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Matthew 10:24-31 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Do Not Fear – Preach!

Matthew 10:24-31 – Do Not Fear – Preach!

|| Mark 4:22; Luke 12:2-9

MT10:24 “A disciple[1] is not above the teacher nor a slave above his Master. MT10:25 It is satisfactory if the disciple becomes like his teacher,[2] and the slave like his Master. If they call the lord of the house ‘Beelzebul,’[3] how much more those of the household. MT10:26 So, you should not fear them.[4] For there is nothing concealed[5] which will not be revealed,[6] and nothing hidden[7] which will not become known. MT10:27 What I tell you in the dark, tell in the light; and, what your ear hears, preach on the housetops.[8] MT10:28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul.[9] Rather, continue to fear the One capable of destroying[10] both soul and body in Gehenna.[11] MT10:29 Are not two sparrows[12] sold for an assarion?[13] And not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s [awareness].[14] MT10:30 The very hairs of your head are numbered.[15] MT10:31 So, do not be afraid. You differ [greatly] from many sparrows.[16]

[1] Disciple: The Greek is MATHETES from which the English “mathematics” comes. Though “disciple” is related to “discipline” or that great effort to learn math. The word “Disciple” occurs 76 times in Matthew, 46 times in Mark, 38 times in Luke, 79 times in John, and 30 times in Acts. The word occurs nowhere else in the Christian Bible. No woman is ever called a “disciple” until Tabitha (Dorcas).

[2] Disciple becomes like his teacher: Jesus’ main point is that the disciples can expect to be condemned and spoken against during their work. This should not surprise them because the same is happening to their Teacher. They become like their Teacher in sharing his abuse and reproach.

[3] Beelzebul: Possibly a cryptic name for Satan meaning “Lord (owner) of Dung” or “Lord (owner) of Flies.” The contemptuous designation occurs as an accusation against the Nazarene at Matthew 12:24, 27; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15, 18. Compare 2 Kings 1:2.

[4] Not fear them: Courage is an absolutely necessity for a disciple of the Nazarene. Jesus knows that some households and some towns will not accept or receive the disciples well. He knows they are likely to call his apostles names. Note what he had told them in his Mountain Teachings (Matthew 5:10-12). Fear is a tool of the Devil.

[5] Concealed: Those who speak evil against the disciples will be exposed in the Judgment (Matthew 12:36). Secret slander will finally be revealed.

[6] Revealed: The Greek is APOKALYPSTHESETAI. Compare Mark 4:22; Luke 8:17; 1 Corinthians 4:5; John 3:19-21. Imagine the evil talk which has gone on throughout the centuries as inquisitors plotted to entrap or accuse innocent Christians?

[7] Hidden: The Greek is CRYPTON. PME: nor any thing private which will not be made public.

[8] Tell in the light; and, what your ear hears, preach on the housetops: Jesus often spoke to his disciples in private (Matthew 17:19; 20:17; 24:3; Mark 4:34; 6:31; 7:33; 9:28; 13:3). He wants his disciples to preach these things. Compare Luke 12:3. NEB: you must repeat in broad daylight; BAS: what comes to your ear secretly; MOF: what you hear in a whisper.

[9] Are unable to kill the soul: This verse is viewed by some to prove the soul is immortal and continues to exist after death. Jesus possibly has in mind the future life as a spirit person. He is saying: while your persecutors may kill you physically, they cannot destroy your True Life. Compare Luke 12:4; 21:19. The Greek for soul here is PSYCHEN and between the Jewish Greek Bible (LXX) and the Christian Bible occurs about 1,000 times. Of these over 100 state the soul is mortal and destructible. Not once is the soul ever stated to be immortal as in the Platonic idea. See commentaries and dictionaries under “soul.”

[10] The One capable of destroying: That is The God. Note that Jesus says the soul is mortal and destructible.

[11] Gehenna: Some render the Greek GEHENNE as hell (KJV), the pit (GDSP), the fires of destruction (PME). See notes on Matthew 5:22. Gehenna is a symbol of eternal destruction and called “Second Death” in Revelation 20:14, 15.

[12] Sparrows: On another occasion Jesus uses five sparrows. The Greek allows for any small bird. Such birds were sold for a penny, roasted over a spit (Light From the Ancient East, by A. Deissmann, 1965, pp. 273, 274).

[13] Assarion: A Roman coin about a half-penny. The widow’s LEPTON was ten times less. One-sixteenth of a denarius. KJV: a farthing; ASV: a penny.

[14] Father’s [awareness]: The literal Greek is not one falls without your Father. TCNT: without your Father’s knowledge; BECK: with your Father’s permission. Jesus teaches how sensitive and aware the Life Source of the Universe is. Some Christians loose every bit of self-worth or self-esteem. This thought ought to encourage any that just as God notes the birds, He is well aware of our own plights. Compare 1 Peter 5:7.

[15] Hairs of your head are numbered: Compare Luke 12:7. Or, KNX: he takes every hair of your head into his reckoning. Some estimate the average head of hair to include about 100,000. The hair of the head is used metamorphicly in the Bible (1 Samuel 14:45; 2 Samuel 14:11; 1 Kings 1:52; Psalm 40:12; 69:4; Luke 21:18; Acts 27:34).

