Adam Clarke Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass, in your purses – In a thousand instances an apostolic preacher, who goes to the wilderness to seek the lost sheep, will be exposed to hunger and cold, and other inconveniences; he must therefore resign himself to God, depending on his providence for the necessaries of life. If God have sent him, he is bound to support him, and will do it: anxiety therefore, in him, is a double crime, as it insinuates a bad opinion of the Master who has employed him. Every missionary should make himself master of this subject.
Guzik: Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts: They should expect God to meet their needs, without taking undue concern for their own needs. But they should expect that God would normally meet their needs through the inspired hospitality of others.
Even though the twelve can expect their needs to be met through the people they minister to, they should never require their needs to be met as “payment.” The foundational principle is freely you have received, freely give.
Mat 10:10 KJV Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.
Adam Clarke Nor scrip for your journey – To carry provisions. This was called tormil, by the rabbins; it was a leathern pouch hung about their necks, in which they put their victuals. This was properly, the shepherd’s bag.
Neither two coats, etc. – Nothing to encumber you.
Nor yet staves -, a staff, as in the margin, but, instead of, staff, which is the common reading, all the following MSS. and versions have, staves…. This reading is of great importance, as it reconciles this place with Luk_9:3, and removes the seeming contradiction from Mar_6:8; as if he had said: “Ye shall take nothing to defend yourselves with, because ye are the servants of the Lord, and are to be supported by his bounty, and defended by his power. In a word, be like men in haste, and eager to begin the important work of the ministry.
The workman is worthy of his meat – of his maintenance. It is a maintenance, and that only, which a minister of God is to expect, and that he has a Divine right to; but not to make a fortune, or lay up wealth: besides, it is the workman, he that labors in the word and doctrine, that is to get even this. How contrary to Christ is it for a man to have vast revenues, as a minister of the Gospel, who ministers no Gospel, and who spends the revenues of the Church to its disgrace and ruin!
Russell:Nor scrip — Valise, satchel. They were not to take up any collections or even have with them anything wherein to carry a surplus. They were to make no provision for their journey. They were to learn a lesson of absolute dependence upon the Master who sent them forth.
Worthy of his meat — They were to expect to find a home and the necessities of life wherever they went, giving back in exchange for these temporal blessings the blessings they had been empowered to bestow.
The messengers of present truth are not money-gatherers; but they merely exchange, for the blessings which they confer, enough financial support to meet their expenses economically.
Mat 10:11 KJV And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.
Russell: Who in it is worthy — Those who hunger after righteousness, truth. It was our Lord’s mission, as it is ours as his followers, to preach the good tidings to the meek. (Isa_61:1)
Barnes: Who in it is worthy – That is, who in it sustains such a character that he will be disposed to show you hospitality and to treat you kindly.
This shows that they were not needlessly to throw themselves in the way of insult.
And there abide – There remain; as Luke adds, “Go not from house to house.” They were to content themselves with one house; not to wander about in the manner of vagrants and mendicants; not to appear to be people of idleness and fond of change; not to seem dissatisfied with the hospitality of the people; but to show that they had regular, important business; that they valued their time; that they were disposed to give themselves to labor, and were intent only on the business for which he had sent them. If ministers of the gospel are useful, it will be by not spending their time in idle chit-chat, and wandering around as if they had nothing to do, but in an honest and laborious improvement of their time in study, in prayer, in preaching, and in visiting their people.
Clarke: Inquire who in it is worthy – That is, of a good character; for a preacher of the Gospel should be careful of his reputation, and lodge only with those who are of a regular life.
There abide till ye go thence – Go not about from house to house, Luk_10:7. Acting contrary to this precept has often brought a great disgrace on the Gospel of God. Stay in your own lodging as much as possible, that you may have time for prayer and study. Seldom frequent the tables of the rich and great; if you do, it will unavoidably prove a snare to you. The unction of God will perish from your mind, and your preaching be only a dry barren repetition of old things; the bread of God in your hands will be like the dry, mouldy, Gibeonitish crusts, mentioned Jos_9:5. He who knows the value of time, and will redeem it from useless chit-chat, and trifling visits, will find enough for all the purposes of his own salvation, the cultivation of his mind, and the work of the ministry. He to whom time is not precious, and who lives not by rule, never finds time sufficient for any thing, is always embarrassed, always in a hurry, and never capable of bringing one good purpose to proper effect.
Mat 10:12 KJV And when ye come into an house, salute it.
Barnes: And when ye come into a house, salute it – The word “house” here evidently means “family,” as it does in the following verse.
Clarke: Salute it – saying, “Peace be to this house.”
Peace, שלום, among the Hebrews, had a very extensive meaning: – it comprehended all blessings, spiritual and temporal. Hence that saying of the rabbins, גדול שלום שכל הברכות כלולות בו Gadal shalom, shecol haberacoth culoloth bo. Great is Peace, for all other blessings are comprehended in it. To wish peace to a family, in the name and by the authority of Christ, was in effect a positive promise, on the Lord’s side, of all the good implied in the wish. This was paying largely even beforehand. Whoever receives the messengers of God into his house confers the highest honor upon himself, and not upon the preacher, whose honor is from God, and who comes with the blessings of life eternal to that man and his family who receives him.
In India, it is customary for a way-faring man, when night draws on, to enter a house, and simply say, “Sir, I am a guest with you this night.” If the owner cannot lodge him, he makes an apology, and the traveler proceeds to another house.
