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    CHAPTER 10

    Mt 10:1-5. MISSION OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES. ( = Mr 6:7-13; Lu 9:1-6).

    The last three verses of the ninth chapter form the proper introduction to the Mission of the Twelve, as is evident from the remarkable fact that the Mission of the Seventy was prefaced by the very same words. (See on Lu 10:2).

    1. And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power--The word signifies both "power," and "authority" or "right." Even if it were not evident that here both ideas are included, we find both words expressly used in the parallel passage of Luke (Lu 9:1) --"He gave them power and authority"--in other words, He both qualified and authorized them.
    - against--or "over."

    2. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these--The other Evangelists enumerate the twelve in immediate connection with their appointment (Mr 3:13-19; Lu 6:13-16). But our Evangelist, not intending to record the appointment, but only the Mission of the Twelve, gives their names here. And as in the Acts (Ac 1:13) we have a list of the Eleven who met daily in the upper room with the other disciples after their Master's ascension until the day of Pentecost, we have four catalogues in all for comparison.
    - The first, Simon, who is called Peter--(See on Joh 1:42).
    - and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother--named after James, as the younger of the two.

    3. Philip and Bartholomew--That this person is the same with "Nathanael of Cana in Galilee" is justly concluded for the three following reasons: First, because Bartholomew is not so properly an individual's name as a family surname; next, because not only in this list, but in Mark's and Luke's (Mr 3:18; Lu 6:14), he follows the name of "Philip," who was the instrument of bringing Nathanael first to Jesus (Joh 1:45); and again, when our Lord, after His resurrection, appeared at the Sea of Tiberias, "Nathanael of Cana in Galilee" is mentioned along with six others, all of them apostles, as being present (Joh 21:2).
    - 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 Mt 1:3, 5, 6; 9:9).
    - James the son of Alphaeus--the same person apparently who is called Cleopas or Clopas (Lu 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 (Lu 6:16; Ac 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 Catholic Epistle of "Jude," and not "the Lord's brother" (Mt 13:55), unless these be the same, is most likely.

    4. Simon the Canaanite--rather "Kananite," but better still, "the Zealot," as he is called in Lu 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" (Lu 6:16).
    - who also betrayed him--a note of infamy attached to his name in all the catalogues of the Twelve.


    This directory divides itself into three distinct parts. The first part (Mt 10:5-15) contains directions for the brief and temporary mission on which they were now going forth, with respect to the places they were to go to, the works they were to do, the message they were to bear, and the manner in which they were to conduct themselves. The second part (Mt 10:16-23) contains directions of no such limited and temporary nature, but opens out into the permanent exercise of the Gospel ministry. The third part (Mt 10:24-42) is of wider application still, reaching not only to the ministry of the Gospel in every age, but to the service of Christ in the widest sense. It is a strong confirmation of this threefold division, that each part closes with the words, "VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU" (Mt 10:15, 23, 42).

    Directions for the Present Mission (Mt 10:5-15).

    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--The Samaritans were Gentiles by blood; but being the descendants of those whom the king of Assyria had transported from the East to supply the place of the ten tribes carried captive, they had adopted the religion of the Jews, though with admixtures of their own: and, as the nearest neighbors of the Jews, they occupied a place intermediate between them and the Gentiles. Accordingly, when this prohibition was to be taken off, on the effusion of the Spirit at Pentecost, the apostles were told that they should be Christ's witnesses first "in Jerusalem, and in all Judea," then "in Samaria," and lastly, "unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Ac 1:8).

    6. 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 Lu 19:10), but as abandoned and left to wander from the right way by faithless shepherds (Jer 50:6, 17; Eze 34:2-6, &c.).

    7. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand--(See on Mt 3:2).

