21 September 2021

Nathan A. Hughes, Esq.

Soli Deo Gloria

Gospel Thoughts: Matthew 10

7 min read

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. 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;3  Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4  Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

Jesus Sends the Twelve Apostles 

Verses 1-4

The twelve men were the apostles that Jesus appointed to preach the Gospel and to tell of his many wonderful deeds. They were twelve very ordinary men. None of the were for great wealth or intellectual gains, but they turned the world upside down. Jesus made these common men, great men. Most of these men were fishermen who made a living fishing in the Sea of Galilee and the surrounding area. 

The twelve had power given to them by the Lord to cast out unclean spirits and to heal all manner of sicknesses and diseases. Perhaps Jesus gave them this power as a sign that they were appointed by him. As they had been given this authority they were now called his apostles. The Greek word used here is apostolos which can be translated as delegate. So far Matthew has told us about five men Jesus called to public ministry (Mat 4. 18-22). The twelve were sent to be his leaders in the world. The term “the twelve” in used in the New Testament to refer to the most prominent group of Christ’s followers. 

The names of the twelve are given in pairs and were most likely sent out in pairs. They were Simon who was called Peter. He was the son of Jonah. Simon Peter is also called Cephas meaning, a stone. This name given to Simon Peter may have been to differentiate him from Simon, the Canaanite. He was a fisherman and likely a native a Bethsaida in Galilee. Andrew was the brother of Simon Peter who was also a fisherman. Simon Peter, Andrew, James, son of Zebedee, and his brother John were the first four called by Jesus. 

The Apostle Philip has been described as the apostle who preached in Greece, Syria and Phrhia. His brother Bartholomew has been identified as Nathaniel in John’s Gospel (John 1:43-51). Thomas is sometimes referred as doubting Thomas from the time when he doubted the physical resurrection of Jesus. Unless he could both see and touch the risen Jesus he was doubtful. Thomas is also called Didymus meaning twin. Matthew was a tax collector. Tax collectors at this point in history were viewed with distrust and distain. They were representative of the Romans who ruled over the people of Palestine. The Romans collected high taxes from the people who they treated unfairly. James, son of Alphaeus who is often called James the lesser or little. He appears only four times in the New Testament, each time is a list of the twelve apostles. Lebbaeus whose surname was Thaddaeus is identified as Jude, the apostle. He is also the writer of the Epistle of Jude. Simon, the Canaanite also called Simon the Zealot. To distinguish him from Simon Peter he is called the Canaanite or Zealot. The Zealots were a political group which sought to incite the people of Judea to protest and rebel against Roman occupation of the land,  by force if necessary. Lastly listed is Judas Iscariot the one who betrayed Jesus to the Roman authorities. His name has been connected to treachery ever since. 

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: 6  But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7  And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. 9  Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, 10  Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.11  And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. 12  And when ye come into an house, salute it. 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. 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. 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.

The Disciples Are Sent

Verse 5-15

In verse 8 Jesus gives a principle for us to follow. We have been blessed by God with love, grace and mercy. We are to freely show others the same. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire as a result of wickedness. Those who reject the gospel will be worse off than those cities who never heard the gospel. It is a shame when people hear the truth but reject it. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah never heard the gospel, but the people Christ came to heard the message of salvation and still rejected it. 

16  Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17  But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18  And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 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. 20  For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. 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.22  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 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. 24  The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 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?

Persecution Will Come

Verse 16-25

The opposition of the world is like being sent into a pack of ravaging wolves. Therefore, we should look to our great Shepherd for guidance and protection. Jesus teaches his people to be wise and watchful. Christ tells us that his followers will suffer persecution. God’s people will be brought before governors and kings as a testimony of Christ. When this trouble comes, we are not to fear as Christ will give us the words we are to say. 

There will be no family loyalty in these testing times. It will be like every man for himself. Christian people will be hated by all people for the sake of Christ. We are not to fear what man can do to us. Fear God and Him alone for He can destroy both body and soul in hell. 

34  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 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. 36  And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 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. 38  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.39  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. 40  He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 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. 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.

Not Peace, a Sword

Verses 34-42

Jesus did not come to bring peace just for the sake of harmony. the truth of the gospel does divide. The true gospel causes disagreement. Being a follower of Christ means that we stand for the truth which may separate us from former friends and relationships. When we become a follower of Christ, we no longer follow the ways of the world. we now follow the path of righteousness and truth. 

To take up our cross and follow Christ means to identify with him in both public and private. It means to be willing to suffer for his namesake. 

There are rewards to the faithful who endure to the end. How much we are willing to give up for the cause of Christ is proof of our love for Him and those who Christ has called to be a witness. We are to be a shining light in the darkness of this sinful world. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.