[16] You differ [greatly] from many sparrows: KJV: you are of more value than many sparrows; WEY: you are more precious than a multitude of sparrows

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Preceding

Matthew 10:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Twelve Given Authority

Matthew 10:1-4 – Calling of the apostles – by Calvin

Matthew 10:5-10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus’ Orders: Territory, Theme, Trust

Matthew 10:11-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Searching for the Sheep

Matthew 10:16-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sent Forth as Sheep among Wolves

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Matthew 10:16-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sent Forth as Sheep among Wolves

Matthew 10:16-23 – Sent Forth as Sheep among Wolves

|| Luke 10:3

MT10:16 “Look! I am sending you forth[1] as sheep[2] among wolves,[3] so be cautious as serpents[4] and innocent as doves.[5] MT10:17 Be alert among humans[6] for they will hand you over[7] to courts and in their synagogues[8] they will scourge[9] you. MT10:18 You will be brought before governors and kings as a testimony to them[10] as well as the Non-Jews. MT10:19 But, when they hand you over do not be overly concerned how or what you will say, for what you should speak[11] will be given to you in that hour. MT10:20 Because it is not you who speaks but your Father’s Pneuma[12] speaking in you. MT10:21 Even brother will betray brother[13] – and a father his child – to death. Children will take their stand against parents causing their deaths. MT10:22 You will be hated by everyone because of my name.[14] But, the one who endures completely[15] will be saved.[16] MT10:23 When they persecute you in this town, flee to another.[17] I tell you this truth: You will never complete the cities of Israel[18] before the Ascension[19] of the Son of Humankind.

[1] Sending you forth: The Greek is APOSTELLO, a form of “apostle.” An apostle is a representative.

[2] Sheep: The Greek is PROBATA and occurs over 216 times in the whole Bible. Usually used as a metaphor for believers the word occurs: Matthew, 11; Mark, 2; Luke, 2; John, 20; and only five times in the rest of the Christian Bible. Sheep are not adversarial predators and are very gregarious as a flock. They are among the earliest animals named in the Bible (Genesis 24:35; 26:14). They are helpless without a shepherd and easy prey for enemies (Numbers 27:16, 17; Jeremiah 23:4; Ezekiel 34:5, 6, 8; Micah 5:8). It is a metaphor for those defenseless and innocent (2Samuel 24:17; Psalm 44:11, 22; 95:7; 119:176; Matthew 10:6, 16; John 21:16, 17; Romans 8:36). Note Luke 10:3 uses “lambs.”

[3] Wolves: The word group wolf/wolves occurs in Moses and the Prophets, all as pictured by Jesus. See Matthew 7:15 and John 10:2. (Genesis 49:27; Jeremiah 5:6; Ezekiel 22:27; Habakkuk 1:8; Zephaniah 3:3) Under the Messianic rule the wolf changes its disposition (Isaiah 11:6; 65:25) Paul predicts wolves will work their way into the Christian flock (Acts 20:29).

[4] Cautious as serpents: The idea finds its roots right at the beginning of human creation (Genesis 3:1).The serpent (snake) occurs over 70 times in the Bible. The phrase “cautious as serpents” is also rendered: KJV: wise as serpents; NASB: shrewd as. Though the Friend of the Nazarene is guileless in Christian character, Jesus counsels PHRONIMOI a wise caution when among the enemy.

[5] Innocent as doves: The gentle bird occurs 35 times in the Bible. The bird Noah sent forth from the Ark (Genesis 8:8-12). It is sometimes associated with being blameless or without flaw (Canticles 5:2, 12; 6:9). Hosea 7:11 associates the dove with a simple-minded heart without a motive. The bird occurs nine times in the Gospels (Matthew 3:16; 10:16; 21:12; Mark 1:10; 11:15; Luke 3:22; John 1:32; 2:14, 16). The word “innocent” is also rendered: KJV: harmless; MOF: guileless. The name of the prophet Jonah means “Dove.” (See also pidgin or turtledove). Compare Psalm 55:6; Isaiah 60:8.

[6] Be alert among humans: Others render this phrase: KJV: beware of men; TCNT: be on your guard; KNX: do not put your trust in men; RIEU: mankind. Giving this counsel, we must think that our Lord followed his own advice. Compare Philippians 3:2.

[7] Hand you over: Or, KJV: they will deliver you up; TCNT: betray you.

[8] Synagogues: Jesus is talking to Jewish disciples. What he says is not meant as specific directives for all future Friends of the Nazarene. Compare Jesus’ prediction at Mark 13:9 (Compare Matthew 23:34). Note the fulfillment at Acts 5:40.

[9] Scourge: Or, BECK: whip; WEY: flog (Acts 5:40ff).

[10] A testimony to them: See the Acts of the Apostles chapter 4, 5, 7 and others for the actual fulfillment.

[11] What you should speak: This is spoken to the apostles and may not necessarily be applied to all Christians. Note the cases of Peter (Acts 5), Stephen (Acts 7), and Paul (Acts 17), inspired speeches preserved in the Christian Bible.