    8. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils--(The italicized clause--"raise the dead"--is wanting in many manuscripts). Here we have the first communication of supernatural power by Christ Himself to His followers--thus anticipating the gifts of Pentecost. And right royally does He dispense it.
    - freely ye have received, freely give--Divine saying, divinely said! (Compare De 15:10, 11; Ac 3:6) --an apple of gold in a setting of silver (Pr 25:11). It reminds us of that other golden saying of our Lord, rescued from oblivion by Paul, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Ac 20:35). Who can estimate what the world owes to such sayings, and with what beautiful foliage and rich fruit such seeds have covered, and will yet cover, this earth!

    9. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses--"for" your purses; literally, "your belts," in which they kept their money.

    10. Nor scrip for your journey--the bag used by travellers for holding provisions.
    - neither two coats--or tunics, worn next the skin. The meaning is, Take no change of dress, no additional articles.
    - neither shoes--that is, change of them.
    - nor yet staves--The received text here has "a staff," but our version follows another reading, "staves," which is found in the received text of Luke (Lu 9:3). The true reading, however, evidently is "a staff"--meaning, that they were not to procure even that much expressly for this missionary journey, but to go with what they had. No doubt it was the misunderstanding of this that gave rise to the reading "staves" in so many manuscripts Even if this reading were genuine, it could not mean "more than one"; for who, as ALFORD well asks, would think of taking a spare staff?
    - for the workman is worthy of his meat--his "food" or "maintenance"; a principle which, being universally recognized in secular affairs, is here authoritatively applied to the services of the Lord's workmen, and by Paul repeatedly and touchingly employed in his appeals to the churches (Ro 15:27; 1Co 9:11; Ga 6:6), and once as "scripture" (1Ti 5:18).

    11. And into whatsoever city or town--town or village.
    - ye shall enter inquire--carefully.
    - who in it is worthy--or "meet" to entertain such messengers; not in point of rank, of course, but of congenial disposition.
    - and there abide till ye go thence--not shifting about, as if discontented, but returning the welcome given with a courteous, contented, accommodating disposition.

    12. And when ye come into an house--or "the house," but it means not the worthy house, but the house ye first enter, to try if it be worthy.
    - salute it--show it the usual civilities.

    13. And if the house be worthy--showing this by giving you a welcome.
    - let your peace come upon it--This is best explained by the injunction to the Seventy, "And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house" (Lu 10:5). This was the ancient salutation of the East, and it prevails to this day. But from the lips of Christ and His messengers, it means something far higher, both in the gift and the giving of it, than in the current salutation. (See on Joh 14:27).
    - but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you--If your peace finds a shut, instead of an open, door in the heart of any household, take it back to yourselves, who know how to value it; and it will taste the sweeter to you for having been offered, even though rejected.

    14. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city--for possibly a whole town might not furnish one "worthy."
    - shake off the dust of your feet--"for a testimony against them," as Mark and Luke add (Mr 6:11; Lu 10:11). By this symbolical action they vividly shook themselves from all connection with such, and all responsibility for the guilt of rejecting them and their message. Such symbolical actions were common in ancient times, even among others than the Jews, as strikingly appears in Pilate (Mt 27:24). And even to this day it prevails in the East.

    15. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable--more bearable.
    - 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.

    Directions for the Future and Permanent Exercise of the Christian Ministry (Mt 10:16-23).

    16. Behold, I send you forth--The "I" here is emphatic, holding up Himself as the Fountain of the Gospel ministry, as He is also the Great Burden of it.
    - as sheep--defenseless.
    - 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.

    17. But beware of men; for they will deliver you up to the councils--the local courts, used here for civil magistrates in general.
    - and they will scourge you in their synagogues--By this is meant persecution at the hands of the ecclesiastics.

    18. 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.

    19. But when they deliver you up, take no thought--be not solicitous or anxious. (See on Mt 6:25).
    - how or what ye shall speak--that is, either in what manner ye shall make your defense, or of what matter it shall consist.
    - for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak--(See Ex 4:12; Jer 1:7).

    20. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you--How remarkably this has been verified, the whole history of persecution thrillingly proclaims--from the Acts of the Apostles to the latest martyrology.

    21. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their p


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