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Matthew 12:46-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Family of Messiah

Matthew 12:46-50 – The True Family of Messiah

|| Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21

MT12:46 While still speaking to the crowds, look! his mother[1] and brothers[2] were waiting outside to speak with[3] Jesus. MT12:47 Someone called to Jesus, “Look! Your mother and brothers are standing outside wanting to speak to you.” MT12:48 Jesus responded and told this person: “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” MT12:49 Now Jesus pointed at his disciples and said: “Look here! My ‘mother’ and my ‘brothers.’[4] MT12:50 For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father[5] – these are my brother and sister[6] and mother.”

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[1] His mother: The mother of our Lord is rare in the Gospels and often unnamed (Matthew 1:18; 13:55; Mark 3:31; Luke 2:48, 51; 8:19; John 2:5, 12; 19:25, 26). Nothing indicates she was a follower or even a believer at this time. She is differentiated from his “disciples.” Jesus even elsewhere infers that he may have not been honored or respected as a prophet even among his own family early on.

[2] Brothers: Jesus has four brothers so named: James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us?” (Matthew 13:55, 56) The number and names of his sisters are never mentioned. Later, at least one (James) became a power in the Christian Church. See the word James in Acts, 1 Corinthians, and Galatians. The epistle of James is attributed to this brother.

[3] Waiting outside to speak with: We never discover the reason. One may speculate but it is useless: family business, a share in his honor. Few sons would have acted in this manner without serious cause. Compare John 7:3, 5.

[4] My ‘mother’ and my ‘brothers’: The Nazarene’s real ‘family’ is spiritual and related to him by faith. It is very possible that none of his fleshly family were among his disciples, or following him. Perhaps this is the reason for the terse ignoring of his family. At least twice family members wanted him to perform miracles for their benefit (John 2:1-12; 7:3, 5). It is only the beloved apostle John who brings this out. Hebrews 2:10-13 indicates Jesus Christ and the members of his Church are originating with The God. A point to note is that if Jesus were “God” then his followers would be brothers of God, not sons. William Barclay notes: “It was one of the great human tragedies of Jesus’ life that during his lifetime, his nearest and dearest never understood him.… When Jesus set out on his public mission, his friends tried to restrain him, for they said he was mad (Mark 3:21). He seemed to them to be busily engaged in throwing his life away in a kind of sanity.… ‘A Christian’s only relatives,’ said one of the early martyrs, ‘are the saints.’” (page 52)

[5] Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father: The word “will” is from the Greek THELMA and may be rendered determination, choice, desire or wish. What is the “will of the Father”? Surely this is connected to His “eternal purpose”? Jesus uses the phrase twice in Matthew. See notes on Matthew 7:21. Only in John 6:40 is the How of doing the will of the Father explained: “For this is the will of my Father: Everyone who observes the Son and deeply believes in him will have everlasting life.” This is put another way in another context when some ask Jesus what the work of God is so that they may do it. The Nazarene responds: “This is the work of The God that you deeply believe in the One He sent forth.” (John 6:29) Faith or conviction is right at the center of the Father’s will. This belief or faith surely involves a knowledge of the Messiah’s teachings or “doctrine.” (John 7:17 KJV)

“The will of God” is discussed by Paul, Peter, and John. How the Church is involved in His will: to serve for the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:9-13). God’s will is something to continually comprehend: be careful how one walks in the world (Ephesians 5:15-20). God’s will includes His sanctification which requires abstaining from fornication, illicit passions, and adultery (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8). Prayer and thankfulness are part of God’s will (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). God’s will includes doing God and loving the brotherhood (1 Peter 2:15-17). God’s will may include suffering (1 Peter 4:19). There are three things that are not part of God’s will: fleshly desire, covetousness, and bragging about materialism (1 John 2:15-17). Perhaps God’s will is best summarized by His commandment: to have faith in His Son; and, love one another (1 John 3:23).