[12] Your Father’s Pneuma: Or, the spirit of your Father. The Greek is PNEUMA which may also mean breath or wind. The Pneuma is God’s Mind exerting mental pressure to accomplish his will. So we find Peter, for example, speaking by the Pneuma (Acts 5:3, 4).

[13] Brother will betray brother: Compare Matthew 24:10.

[14] Hated by everyone because of my name: The name “Christian” in history becomes a terrible stigma leading to an enormous number of deaths. Note Jesus does not say His Father’s Name, Jehovah, but his own, “Jesus Christ.” WEY: objects of universal hatred; WMS: because you bear my name; NEB: for your allegiance to me.

[15] The one who endures completely: The Greek TELOS is without the article and thus “an end” with regard to each individual’s endurance, often in martyrdom. Compare Matthew 24:13. The word group “endurance” occurs over 30 times in the Christian Bible. Compare (Matthew 5:10-12; 10:16-22; 24:9, 10, 39; Mark 13:9, 12, 13; Luke 21:19; Romans 2:7; 2 Corinthians 6:3-10; 12:12; 2 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Timothy 3:10-12; Hebrews 10:36; James 5:10, 11; Revelation 1:9; Revelation 13:10; Revelation 14:12) The English word “endurance” is drawn from the root dru that is the oak tree and those “druids” as well as “trust.”

[16] Saved: There are two states in the procession of salvation: a) the initial by escape from the judgment on the world; and, b) the final by endurance unto death. See a concordance on the word group “save(d)” and “salvation.” It may be compared to being saved by a lifeguard which does not ensure a future drowning. Compare Matthew 19:25; 24:13, 22; Luke 8:2; John 3:17; 5:34; 10:9; Acts 2:40, 47; 4:12; 11:14; 15:11; 16:30, 31; Romans 5:9, 10; 8:24; 10:9.

[17] Flee to another: The Nazarene’s disciples are not to remain and battle with opposers but move into a more fruitful territory. This advice is seen in the Book of Acts (Acts 8:1, 2).

[18] Never complete the cities of Israel: Jesus has sent out his 12 apostles, and later the 70 disciples, and he tells them they will never preach to all the land of Israel before the fulfillment of Daniel 7:13.

[19] Before the Ascension: This rendering will receive considerable judgment. The Greek is ELTHE a word taken from Daniel 7:13 where the same phrase occurs in the Jewish Greek Septuagint (LXX). Judging from the context and reading of Daniel 7:13 the prophet sees the ascension of a human being to the very Throne-room of the Most High. The Greek word ELTHE and the related word ERCHOMENOM is generally rendered “coming.” However, the word also means “to go” or “leave.” The English word “ascend” means “to go up.” It has been generally misunderstood that this word infers a “coming” in the direction of those disciples on earth, when, in fact, it means the arrival in heaven to become King. Daniel 7:13 and Psalm 110:1 are often combined by Jesus in a conflate or paraphrase. Compare Matthew 22:44; 26:64; Mark 14:62; 16:19; Luke 22:69; Acts 2:33, 34; 5:31; 7:55-57; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Hebrews 10:12, 13. It is possible that Jesus actually used the Hebrew/Aramaic word athah which means to arrive and be present at a certain location.

 

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Preceding

Matthew 10:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Twelve Given Authority

Matthew 10:1-4 – Calling of the apostles – by Calvin

Matthew 10:5-10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus’ Orders: Territory, Theme, Trust

Matthew 10:11-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Searching for the Sheep

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Ezekiel 34.31 - Our Shepherd and God

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Matthew 10:11-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Searching for the Sheep

Matthew 10:11-15 – Searching for the Sheep

|| Mark 6:8-11; Luke 9:3-5; 10:4-7

MT10:11 “When you enter a town or village search carefully for the worthy[1] and stay there[2] until you leave. MT10:12 Greet the house[3] when you enter. MT10:13 If the house is worthy let your peace[4] rest on it. But, if it is not worthy[5] keep your peace.[6] MT10:14 And any who do not accept you,[7] nor listen to your message,[8] on leaving that house or that village, shake the dust off your feet.[9] MT10:15 I tell you the truth: It will be more bearable[10] for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah[11] on the Day of Judgment[12] than for that village.”

[1] Search carefully for the worthy: It is not explained how this “search” (KJV: inquire; NRSV: find out; IB: ask) is to be accomplished. It is possible the pair would go to the village square or gate and wait for a “worthy” and hospitable person to invite them to stay at their home. This was common in the ancient Middle East, famous for its hospitality (Judges 19:15, 16). Compare Lydia’s example at Acts 16:14, 15. The Greek EXETASATE (to examine or probe) may be rendered: test thoroughly, search carefully. The word (HAXIOS) is also rendered: WEY: deserving; LAM: trustworthy.

[2] Stay there: Luke 10:7 adds, “Do not go from house to house” – that is, staying with this house and then that house, perhaps even tempted to improve shelter or find better hospitality.

[3] Greet the house: Luke 10:5 gives the address as, “May this house have peace.” Some cultures offer this kind of blessing on a charitable household. KJV: salute; GDSP: wish it well.

[4] Your peace: Compare Luke 10:5. KJV TCNT: let your blessing rest upon it.