Mat 10:13 KJV And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
Russell: Let your peace — The divine blessing upon all the affairs of the household. The family would be blessed of the Lord because of the presence of his representatives.
If it be not worthy — They were not to stay in any place where the Lord’s blessing would not be appreciated.
Your peace return — Those rejecting them and their message would lose a great privilege.
Barnes: If the house be worthy – That is, if the “family” be worthy, or be willing to receive you as my disciples.
Let your peace come upon it – That is, let the peace or happiness which you seek or for which you pray in saluting it (see Luk_10:5), come upon it; or seek their peace and happiness by prayer, instruction, by remaining with them, and imparting to them the blessings of the gospel.
But if it be not worthy … – If the family be unwilling to receive you; if they show themselves unfriendly to you and your message.
Let your peace return to you – This is a Hebrew mode of saying that your peace shall not come upon it, Psa_35:13. It is a mode of speaking derived from bestowing a gift. If people were willing to receive it, they derived the benefit from it; if not, then of course the present came back or remained in the hand of the giver. So Christ figuratively speaks of the peace which their labor would confer. If received kindly and hospitably by the people, they would confer on them most valuable blessings. If rejected and persecuted, the blessings which they sought for others would come upon themselves. they would reap the benefit of being cast out and persecuted for their Master’s sake, Mat_5:10.
Clarke: If that house be worthy – If that family be proper for a preacher to lodge in, and the master be ready to embrace the message of salvation.
Your peace – The blessings you have prayed for shall come upon the family: God will prosper them in their bodies, souls, and substance.
But if it be not worthy – As above explained.
Let your peace – The blessings prayed for, return to you. Προς υμας επιϚραφητω, it shall turn back upon yourselves. They shall get nothing, and you shall have an increase.
The trials, disappointments, insults, and wants of the followers of Christ become, in the hand of the all-wise God, subservient to their best interests: hence, nothing can happen to them without their deriving profit from it, unless it be their own fault.
Mat 10:14 KJV 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.
Barnes: Shake off the dust of your feet – The Jews taught uniformly that the dust of the Gentiles was impure, and was to be shaken off.
To shake off the dust from the feet, therefore, was a significant act, denoting that they regarded them as impure, profane, and paganish, and that they declined any further connection with them. It is recorded that this was actually done by some of the apostles. See Act_13:51; Act_18:6.
Wesley: Shake off the dust from your feet – The Jews thought the land of Israel so peculiarly holy, that when they came home from any heathen country, they stopped at the borders and shook or wiped off the dust of it from their feet, that the holy land might not be polluted with it. Therefore the action here enjoined was a lively intimation, that those Jews who had rejected the Gospel were holy no longer, but were on a level with heathens and idolaters.
Mat 10:15 KJV 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.
Barnes: It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom … – The cities here mentioned, together with Admah and Zeboim, were destroyed by fire and brimstone on account of their great wickedness.
They occupied the place afterward covered by the Dead Sea, bounding Palestine on the southeast, Gen_19:24-25. Christ said that their punishment will be more “tolerable” – that is, more easily borne – than that of the people who reject his gospel. The reason is, that they were not favored with so much light and instruction. See Mat_11:23-24; Luk_12:47-48. Sodom and Gomorrah are often referred to as signal instances of divine vengeance, and as sure proofs that the wicked shall not go unpunished. See 2Pe_2:6; Jud_1:7.
Russell: More tolerable — In proportion as anyone comes to a knowledge of Christ, he has become responsible. This implies that the treatment will be tolerable in any event. Those who have been favored with the message of truth and have turned a deaf ear, while professing to be followers of Christ, will find conditions of the incoming age less favorable to them than to heathen people.
The land of Sodom — Those Sodomites were condemned to death before they were born, as are all of Adam’s children. The only thing that came upon the Sodomites specially was that they died violent deaths. The Sodomites were wickedly immoral; yet they were less wicked than those who, after hearing the Gospel, reject it.
Day of judgment — The whole world will be on trial for everlasting life or everlasting death in the Millennial age.
Than for that city — The condemnation was not an individual one, either then or at the full end of their age. The condemnation was not to eternal death, but to the deprivation of the privileges and blessings of the new dispensation then about to be offered to them. The people of Jerusalem suffered more in their time of trouble (AD 69-70) than did the people of Sodom and Gomorrha in their calamity.
The sin of carelessness in respect to the message of the Kingdom is, in God’s sight, an indication of a still meaner condition of heart, of a still more wicked person.
JFB: for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city — Those Cities of the Plain, which were given to the flames for their loathsome impurities, shall be treated as less criminal, we are here taught, than those places which, though morally respectable, reject the Gospel message and affront those that bear it.
Mat 10:16 KJV Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
JFB: in the midst of wolves — ready to make a prey of you (Joh_10:12). To be left exposed, as sheep to wolves, would have been startling enough; but that the sheep should be sent among the wolves would sound strange indeed. No wonder this announcement begins with the exclamation, “Behold.”
be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves — Wonderful combination this! Alone, the wisdom of the serpent is mere cunning, and the harmlessness of the dove little better than weakness: but in combination, the wisdom of the serpent would save them from unnecessary exposure to danger; the harmlessness of the dove, from sinful expedients to escape it. In the apostolic age of Christianity, how harmoniously were these qualities displayed! Instead of the fanatical thirst for martyrdom, to which a later age gave birth, there was a manly combination of unflinching zeal and calm discretion, before which nothing was able to stand.