[6] Sister: Jesus has been silent on female followers until now. Though no woman is ever called a disciple in the Gospels, there were women who were “with” Jesus’ entourage of disciples. These “ministered to Jesus and his disciples from their belongings.” (Luke 8:2, 3) The truth is the Nazarene had spiritual ‘sisters’. In time, throughout the Gospel Age of the Church female disciples of Jesus out number the men. In the New Creation – the Seed of Abraham – there are no females – nor males – for all are “sons” and one in Christ (Galatians 3:26-29).

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Preceding

Matthew 1:18-25 – Genesis of Jesus Christ

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:1-4 A Wilderness Temptation

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #3 Matthew 7:21-23 The ones Jesus never knew

Matthew 12:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Something Greater than the Temple

Matthew 12:9-21 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Is It Lawful to Cure on the Sabbath?

Matthew 12:22-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: the Charge of Demonism

Matthew 12:31-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blasphemy against the Pneuma

Matthew 12:33-37 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment Day

Matthew 12:38-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Signs in Jonah and the Queen of the South

Matthew 12:43-45 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Generation Seven Times Worse

Gates to different belief systems in this world

False teachers and false prophets still around

Christians having the right heart to call others to go to God

Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions

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Additional reading

  1. Truth, doubt or blindness
  2. Faith coming by hearing and sent preacher gift from God
  3. When we think of Jesus let us strive to realise what he means to us
  4. Not about personal salvation but about a bigger Plan
  5. False opposite true worship which exalts the God of Israel
  6. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  7. To will being present in us but to do it not always evident
  8. Material gain to honour God
  9. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  10. Salvation and Righteousness
  11. Receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken

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Related

  1. On Religion and Reasons: Why Fast for Lent?
  2. Some thoughts on Lent
  3. My Daily Devotion – My Quiet Time With God
  4. Use what you have
  5. Don’t worry about it.
  6. God’s Children
  7. The children of God
  8. Bestowed Upon Us…
  9. What Makes You a Child and Heir of God?
  10. Sons of God
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Matthew 12:9-21 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Is It Lawful to Cure on the Sabbath?

Matthew 12:9-21 – Is It Lawful to Cure on the Sabbath?

|| Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:6-11

MT12:9 Leaving there Jesus went into their synagogue. MT12:10 And, look! a human with a dried-up hand![1] So, they asked Jesus, “Is it permissible to cure on the Sabbath?”[2] (They asked so they might accuse him.) MT12:11 Jesus told them, “Which human among you who has a single sheep[3] – fallen into a pit on the Sabbath – and will not grab it and pull it out? MT12:12 So, how much more different[4] is a human from a sheep. Thus, it is permissible to do good[5] on Sabbaths.” MT12:13 Then Jesus spoke to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”[6] And as he did his hand was restored, as sound as the other. MT12:14 But the Pharisees[7] had turned out and they conferred against him how they might destroy Jesus. MT12:15 However, realizing this, Jesus withdrew[8] from there. And many followed him and he cured them all. MT12:16 Jesus cautioned them[9] not to make him manifest MT12:17 so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah[10] might be fulfilled,[11] MT12:18 “Look! My[12] servant-boy[13] whom I chose, My beloved[14] in whom My soul delights! Upon him I will place My Pneuma.[15] He will announce justice[16] to the nations. MT12:19 He will not quarrel,[17] nor yell,[18] nor will any hear his [raised] voice in public streets.[19] MT12:20 He will not crush a bruised reed,[20] nor smother a flickering [candle] wick[21] – until he sends forth victorious justice.[22] MT12:21 And in his name nations will hope.”[23] [Isaiah 42:1-4]

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withered_hand_1

Jesus healing the withered hand

[1] Dried-up hand: KJV: withered; WEY: shriveled; TAY: deformed.

[2] Is it permissible to cure on the Sabbath: Or, allowable, lawful. This issue becomes a point of contention with the Pharisees. At the root of it is law versus human kindness and charity. There are those religious persons who would pile rules upon rules but are not characterized by kindness and charity.

[3] Sheep: Sheep are Jesus’ favorite animal. They occur 35 times in the Gospels mainly in Matthew (11) and John (20). Most of the great men of the Bible were somehow associated with sheep in one way or another. Abel possibly sacrificed one. Noah saved their whole kind. Abraham herded them and one replaced his son. Moses went searching for a lost sheep and found Yehowah. Jesus saves all the sheep to everlasting life.