[5] If it is not worthy: After presentation of their message about the Kingdom that house, or even the whole village, may not be receptive to the Messiah.

[6] Keep your peace: Or, KJV: let your peace return; TCNT: let your blessing return; WMS: may your good wish bring peace to yourselves.

[7] Do not accept you: Or, KJV: receive; GDSP: where no one will welcome you; WEY: whosoever refuses to receive you; BAS: take you in.

[8] Your message: The Greek is TOUS LOGOUS; KJV: words; WEY: message.

[9] Shake the dust off your feet: Something Paul does (Acts 13:51; 18:6). People wore sandals, often with bare feet. Interestingly the Greek word for servant or minister is DIAKONOS or one whose feet are dusty from running errands. This gesture means that one does not accept responsibility for the future outcome (Nehemiah 5:13). Compare Luke 10:10, 11; Acts 13:51.

[10] More bearable: The Greek is ANEKTOTERON and is rendered: KJV: more tolerable; WEY: more endurable. Paul (2 Corinthians 5:10) and John (1 John 2:28) states all must stand before the judgment of Christ with two outcomes: a clear conscience manifest by free speech or shame manifest by embarrassment (John 5:29; Daniel 12:2). One is more bearable or endurable than the other. Jesus explains this in more detail in the next two chapters.

[11] Sodom and Gomorrah: Perhaps the most disgusting example Jesus can mention (Genesis 19:4ff). Note also Sodom and Gomorrah intended to abuse the angelic visitors who were under “the shadow” of Lot’s roof. Lot had been worthy by his display of hospitality and thus was saved from the destruction of those cities. Compare Hebrews 13:2. The city of Sodom is mentioned 5 times in Matthew and Luke.

[12] The Day of Judgment: The Nazarene clearly taught about a judgment day. The term occurs many times in the Gospels (Matthew 11:22, 24; 12:36, 41, 42; 23:33; Luke 10:14; 11:31, 32; John 5:30). Some times Jesus refers to it as “that Day.” (Matthew 7:22; 24:36; 26:29; Mark 13:32; 14:25; Luke 10:12; 17:27, 30, 31; 21:34) On the subject of Judgment Day see elsewhere. (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; Romans 2:3, 5-11, 12-16; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Peter 2:9; 3:7; 1 John 4:17; Revelation 11:15-18; 20:4, 12-14) The Nazarene makes clear a person is judged on their words and actions – as well as non-action – in this life (Matthew 12:36, 37; 25:31-46).

 

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Preceding

Matthew 10:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Twelve Given Authority

Matthew 10:1-4 – Calling of the apostles – by Calvin

Matthew 10:5-10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus’ Orders: Territory, Theme, Trust

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Related

  1. You Summon and Send Us, three prayers based on Matthew 10
  2. Wolf To Sheep

Matthew 10:5-10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus’ Orders: Territory, Theme, Trust

Matthew 10:5-10 – Jesus’ Orders: Territory, Theme, Trust

MT10:5 Jesus sent these twelve[1] giving these orders,[2] saying, “You should not enter the Gentile road, nor enter a city of the Samaritans. MT10:6 But, only approach the lost sheep[3] of House of Israel. MT10:7 Go forth preaching, saying, ‘The Realm of Heaven has drawn near.’[4] MT10:8 Cure those sick, raise those dead,[5] cleanse lepers, exorcise demons. You received free, give free.[6] MT10:9 Do not procure gold[7] or silver or copper for your purses MT10:10 nor pouches[8] for your trip – nor two undergarments, nor sandals, nor staff. For the worker is worthy of his food.[9]

[1] Sent these twelve: The formation of an official group of representatives (which is what “apostle” means).

[2] Orders: The Greek is PAR-ANGLEILAS and is rendered: KJV: commanded; MOF: instructions. These are not suggestions but precise directives. The Nazarene has his reasons for these evangelizing orders.

[3] Only approach the lost sheep: Their territory is limited to Israel. The prophet Daniel indicated a special period of grace for the Jews. This ran from 29 to 36 AD, seven years (Daniel 9:27). Jesus says of himself that he was sent “only to the lost sheep of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24) Jesus also later assures the apostles that they will never finish preaching to all Israel before Psalm 110:1 and Daniel 7:13 are fulfilled (Matthew 10:23).

[4] The Realm of Heaven has drawn near: Or, “the kingdom of the heavens” – meaning either the seat of government as found in the Messiah or the realm of profession within the Nazarene’s congregation.

[5] Raise those dead: Though there is no evidence of this occurring during the life of Jesus, it does occur after the Messiah’s ascension. Luke 9:2 does not include these words.

[6] Give free: The evangelist who heals is not to receive payment for curing. Though Jesus goes on to state “the worker deserves his food” it is left at that – not an opulent life-style.

[7] Not procure gold: Jesus has a precise reason for this to be explained after his resurrection (Luke 22:25). It becomes a test of faith to rely solely on the Father.

[8] Pouches: Or, NJB: haversack; NEB: pack.