Clarke:Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves – He who is called to preach the Gospel is called to embrace a state of constant labor, and frequent suffering. He who gets ease and pleasure, in consequence of embracing the ministerial office, neither preaches the Gospel, nor is sent of God. If he did the work of an evangelist, wicked men and demons would both oppose him.
Wise (φρονιμοι prudent) as serpents, and harmless as doves – This is a proverbial saying: so in Shir hashirim Rabba, fol. 16, “The holy blessed God said to the Israelites, Ye shall be towards me as upright as the
Benson: Be ye therefore wise as serpents — On the one hand, be so prudent as not to irritate the wicked, and those who shall oppose you, either by your behaviour or your doctrine, unnecessarily, and avoid all unnecessary dangers: and harmless as doves — On the other hand, let not your prudence degenerate into craft, lest it lead you to betray the truth, or to encourage or countenance men in their evil practices; maintain at all times a holy simplicity of soul; and to your prudence join a harmless and inoffensive behaviour, rendering yourselves remarkable for integrity amid the greatest temptations, and for meekness amid the greatest provocations.
Guzik:I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves: Jesus freely, and honestly, admits His disciples will face persecution, and because they are to have no armies behind them, He sends them as sheep in the midst of wolves.
b. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves: Despite their vulnerable position, Jesus’ followers are not to defend themselves with worldly forms of power. They are to remain harmless as doves, though wise as serpents.
Russell: Behold — The remainder of the chapter shows that the work of the apostles then sent forth typifies the entire work of this Gospel age.
In the midst of wolves — “For grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” (Act_20:29)
Be ye therefore wise — Neat in appearance; kind, interested and dignified in language and manner; taking advantage of all circumstances to stir up interest. We are to do nothing foolish nor go out on the streets to stir up trouble, but use the spirit of a sound mind–gentleness, meekness, patience, brotherly-kindness and love.
On every occasion use wisdom, and pray to God in regard to any important step in your life or home. Wisdom is to be exercised in the presentation of the Lord’s Word.
Do not attempt to tell all about the plan of God. The reading will do that better. Tell just enough to make them desire to know more. We are not to choke Christian brethren who are merest babes in the knowledge of God’s Word. Not giving strong meat to those who are babes in Christ, but first the sincere milk of the word, and afterward stronger truth as they are able to bear it. If you have opportunity to help one out of wrong views into right views, it should be done with sympathy.
Many of the Lord’s people need to learn tactfulness; some mistakenly believe that they must use no tact–that to do so would be dishonest. A spirit boasting or glorying over others, because our views are more consistent than theirs, will always drive them away. We might use the truth as a club to show our strength, but it will not bring men to God.
As serpents — The serpent does not, in approaching his victim, rush out in a manner to frighten, intimidate and repulse. His approaches are very careful, and yet effectual. If necessary, he can wait long and patiently, while the victim runs or flees, still holding himself in that position which will most favorably influence. The cat usually conceals itself, but the serpent often presents itself to full view and, by the attraction which it presents, secures its object.
Harmless as doves — In talking to friends, we should not give any hint that they do not belong to the family of God; it is better to class ourselves in with all as true neighbors.
Mat 10:17 KJV But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
Guzik: But beware of men, for they will deliver you up: Jesus also warns them that men will persecute them out of both civic (councils) and religious (synagogues) motivation.
Clarke: But beware of men – Or, be on your guard against men, των ανθρωπων These men; i.e. your countrymen; those from whom you might have reasonably expected comfort and support; and especially those in power, who will abuse that power to oppress you.
Councils – Συνεδρια, sanhedrins and synagogues. See on Mat_5:22 (note). “By synagogues we may understand here, not the places of public worship, but assemblies where three magistrates, chosen out of the principal members of the synagogue, presided to adjust differences among the people: these had power, in certain cases, to condemn to the scourge, but not to death. See Act_22:19; 2Co_11:24, compared with Luk_12:11.” See Lightfoot.
Barnes: The instrument formerly used was a “rod.” Afterward they employed thongs or lashes attached to the rod. To make the blows severe and more painful, they sometimes fastened sharp points of iron or pieces of lead in the thongs. These were called “scorpions,” 1Ki_12:11. The law was express that the number of stripes should not exceed forty. The Jews, to secure greater accuracy in counting, used a scourge with three lashes, which inflicted three stripes at once. With this the criminal was struck thirteen times, making the number of blows thirty-nine. Paul was five times scourged in this way. See 2Co_11:24.
The Romans did not feel themselves bound by the law of the Jews in regard to the “number” of stripes, but inflicted them at pleasure. Thus our Saviour was scourged until he was so weak as not to be able to bear his cross. This was often done in the synagogue. See Mat_23:34; Act_22:19; Act_26:11.
Mat 10:18 KJV And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
Guzik: For My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles: Because they are being persecuted for Jesus sake, they can be a testimony to both religious and civic persecutors.
JFB: And ye shall be brought before governors — provincial rulers.
and kings — the highest tribunals.
for my sake, for a testimony against them — rather, “to them,” in order to bear testimony to the truth and its glorious effects.
and the Gentiles — “to the Gentiles”; a hint that their message would not long be confined to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The Acts of the Apostles are the best commentary on these warnings.