[9] Worker is worthy of his food: In Luke 10:7 this is “wages.” This is the only statement by Jesus directly quoted by Paul, which he does twice (1 Corinthian 9:14; 1 Timothy 5:8). The “worker” in the “fields of the Lord” is worthy or deserving of some help (Galatians 6:6). However, after the manner of Jesus and Paul this does not mean living a life-style above the sheep in general.

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Preceding

Matthew 10:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Twelve Given Authority

Matthew 10:1-4 – Calling of the apostles – by Calvin

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Related

  1. Where Are They Now?
  2. Matthew 10丨John Calvin
  3. Matthew 10丨C. H. Spurgeon
  4. Matthew: January 31
  5. Matthew 10, Jesus sends out the twelve, not peace, but a sword.
  6. You Summon and Send Us, three prayers based on Matthew 10
  7. The Virtue of Cosmopolitanism

Matthew 10:1-4 – Calling of the apostles – by Calvin

The calling of the Apostles is here described to us, not as on a former occasion, when the Lord Jesus Christ, intending to prepare them for their office, selected them for admission into his private circle. They are now called to immediate performance, are ordered to prepare themselves for the work, receive injunctions, and, that there may be no want of authority, are endued with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Formerly, they were held in expectation of future labour: now, Christ announces that the hour is come when they must put their hands to the work. It is proper to observe, however, that he does not as yet speak of perpetual apostleship, but only of temporary preaching, which was fitted to awaken and excite the minds of men, that they might be more attentive to hear Christ. So then they are now sent to proclaim throughout Judea that the time of the promised restoration and salvation is at hand at a future period, Christ will appoint them to spread the Gospel through the whole world. Here, he employs them as assistants only, to secure attention to him where his voice could not reach afterwards, he will commit into their hands the office of teaching which he had discharged. It is of great importance to observe this, that we may not suppose it to be a certain and fixed rule laid down for all ministers of the word, when our Lord gives instructions to the preachers of his doctrine as to what he wishes them to do for a short time. From inattention to this point many have been led astray, so as to demand from all ministers of the word, without distinction, conformity to this rule.567

Matthew 10:1. And having called the twelve disciples. The number, twelve, was intended to point out the future restoration of the Church. As the nation was descended from twelve patriarchs, so its scattered remains are now reminded by Christ of their origin, that they may entertain a fixed hope of being restored. Although the kingdom of God was not in so flourishing a state in Judea, as to preserve the nation entire, but, on the contrary, that people, which already had miserably fallen, deserved doubly to die on account of ingratitude in despising the grace which had been offered to them, yet this did not prevent a new nation from afterwards springing up. At a future period, God extended far beyond Zion the scepter of the power of his Son, and caused rivers to flow from that fountain, to water abundantly the four quarters of the world. Then God assembled his Israel from every direction, and united into one body not only the scattered and torn members, but men who had formerly been entirely alienated from the people of God.

It was not without reason, therefore, that the Lord, by appointing, as it were, twelve patriarchs, declared the restoration of the Church. Besides, this number reminded the Jews of the design of his coming; but, as they did not yield to the grace of God, he begat for himself a new Israel. If you look at the beginnings, it might appear ridiculous that Christ should bestow such honorable titles on persons who were mean and of no estimation: but their astonishing success, and the wide extension of the Church, make it evident that, in honorable rank and in numerous offspring, the apostles not only are not inferior to the patriarchs, but greatly excel them.

Gave them power. The apostles had almost no rank among men, while the commission which Christ gave them was divine. Besides, they had neither ability nor eloquence, while the excellence and novelty of their office required more than human endowments, {2 } It was therefore necessary that they should derive authority from another source. By enabling them to perform miracles, Christ invests them with the badges of heavenly power, in order to secure the confidence and veneration of the people. And hence we may infer what is the proper use of miracles. As Christ gives to them at the same time, and in immediate connection, the appointment to be preachers of the gospel and ministers of miracles, it is plain that miracles are nothing else than seals of his doctrine, and therefore we are not at liberty to dissolve this close connection. The Papists, therefore, are guilty of forgery, and of wickedly corrupting the works of God, by separating his word from miracles.

———— –

{1 } “Voulant reigler indifferemment tous ministres de la parole selon ee qui est ici dk”;  — ” wishing to regulate indiscriminately all ministers of the word according to what is here said.”

[See Calvin_Bible 04982]

2. The first, Simon, who is called Peter. The Church of Rome displays extreme folly in drawing from this passage their doctrine of the primacy. That Simon Peter was the first among the apostles we readily allow, but what was true in reference to a few persons, cannot, on any proper grounds, be extended to the whole world. Besides, the circumstance of his being mentioned first, does not imply that he possessed authority over his companions. Granting all that they ask regarding Peter, his rank will be of no avail to the Roman See, till they prove that wicked and sacrilegious apostles are Peter’s successors.

5. Into the tray of the Gentiles. This makes still more evident what I have lately hinted, that the office, which was then bestowed on the apostles, had no other object than to awaken in the Jews the hope of an approaching salvation, and thus to render them more attentive to hear Christ. On this account, he now confines within the limits of Judea their voice, which he afterwards commands to sound everywhere to the farthest limits of the world. The reason is, that he had been sent by the Father to be

the minister of circumcision, to fulfill the promises, which had anciently been given to the fathers, (#Ro 15:8).