Barnes: And ye shall be brought … – This prediction was completely and abundantly fulfilled, Act_5:26; Act_12:1-4; Act_23:33; Act_26:1, Act_26:28, Act_26:30. Peter is said to have been brought before Nero, and John before Domitian, Roman emperors; and others before Parthian, Scythian, and Indian kings. They were to stand there to bear a testimony against them; or, as it might be rendered, to them. That is, they were to be “witnesses to them” of the great facts and doctrines of the Christian religion; and if they rejected Christianity, they would be witnesses “against” them in the day of judgment. The fulfillment of this prophecy is a signal evidence that Christ possessed a knowledge of the future. Few things were more improbable when this was uttered than that the fishermen of Galilee would stand before the illustrious and mighty monarchs of the East and the West.
Mat 10:19 KJV 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.
Guzik: Do not worry about how or what you should speak: Jesus’ disciples can have a perfect trust in God at that time, knowing that He will speak through them, even if they are unprepared.
For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak: This isn’t a justification of poor preparation in teaching and preaching God’s Word, but it is a promise of strength and guidance for the persecuted who have an opportunity to testify of Jesus.
Russell: Take no thought — Beforehand; relying on God’s power. The Greek here seems to give the thought: Do not be worried when you shall be brought before kings and judges.
It shall be given you — Perhaps by suggestions from another, perhaps through the testimony of someone else, or it may be a text of Scripture that would come to mind. Supernatural assistance, illustrated in the first Christian persecution: Peter, as spokesman, was “filled with the holy Spirit.” (Act_4:8)
Clarke:Take no thought how or what ye shall speak – Μη μεριμνησετε – Be not anxiously careful, because such anxiety argues distrust in God, and infallibly produces a confused mind. In such a state, no person is fit to proclaim or vindicate the truth. This promise, It shall be given you, etc., banishes all distrust and inquietude on dangerous occasions; but without encouraging sloth and negligence, and without dispensing with the obligation we are under to prepare ourselves by the meditation of sacred truths, by the study of the Holy Scriptures, and by prayer.
It shall be given you in that same hour what – This clause is wanting in the MSS. D and L, and several others, some versions, and several of the fathers: but it is found in Mar_13:11, without any various reading; and in substance in Luk_11:13.
Mat 10:20 KJV For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
Clarke: For it is – the Spirit of your Father, etc. – This was an extraordinary promise, and was literally fulfilled to those first preachers of the Gospel; and to them it was essentially necessary, because the New Testament dispensation was to be fully opened by their extraordinary inspiration. In a certain measure, it may be truly said, that the Holy Spirit animates the true disciples of Christ, and enables them to speak. The Head speaks in his members, by his Spirit; and it is the province of the Spirit of God to speak for God. Neither surprise, defect of talents, nor even ignorance itself, could hurt the cause of God, in the primitive times, when the hearts and minds of those Divine men were influenced by the Holy Spirit.
Your Father – This is added to excite and increase their confidence in God.
Mat 10:21 KJV 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.
Guzik: Jesus knew that in some cases the gospel would divide family members, and that some of the most bitter persecution would take place among families.
And cause them to be put to death: Here also, Jesus plainly says that persecution would sometime result in death. Though most Christians have endured persecution in economic or social arenas, though the centuries, literally millions have given their lives for Jesus.
Benson: And the brother, who believeth not, shall deliver up the believing brother to death, and the father the child, &c. — As if he had said, All the wisdom and justice of your apologies, though divinely inspired, will not disarm the malice of your unreasonable enemies, which shall prevail to such a degree as even to triumph over natural affection, and break asunder the strictest bonds of social life: for the nearest relations shall betray one another, not only to some slighter punishments, but even to violent and tormenting deaths. And fathers shall thus become the murderers, instead of being the guardians and protectors, of their children: and children, on the other hand, forgetting all the obligations of filial duty and affection, shall rise up, as witnesses, against their own parents, and cause them to be put to death.
We have seen this under communism or in countries (such as Muslim) where there are no freedoms. Also we see in Muslim communities-“honor killings” or mutilations with acid thrown on the victim because they profess Christ.
How does your family react to your Christianity?
Do they know you are a Christian?
Does your commitments to Christ direct you to behave differently than your unbelieving family?
Mat 10:22 KJV And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
Guzik: A commitment to endure to the end is required for those who will weather the storms of persecution. We who have face little real persecution have little understanding of just how difficult it is to endure under it.
Benson: But be not discouraged at the prospect of these trials, for he that perseveres in the faith and practice of the gospel, and who bears constantly and with invincible patience these persecutions, (which my grace is sufficient to enable you all to do,) shall be finally and eternally saved from all sin and misery, into the kingdom and glory of God: whatever extremities he may be called to suffer in this world, God will not only deliver him from the destruction which shall come upon the wicked, but will repay his fidelity with unspeakable and everlasting felicity in the next.
Clarke: It is also true that they who do not hold fast faith and a good conscience till death have no room to hope for an admission into the kingdom of God.
Russell: Endureth to the end — A diamond is tested by being put under pressure; so God allows us to come under the constant pressure of years of toil, care and self-sacrifice to see how well we will endure.
This is a “Precious Promise”
Mat 10:23 KJV 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.G2064
Guzik:You will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes: This is one of the hardest to understand statements of Jesus in Matthew. Could Jesus really mean that He would return to this earth before the disciples would make it through all the cities of Israel? If so, this would make Jesus’ plainly wrong. Instead, it is better to see His “coming” in this passage as His coming in judgment upon Judea in 70 a.d. which did happen before the gospel came to every city in Israel.
- This is the fulfillment of the day of judgment warned of in Mat_10:15. In many ways, the judgment poured out by God upon Judea through the Roman armies in 70 a.d. was worse than the judgment that came upon Sodom and Gommorrah.
… to come or go (in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively): – accompany, appear, bring, come enter, fall out, go, grow, X light, X next, pass, resort, be set.
Russell:Flee ye into another
Illustrated by Paul’s flight from Iconium to Lystra (Act_14:6) and from Lystra to Derbe (Act_14:20).
Illustrated by Paul’s flight from Damascus: “Through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.” (2Co_11:33)
At the first great persecution in Jerusalem, “They that were scattered abroad went everywhere, preaching the Word.” (Act_8:4)
Mat 10:24 KJV The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
Mat 10:25 KJV 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?
Guzik: (Mat_10:24-25) Why Jesus’ disciples must expect persecution.
- A disciple is not above his teacher: Simply put, the disciples should not expect to be treated any better than Jesus was treated. If they called Jesus Himself Satan (Beelzebub), how much worse should the disciples of Jesus expect!
Meyer: The more Christlike we are, the more certainly shall we incur the dislike and hatred of men. Only let us take care that they hate us, not on account of our personal peculiarities and pretensions, but solely for the truth’s sake. See 1Ki_22:8; Dan_6:5.
Clarke:Beelzebub – This name is variously written in the MSS. Beelzebaul, Beelzeboun, Beelzebud, but there is a vast majority in favor of the reading Beelzebul, which should, by all means, be inserted in the text instead of Beelzebub. See the reasons below.
It is supposed that this idol was the same with בעל זבוב Baalzebub the god fly, worshipped at Ekron, 2Ki_1:2, etc., who had his name changed afterwards by the Jews to בעל זבול Baal zebul, the dung god, a title expressive of the utmost contempt. It seems probable that the worship of this vile idol continued even to the time of our Lord; and the title, being applied by the Jews to our blessed Lord, affords the strongest proof of the inveteracy of their malice.
“III. Very many names of evil spirits, or devils, occur in the Talmud, which it is needless here to mention. Among all the devils, they esteemed that devil the worst, the foulest, as it were, the prince of the rest, who ruled over the idols, and by whom oracles and miracles were given forth among the Heathens and idolaters. And they were of this opinion for this reason, because they held idolatry, above all other things, chiefly wicked and abominable, and to be the prince and head of evil. This demon they called בעל זבול Baal-zebul, not so much by a proper name, as by one more general and common; as much as to say, the lord of idolatry: the worst devil, and the worst thing: and they called him the prince of devils, because idolatry is the prince (or chief) of wickedness.”
Mat 10:26 KJV Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
Mat 10:26 TPT“Don’t be afraid or intimidated by others, for God will bring everything out into the open and every secret will be told.
Clarke: Fear them not – A general direction to all the persecuted followers of Christ. Fear them not, for they can make you suffer nothing worse than they have made Christ suffer; and under all trials he has promised the most ample support.
For there is nothing covered, etc. – God sees every thing; this is consolation to the upright and dismay to the wicked; and he will bring into judgment every work, and every secret thing, whether good or bad, Ecc_12:14.
Guzik: Therefore do not fear them: Jesus’ disciples can have confidence that the truth will prevail, so they should go out and preach it with boldness, despite the danger of persecution.
i. If persecution, or the threat of persecution, makes us draw back from speaking and preaching God’s word, in some measure, Satan has won a victory.
Russell: Is nothing covered — This prophecy is as true in the judgment of nations as of individuals. D541
Not be revealed — The masks will all be taken off and every man will be estimated, by both God and man, according to the real merit of his motives.
At the present time, things social, political and financial are being brought to light, more and more shaking the confidence of the people in their teachers, representatives and rulers. The secrets of nations are being exposed. Injustice in its every form is being brought to light. Inequity in financial institutions and in politics and in private affairs is being muckraked.
If justice were meted out, many of earth’s rulers would change places with their subjects or be put into prison; many of the great and lordly would be stripped of glory and seen in their true light as ignoble.
This is a “Precious Promise”
Mat 10:27 KJV What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
Russell: Speak ye — With the blessed knowledge always comes the responsibility of making it known.
Wesley: Even what I now tell you secretly is not to be kept secret long, but declared publicly. Therefore, What ye hear in the ear, publish on the house – top – Two customs of the Jews seem to be alluded to here. Their doctors used to whisper in the ear of their disciples what they were to pronounce aloud to others. And as their houses were low and flat roofed, they sometimes preached to the people from thence. Luk 12:3.
JFB: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops — Give free and fearless utterance to all that I have taught you while yet with you. Objection: But this may cost us our life? Answer: It may, but there their power ends:
Mat 10:28 KJV 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.
Guzik: God is the one to fear, not the men who persecute the followers of Jesus. The worst they can do is destroy your body, but shrinking back from God’s call can have eternal consequences.
Russell:Fear not — The child of God is to be very courageous, knowing that God will not permit anything to come to him that will not be for his good.
Which kill the body — No man could do more than take away our present earthly life, already under sentence of death; no man can take away our future life.
Are not able — A future life is a possibility which no man can rob you of. God has provided it through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Our revived souls will have new bodies (spiritual or natural); and these [bodies], none will have liberty to kill.