Now God had entered into a special covenant with the family of Abraham, and therefore Christ acted properly in confining the grace of God, at the outset, to the chosen people, till the time for publishing it were fully come. But after his resurrection, he spread over all nations the blessing which had been promised in the second place, because then the veil of the temple had been rent, (#Mt 27:51), and the middle wall of partition had been thrown down, (#Eph 2:14). If any one imagine that this prohibition is unkind, because Christ does not admit the Gentiles to the enjoyment of the gospel, let him contend with God, who, to the exclusion of the rest of the world, established with the seed of Abraham alone his covenant, on which the command of Christ is founded.

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Preceding

Matthew 10:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Twelve Given Authority

Matthew 10:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Twelve Given Authority

CHAPTER TEN:
HARVEST WORKERS GIVEN INSTRUCTIONS
AND SENT OUT

Matthew 10:1-4 – The Twelve Given Authority

|| Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:13-16; Acts 1:13

The call of Andrew and Peter – Harold Copping (1863-1932) from “Scenes in the Life of our Lord” published by Religious Tract Society 1907. Location of original painting unknown.

MT10:1 Now Jesus invited his twelve disciples[1] to approach him. He gave them authority over unclean spirits to exorcise them and to cure every disease and malady. MT10:2 The names of the twelve apostles[2] are these: first, Simon[3] the one called Peter[4] and his brother Andrew;[5] and, James[6] the son of Zebedee and his brother John;[7] MT10:3 and Philip,[8] Bartholomew,[9] Thomas.[10] Matthew[11] the tax-collector, James the son of Alphaeus,[12] Thaddaeus,[13] MT10:4 Simon the Cananaean,[14] and Judas Iscariot[15] (the one who turned Jesus over[16]).

[1] Twelve disciples: The number “twelve” in this context occurs 34 times in the Christian Bible (Matthew 10:1, 2, 5, 11; 19:28; 20:17; 26:14, 20, 47; Mark 3:14, 16; 4:10; 6:7; 9:35; 10:32; 11:11; 14:10; 14:17, 20, 43; Luke 6:13; 8:1; 9:1, 12; 18:31; 22:3, 47; John 6:67, 70, 71; 20:24; Acts 6:2; 1 Corinthians 15:5; Revelation 21:14). 1 Corinthians 15:5 shows the “twelve” became an official group whether all twelve were present or not.

[2] The names of the twelve apostles: Compare the other apostolic lists and note not all remain in their same places. Other than these parallel lists some apostles are never mentioned elsewhere. Tradition and church history has certain unknown apostles leaving to far lands to evangelize while others died as martyrs. On their history see The History of the Christian Church by Eusebius; or, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.

[3] Simon: The name means “Hear” and occurs 80 times in the Bible. Several are so named. There is another apostle named Simon. The father of Judas was named Simon. One of Jesus’ half-brothers was named Simon. The man who carried the cross (beam) for Jesus was also a Simon.

[4] Peter: See notes on Matthew 4:18. Peter is always first in the list and it is possible the Fisherman is the diamond (jasper stone) in the foundation of New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:19).

[5] Andrew: See notes on Matthew 4:18. This apostle moves to a lower number in the list of twelve.

[6] James: See notes on Matthew 4:21. This “James” is often mentioned as one of three among Peter and John (Matthew 17:1, 2; Luke 8:51; Mark 14:32-34; Mark 13:3, 4). James the apostle is always mentioned with John and often first (Matthew 4:21; 10:2; 17:1; Mark 1:19, 29; 3:17; 5:37; 9:2; 10:35, 41; 13:3; 14:33; Luke 5:10; 6:14; 8:51; 9:28, 54; Acts 1:13). James was also the name of one of Jesus’ brothers. It is this later James to whom Jesus appeared after his resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:8) and who wrote the epistle after his name.

[7] John: See notes on Matthew 4:21. This John moves into one of the three third positions among the apostles. He is not mentioned after Acts 11:29 save in Galatians 2:9 where he is identified as a “pillar.” He outlived all the apostles and is thought to have lived into the second century. He is reckoned the author of the Gospel of John, three epistles, and the Book of Revelation.

[8] Philip: The name means “Horse-lover” and occurs 35 times in the Christian Bible as the name of several men. The apostle Philip occurs only in the apostolic lists with John giving some details of his calling (John 1:40, 41, 43-49).

[9] Bartholomew: The name means “Son of Tolmai” and occurs 4 times, only in the apostolic lists. He is generally listed with Philip and most think he is the same as Nathanael (Matthew 10:3; Luke 6:14; John 1:45, 46). Nathanael means “God Has Given” and occurs 7 times only in Matthew and John. In the next centuries the “church fathers” use the names interchangeably for the same apostle. He is the first to call Jesus “King.” He was a man of outstanding character, without deceit or guileless, according to the Nazarene’s own judgment (John 1:43-51).

[10] Thomas: The name means “Twin” and occurs 13 times in the Christian Bible but not after the apostolic list in Acts. He is forever associated with vocal doubts (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; John 11:16). Despite this unjust reputation Thomas was willing to die with Jesus (John 11:16). He becomes an example to others to have faith without seeing (John 20:24-29).