To kill the soul — The right of life that God has given you through your relationship to Christ, the life-giver.
But rather fear him — Have respect and deference to Jehovah, with whom are the issues of life everlasting. Reverence him. We should have a great appreciation of his highness and our own littleness.
Which is able — In spite of misbeliefs to the contrary, the soul can be put out of existence. God would bring no being into existence whom he could not destroy if found unworthy of life.
To destroy — It is less difficult to destroy than to create a being. He who created all things must be “able to destroy” both soul and body.
Both soul and body — Both the present dying existence and all hope of future life. Not only the body of the willful sinner perishes; but his soul, being, is forever blotted out of existence, having no hope of a resurrection.
In hell — Gehenna, the valley of Hinnom, defined here by Jesus as a place of destruction and not a place of torment. Gehenna, the second death, utter destruction.
Clarke: Fear not them which kill the body – Those who slay with acts of cruelty, alluding probably to the cruelties which persecutors should exercise on his followers in their martyrdom. But are not able to kill the soul. Hence we find that the body and the soul are distinct principles, for the body may be slain and the soul escape; and, secondly, that the soul is immaterial, for the murderers of the body are not able, have it not in their power, to injure it.
Bullinger: hell fire = the gehenna of fire, from Hebrew. gey Hinnom = the valley of Hinnom, profaned by the fires of Moloch worship (2Ch_33:6), and defiled by Hezekiah. Also called “Tophet”, Isa_30:33. Here the refuse of Jerusalem was continually being burnt up by the perpetual fires (compare Jer_7:31-33. 2Ki_23:10. Mar_9:48. Isa_66:24).
Mat 10:29 KJV Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
Mat 10:30 KJV But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Mat 10:31 KJV Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Barnes: Are not two sparrows … – He encourages them not to fear by two striking considerations: first, that God takes care of sparrows, the smallest and least valuable of birds; and, secondly, by the fact that God numbers even the hairs of the head. The argument is, that if He takes care of birds of the least value, if He regards so small a thing as the hair of the head, and numbers it, He will certainly protect and provide for you. You need not, therefore, fear what man can do to you.
Guzik: But Jesus’ disciples don’t need to be afraid, because God really does care for them, even down to the most minute detail. If God cares for the sparrows, and numbers the very hairs of our head, then He will also take care for our lives.
Russell: Hairs of your head — Our smallest interest is not overlooked.
Are all numbered — May not suffer injury without his knowledge and consent. No accident ever “happens” to God’s elect.
Wesley: The particular providence of God is another reason for your not fearing man. For this extends to the very smallest things. And if he has such care over the most inconsiderable creatures, how much more will he take care of you, (provided you confess him before men, before powerful enemies of the truth,) and that not only in this life, but in the other also? Luk 12:7.
Mat 10:32 KJV Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
Wesley: Whosoever shall confess me – Publicly acknowledge me for the promised Messiah. But this confession implies the receiving his whole doctrine, Mar 8:38, and obeying all his commandments. Luk 9:26.
Barnes: Whosoever therefore shall confess me … – The same word in the original is translated “confess” and “profess,” 1Ti_6:12-13; 2Jn_1:7; Rom_10:10. It means to acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ, and our dependence on him for salvation, and our attachment to him, in every proper manner. This profession may be made in uniting with a church, at the communion, in conversation, and in conduct. The Scriptures mean, by a profession of religion, an exhibition of it in every circumstance of the life and before all people. It is not merely in one act that we must do it, but in every act. We must be ashamed neither of the person, the character, the doctrines, nor the requirements of Christ. If we are; if we deny him in these things before people; if we are unwilling to express our attachment to him in every way possible, then it is right that he should “disown all connection with us,” or deny us before God, and he will do it.
Guzik: a. Whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven: The disciple must confess Jesus publicly. If we will not be public about our allegiance to Him, we cannot expect Him to be public about His allegiance to us.
i. Everyone Jesus called, He called publicly. There is really no such thing as a “secret” Christian; this is a contradiction in terms – an oxymoron.
ii. If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence among your family and friends to convict you of being a follower of Jesus Christ?
This is a Precious Promise
Mat 10:33 KJV But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
Russell: Whosoever shall deny — Every one in the Lord’s company will have been a faithful soldier; not a deserter, not ashamed of the Lord, nor ashamed of his truth.
Clarke: Whosoever shall deny me – Whosoever prefers his worldly interest to his duty to God, sets a greater value on earthly than on heavenly things, and prefers the friendship of men to the approbation of God.
Let it be remembered, that to be renounced by Christ is to have him neither for a Advocate nor Savior. To appear before the tribunal of God without having Christ for our Advocate, and, on the contrary, to have him there as our Judge, and a witness against us..
Mat 10:34 KJV Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
Mat 10:34 TPT “Perhaps you think I’ve come to spread peace and calm over the earth—but my coming will bring conflict and division, not peace.
Russell: Not to send peace — As surely as we let the world alone to do their own will without warning, we will escape persecution and live at peace with the world. But as surely as the Lord did not do it, we must not do it.
But a sword — Division. Trouble between those who love the truth supremely and others of the family; this division cannot be avoided.
“The sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God” (Eph_6:17) separates in congregations and homes.
Barnes:Think not that I am come … – This is taken from Mic_7:6. Christ did not here mean to say that the object of his coming was to produce discord and contention, for he was the Prince of Peace, Isa_9:6; Isa_11:6; Luk_2:14; but he means to say that such would be one of the effects of his coming. One part of a family that was opposed to Him would set themselves against those who believed in him. The wickedness of men, and not the religion of the gospel, is the cause of this hostility. It is unnecessary to say that no prophecy has been more strikingly fulfilled; and it will continue to be fulfilled until all unite in obeying his commandments. Then his religion will produce universal peace. Compare the notes at Mat_10:21.
But a sword – The sword is an instrument of death, and to send a sword is the same as to produce hostility and war.
Meyer: In Jesus Christ we acquire a new affinity, stronger than that of family ties. When we enter into the family of God we belong to all His children. They are our brethren and sisters in the most intimate sense. See Mat_12:48-50. The new love that floods our nature does not make us less but more tender and sympathetic toward our own kith and kin; but if we are compelled to choose, then we must stand with the children of God, though it should rend us from the old happy family life in which we were nurtured.
Mat 10:35 KJV 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.
Robertson: Set at variance (dichasai). Literally divide in two, dicha. Jesus uses Mic_7:1-6 to describe the rottenness of the age as Micah had done. Family ties and social ties cannot stand in the way of loyalty to Christ and righteous living.
The daughter-in-law (numphēn). Literally bride, the young wife who is possibly living with the mother-in-law. It is a tragedy to see a father or mother step between the child and Christ.
Vincent’s: Daughter-in-law (νύμφην)
So A. Y. and Rev.; but the full force is lost in this rendering. The word means bride, and though sometimes used in classical Greek of any married woman, it carries a notion of comparative youth. … The radical and bitter character of the division brought into households by the Gospel is shown by the fact of its affecting domestic relations in their very freshness, The newly-married wife shall be set at variance with her mother-in-law. Wycliffe’s rendering is peculiar: And the son’s wife against the wife’s or husband’s mother.
Mat 10:36 KJV And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
JFB: And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household — This saying, which is quoted, as is the whole verse, from Mic_7:6, is but an extension of the Psalmist’s complaint (Psa_41:9; Psa_55:12-14), which had its most affecting illustration in the treason of Judas against our Lord Himself (Joh_13:18; Mat_26:48-50). Hence would arise the necessity of a choice between Christ and the nearest relations, which would put them to the severest test.
Mat 10:37 KJV 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.
Guzik: The disciple must love and follow Jesus supremely. Our devotion to Jesus must come above even our own household.
i. We should expect that normally, following Jesus makes us better husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, sons, daughters and so forth. Yet there are times when the presence of Jesus divides rather than unifies.
ii. The greatest danger of idolatry comes not from what is bad, but from what is good – like love in family relationships. The greatest danger to the best comes from second best.
Russell: Loveth — Greek, phileo, as filial or “duty love” toward.
Father or mother — Duty love to our family relatives is right, but it must not equal our duty love to the Lord or self, or popularity, or worldly prosperity, or honor of men, or human theories and systems.
More than me — And my truth. Not preventing love for others, in proportion as they are good and pure; but if a clash of interest should come, we should be ready to decide for the Lord at once. Signifies a cutting off of every other love that would conflict with our love for the Lord. Our earthly loves are to be counted as nothing in comparison. “Lovest thou me more than these?” (Joh_21:15)
Clarke: He that loveth father or mother more than me – He whom we love the most is he whom we study most to please, and whose will and interests we prefer in all cases. If, in order to please a father or mother who are opposed to vital godliness, we abandon God’s ordinances and followers, we are unworthy of anything.
Barnes:He that loveth father or mother … – The meaning of this is clear. Christ must be loved supremely, or he is not loved at all. If we are not willing to give up all earthly possessions, and forsake all earthly friends, and if we do not obey him rather than all others, we have no true attachment to him.
Is not worthy of me – Is not appropriate to be regarded as a follower of me, or is not a Christian.
Mat 10:38 KJV And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
JFB: And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me — a saying which our Lord once and again emphatically reiterates (Mat_16:24; Luk_9:23; Luk_14:27). We have become so accustomed to this expression – “taking up one’s cross” – in the sense of “being prepared for trials in general for Christ’s sake,” that we are apt to lose sight of its primary and proper sense here – “a preparedness to go forth even to crucifixion,” as when our Lord had to bear His own cross on His way to Calvary – a saying the more remarkable as our Lord had not as yet given a hint that He would die this death, nor was crucifixion a Jewish mode of capital punishment.
Guzik: Take his cross and follow after me: The disciple must follow Jesus even to the place of taking his cross. When a person took a cross in Jesus’ day, it was for one reason: to die, because the cross didn’t negotiate, didn’t compromise, didn’t deal. There was no looking back when you took up your cross, and your only hope was in resurrection life.
i. Your “cross” isn’t really your particular trial or trouble. The cross means one thing: death – death to self, but resurrection life unto God.
Russell: If we turn aside from the path of humiliation and daily cross-bearing and strife for present exaltation and preferment, we are forgetting the very conditions upon which the future exaltation depends.
Clarke: He that taketh not his cross – i.e. He who is not ready, after my example, to suffer death in the cause of my religion, is not worthy of me, does not deserve to be called my disciple.