[11] Matthew: See notes on Matthew 9:9-10. He is not mentioned after the ascension to heaven (Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16).

[12] James the son of Alphaeus: Alphaeus is thought to be the same as Clopas (Matthew 10:2, 3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13) He is called “the Less” possibly because of his age or height (John 19:25; Mark 15:40; Matthew 27:56).

[13] Thaddaeus: The name only occurs here and Mark 3:18. He is elsewhere called “Judas the son of James.” (Luke 6:16; John 14:22; Acts 1:13) There is a humbling lesson in some of these apostolic names that appear nowhere else. They served in blessed ways almost anonymous. There have been many millions of similar Christians whose names remain unknown until that day when the “Lamb’s scroll of life” is published for others to read.

[14] Simon the Cananaean: This designation also occurs at Mark 3:18.

[15] Judas Iscariot: Perhaps the most infamous name in the Bible. Few, if any, mothers since have named their son Judas. The name Judas is drawn from Judah (“Praise”) or Jew. The full name occurs 7 times in the Gospels. “Iscariot” is thought by some to mean he was from a town called Kerioth-hezron in Judah. It is highly possible that Judas was the only apostle who was not a Galilean. It is likely that initially Judas was a good choice as an apostle for we find him in charge of the contributions (John 12:6; Matthew 10:3). Judas betrayal made him a “devil” or “slanderer” (John 6:66-71). The Hebrew prophets foretold one who would betray Jesus (Psalm 41:9; 109:8; John 13:18, 19).

[16] The one who turned Jesus over: Or, KJV: betrayed; PME: turned traitor.

The Procession of the Apostles – By (James) Jacques-Joseph Tissot, French, 1836-1902. After a painting now in the Brooklyn Museum, New York; photogravure from “La Vie de Notre Seigneur Jésus Christ . . . . avec des notes et des dessins explicatifs par J. James Tissot” 1896-97.

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Preceding

Matthew 9:35-38 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Preaching Tour in a Great Harvest

Matthew 9:35-38 – Looking at Jesus our shepherd

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finger-point

Related

  1. The Apostles
  2. The Prophets, The Apostles And The Saviour
  3. The 12 Apostles
  4. Phillip Medhurst’s Bible in pictures 131 The call of Andrew and Peter
  5. Phillip Medhurst presents 206/392 the James Tissot Jesus c 1896 The Procession of the Apostles
  6. Luke in the Phillip Medhurst Collection 611 Stephen and others are chosen to the diaconate Acts 6:5-6 Marillier
  7. Luke in the Phillip Medhurst Collection 612 The synagogue disputes with Stephen Acts 6:9-10 Marillier
  8. Jesus taking care of two of his apostles, like everyone else …
  9. >Sermon: The Testing Of The Apostles by Origen
  10. A Drowning Fisherman was Saved by a Carpenter
  11. 10 Powerful Lessons We Learn from the Life of the Apostle Peter
  12. The Magical Powers of the Apostle Peter’s Shadow
  13. A word in season – The Apostle John
  14. Daily Mass: St. John – Apostle & Evangelist
  15. Carissimi: Today’s Mass; SS Simon & Jude, Apostles
  16. Carissimi: Today’s Mass; Octave Day of St John the Evangelist, Apostle
  17. St. John the Apostle
  18. Little Faith apostle Thomas and how people often mislabel him as a doubter. But Thomas is not the only apostle who has been given a hard time for his moments of doubt.
  19. Sermon: St. Andrew the Apostle
  20. Who was St Andrew?
  21. Face Problems Like the Apostles
  22. Apostolic authority: executive, advisory or what?
  23. epistle, apostle
  24. Matthew 23:13-39 BHT, Sorrows of Religious Authorities
  25. Beginning Discipleship From the Apostles and Elders
  26. A Fisherman to a Fisher of Men: How to Follow in the First Apostles’ Footsteps

Matthew 9:35-38 – Looking at Jesus our shepherd

Matthew 9:36 (translation by )
Seeing the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and thrown down like sheep with no shepherd.

Can you imagine how a flock sheep would behave when there is no leader around them or no shepherd?

The people listening to Jesus knew about harvesting. But we can wonder if the fishermen would have understood Jesus talking about a master of the harvest and a harvest truly being plenteous, but only having a few labourers. We can look forward to a rich harvest but still have to see that the workers are few.

People should come to see that the son of man, who is also the son of David and the son of God at the same time, as the sent one from God is next to the King also the Good Shepherd who wants all his sheep to be saved. Just as a shepherd looks after his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so Jesus also will look after his sheep, the people who God has given him. Though at his time like in our time they need rescue from all the places where they were or are scattered when it was or is cloudy and dark. (Ezechiel 34:11–12, 15–17) Like the Adonai Elohim will seek the lost, bring back the outcasts, bandage the broken, and strengthen the sick, He has given the world His only begotten beloved son to heal them and to gather them.