Barnes: And he that taketh not his cross … – When persons were condemned to be crucified, a part of the sentence was that they should carry the cross on which they were to die to the place of execution. Thus, Christ carried his, until he fainted from fatigue and exhaustion. See notes at Mat_27:31. The cross was usually composed of two rough beams of wood, united in the form of this figure of a cross It was an instrument of death. See the notes at Mat_27:31-32. To carry it was burdensome, was disgraceful, was trying to the feelings, was an addition to the punishment. So “to carry the cross” is a figurative expression, denoting that we must endure whatever is burdensome, or is trying, or is considered disgraceful, in following Christ. It consists simply in doing our duty, let the people of the world think of it or speak of it as they may. It does not consist in making trouble for ourselves, or doing things merely “to be opposed;” it is doing just what is required of us in the Scriptures, let it produce whatever shame, disgrace, or pain it may. This every follower of Jesus is required to do.
Mat 10:39 KJV He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
Guzik: The disciple lives in a paradox. He can only find life by losing it, and he can only live by dying. Resurrection life can only come after we have taken up our cross to follow Jesus.
Barnes: He that findeth his life … – The word “life” in this passage is used evidently in two senses. The meaning may be expressed thus: He that is anxious to save his “temporal” life, or his comfort and security here, shall lose “eternal” life, or shall fail of heaven. He that is willing to risk or lose his comfort and “life” here for my sake, shall find “life” everlasting, or shall be saved.
Wesley: He that findeth his life shall lose it – He that saves his life by denying me, shall lose it eternally; and he that loseth his life by confessing me, shall save it eternally. And as you shall be thus rewarded, so in proportion shall they who entertain you for my sake. Mat 16:25; Joh 12:25.
Clarke: He that findeth his life, etc. – i.e. He who, for the sake of his temporal interest, abandons his spiritual concerns, shall lose his soul; and he who, in order to avoid martyrdom, abjures the pure religion of Christ, shall lose his soul, and perhaps his life too. He that findeth his life shall lose it, was literally fulfilled in Archbishop Cranmer. He confessed Christ against the devil, and his eldest son, the pope. He was ordered to be burnt; to save his life he recanted, and was, notwithstanding, burnt. Whatever a man sacrifices to God is never lost, for he finds it again in God.
Russsell: Findeth his life — Greek, psuche, soul, being. To lay hold on what remains of our earthly life and begin again to live after the flesh is to lose all claim upon the spiritual life.
Shall lose it — He who keeps hold of the life already consecrated to sacrifice, thereby loses all life.
Loseth his life — Surrenders his earthly life. The life to which we are justified by our faith in Jesus’ ransom must be laid down, even as he laid down his life. (Joh_10:18) We cannot fully possess the new divine nature until the human nature is entirely dissolved, dead.
Shall find it — Shall gain glory, honor, immortality; the divine nature.
This is a Precious Promise
Mat 10:40 KJV He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
Russell: Receiveth me — The Lord is represented by every saint who is a member of his body.
Receiveth him — They represented God as his mouthpieces whom he authorized to speak in His name.
Popular NT: He that receiveth you, receiveth me. The concluding verses convey one appropriate thought, similar to that of Mat_10:24-25 : Christ’s disciples are identified with Him. Notwithstanding all the opposition and sundering of family ties, just set forth, Christ’s people carry true peace with them, bearing Him and His blessing to all who receive them. The reception is not merely a welcome of the disciples to the house, but of their message to the heart. The language is not entirely figurative. Those who welcome the men, are most apt to welcome the truth they bear, and thus the Master they represent.
Gill: He that receiveth you, receiveth me,…. This is said to comfort the disciples, lest they should conclude from this account of the sorrows, afflictions, and persecutions they were to meet with, that there would be none that would receive them and their message; Christ therefore suggests, that there would be some that would embrace the Gospel preached by them, and receive them kindly into their houses, and entertain them in a very hospitable manner: and, for the encouragement of such persons, who would risk their own goods and lives by so doing, he lets them know, that receiving of his disciples, was interpreted by him, a receiving of himself; and what they did to them, would be taken as kindly, as if done to him personally; and, in like manner, would it be understood and accepted by his Father:
Mat 10:41 KJV 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.
Mat 10:42 KJV 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.
Guzik:He who receives you receives Me: The good done to Jesus’ disciples is as if it were good done to Jesus Himself, because they are His representatives, carrying on His ministry.
b. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward: We can share in the reward of God’s servants by supporting them in their work. Even seemingly insignificant works of kindness (a cup of cold water) performed for God’s people are meaningful in God’s eyes.
i. What could seem more insignificant than giving a person a cup of cold water? In a short time, they will be thirsty again. Yet, even such a small gesture will always be remembered and rewarded by God.
Russell: Receiveth a righteous man — It is toward the brethren of Christ that we should be particularly careful to exercise hospitality, even though they be strangers to us, if we recognize in them the Master’s likeness, his spirit.
JFB: And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones — Beautiful epithet! Originally taken from Zec_13:7. The reference is to their lowliness in spirit, their littleness in the eyes of an undiscerning world, while high in Heaven’s esteem.
a cup of cold water only — meaning, the smallest service.
in the name of a disciple — or, as it is in Mark (Mar_9:41), because ye are Christ’s: from love to Me, and to him from his connection with Me.
verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward — There is here a descending climax – “a prophet,” “a righteous man,” “a little one”; signifying that however low we come down in our services to those that are Christ’s, all that is done for His sake, and that bears the stamp of love to His blessed name, shall be divinely appreciated and owned and rewarded.
These are precious promises