In this ninth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew we could see how Jesus takes care of those who are willing to belief in him and for those who put their hope in him. He is there for the needy and helpless people. Throughout the gospels we can see that Jesus was patient to listen to people and to answer their questions. He spoke to crowds, fed them, healed the sick and reached out to outcasts, even not to be afraid to mingle with them or to eat with them. Therefore he got criticized (Matthew 9 & 15)

In this world people could see many kings. But none of them managed to be as good as the king God would provide from the seed of king David.

Among the scattered sheep in exile, Ezekiel explained that God had to remove the bad kings; yet he also promised that God would raise up a son of David to rule over them again:

Ezekiel 34:10, 23 (NIV)
10 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. …
23 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. {
Jesus our shepherd (Matthew 9:35-38)}

Jesus looked at the people around him and could feel their agony.

writes

sheep harassed (skullō) and thrown down (rhiptō) under empire after empire (9:36).

But just as God had said, the promised king now stood among them in the person of Jesus. He was the ruler anointed to restore David’s kingship, the shepherd of Israel. Matthew has already used that language to describe Jesus as their king:

Matthew 2:6 (NIV)
But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.

When Matthew speaks of Jesus’ authority, this is what he means. He is Israel’s shepherd. That’s what Jesus was doing:

  • announcing the good news of the kingdom;
  • being the shepherd who restores his people (9:35).

That’s what he’s been doing since the start (compare 4:23).

The unshepherded sheep of Israel were scattered all over the ancient world in Jesus’ time. Drawing them back into the care of the Davidic shepherd would be a massive task.

For Jesus, it felt like standing in a field with a massive crop around him, and only a few workers to help bring them in (9:37). That’s why he asked his disciples to go and petition the Lord of the harvest to send out workers right across the harvest field, to every corner where the sheep were scattered (9:38).

The king will not complete this harvest alone. He appoints workers for his government, delegating his regal authority to those who ask him for help to harvest, to bring the earth back under his kingship (10:1).

We are not individual sheep, searching for existence in postmodern isolation for fear of being harassed and mistreated. We belong to the shepherd. He’s everyone’s shepherd. And the shepherd is drawing the scattered sheep together into a kingdom where we belong, a community where we care for each other the way the shepherd cares for us.

 

What others are saying

G. K. Beale, The Temple and the Church’s Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004), 174:

The miracles were a sign of the inbreaking new creation, where people would be completely healed.

Craig Blomberg, Matthew, New American Commentary (Nashville: B & H, 1992), 166:

The language of “sheep without a shepherd” echoes Num 27:17 and Ezek 34:5, in which the shepherd is most likely messianic (cf. Ezek 34:23). Similar sentiments will well up in Jesus again at the feeding of the five thousand (Mark 6:34). As in the days of the prophets, the rightful leadership of Israel had abdicated its responsibility, as demonstrated by its inability or unwillingness to recognize God’s true spokesmen. “Harassed and helpless” literally means torn and thrown down (cf. Berkeley, “mangled and thrown to the ground”). Predators, and possibly even unscrupulous shepherds (Zech 10:2–3; 11:16) have ravaged the sheep. Verse 36 provides a stinging rebuke to the Pharisees, scribes, and Sadducees.

Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009), 309:

The term Jesus uses for “workers” here recurs in 10:10 (cf. 20:1), indicating that the workers Jesus wished to send forth into the harvest were his own disciples. … After commissioning them to pray for “workers,” Jesus commissioned them as “workers” (10:10).

 

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Preceding articles

More than just a man with authority of speaking

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:23-25 – Kingdom Preaching and Healing Draws Crowds

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #5 Matthew 7:28-29 – The Crowd’s Reaction

Matthew 9:27-31 – Blind Men Healed

Matthew 9:27-31 – What others are saying about the blind men recognising the son of David

Matthew 9:32-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Speechless Demoniac Healed

Matthew 9:32-34 – How others look at the blind, speechless and demoniac being healed

Matthew 9:35-38 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Preaching Tour in a Great Harvest

Authority from the One God to one mediator between God and men

Hebraic Roots Bible Matthew Chapter 28

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Additional reading

  1. Written down in God’s Name for righteousness
  2. Bible, helmet of health, salvation and sword of the spirit
  3. Counterfeit Gospels
  4. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  5. A birthday passed nearly unnoticed
  6. Missional hermeneutics 4/5
  7. Atonement And Fellowship 2/8
  8. Looking for a shepherd for the sheep and goats
  9. Others that hinder the message
  10. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  11. Which Christians Actually Evangelize
  12. Jesus … will come in the same way as you saw him go

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Further related articles

  1. Jesus!
  2. Solemnity of Jesus Christ the king- (A): Jesus is King, Shepherd and Judge.
  3. Jesus-Shepherd for All Who Believe
  4. Names of Jesus – The Good Shepherd
  5. “Why Is Jesus the Good Shepherd?”
  6. Jesus: The Good Shepherd (ready writer)
  7. Jesus The Good Shepherd (by Grace Apocalypse)
  8. The Sheep of God’s Pasture
  9. The Good Shepherd
  10. Jesus – My Good Shepherd
  11. Jesus is for Kings and Shepherds
  12. The Compassionate Jesus
  13. Called by Jesus the shepherd of your soul
  14. How does Jesus meet our needs?
  15. Every Good Work
  16. What They Really Need
  17. All You Have to do is Follow Jesus!

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