[4] How much more different: Jesus has used a similar comparison before – between sparrows and his disciples (Matthew 10:31).

[5] Permissible to do good: We can only imagine the tone in his voice, the look in his eyes, the warm slight smile, as he said this to those in the synagogue. It is always lawful to do good. Paul is to echo the same idea at Galatians 5:22, 23.

[6] Stretch out your hand: This alone is an act of faith and we see on the man’s face expectant confidence. There is a similar story in the apocryphal book Gospel to the Hebrews. There the man explains himself: “I was a stone mason, seeking my living with my hands. I pray you, Jesus, to give me back my health, so that I shall not need to beg for food in shame.”

[7] The Pharisees: The evil plot begins which is to be fulfilled a year later. “Destroy” is also rendered: GDSP: to put him to death; PME: get rid of him altogether. See notes on Matthew 3:7.

[8] Jesus withdrew: The Nazarene follows his own counsel to his apostles (Matthew 10:16, 23).

[9] Jesus cautioned them: This is something Jesus does often usually with the result that the news spreads even more.

[10] Isaiah: The quotation is from Isaiah 42:1-4. The work by Archer and Chirichigno, Old Testament Quotations in the New Testament: a Complete Survey, observes: “This is a classic case of the independence of the LXX on Matthew’s part.” (pages 112-3)

[11] So that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: The quotation explains Jesus’ caution not to tell others.

[12] My: Yehowah.

[13] Servant-boy: See notes on Matthew 8:6. Yehowah refers to His Son as His “boy” or servant. Compare Acts 4:27 (PAIDA) and Acts 4:29 (DOULOIS = slaves).

[14] My beloved: The original context deals with the Persia king Cyrus, the instrument of Yehowah in delivering the Jews from Babylon. He is a Messiah-type for Jesus as Matthew’s inspired application shows.

[15] Upon him I will place My Pneuma: It is Yehowah who “places” or puts His spirit upon His servant-boy. On Pneuma see Matthew 1:18. PNEUMA means breath or wind in Greek – an invisible pressure. Paul compares pneuma to the “mind of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:16; Isaiah 40:13)

[16] Announce justice: Or, TCNT: announce a time of judgment; MOF: proclaim religion to the Non-Jews; LAM: preach justice to the people.

[17] He will not quarrel: Or, KJV: not strive; MOF: not wrangle.

[18] Nor yell: Or, MOF: shout; ASV: cry aloud. The Messiah quietly goes about his work and let this be the means of conviction – not emotional Hitlerian oratory. William Barclay puts it: “In Jesus there is the quiet, strong serenity of one who seeks to conquer by love, and not by strife of words.” (page 24, Volume 2, The Gospel of Matthew)

[19] Voice in public streets: The screaming street-corner evangelist was not the Nazarene’s method, nor that of any of his disciples.

[20] Crush a bruised reed: Or, WEY: crush reed; GDSP: bent reed. Compare notes on Matthew 11:7. The Messiah is gentle and will do nothing to further injure a faith so weak. It is possible the “bruised reed” was the man in the synagogue with the withered hand. A hardened reed could be used as a measuring rod or a whipping stick.

[21] Smother a flickering [candle] wick: Or, KJV: smoking flax shall not quench; NEB: nor snuff out the smouldering wick; MON: the dimly burning wick. Rather, the Lord holds his palms around the meager light to protect it from wind.

[22] Until he sends forth victorious justice: Or, KJV: send forth judgment unto victory; RHM: urge on Justice to victory; TCNT: brought the judgment to a victorious issue; WEY: led on justice to victory; BAS: made righteousness overcome all; KNX: until the time he crowns his judgment with victory. Old Testament Quotations suggests: “Conceivably the establishment of God’s perfect justice on earth is to be understood as involving a conquest or subduing of mankind in order to render them obedient to the Lord’s judgment.” (page 115)

[23] In his name nations will hope: This idea would have been thought a miracle – that one day the nations or Non-Jews would hope in Jesus’ name. If Pilate had been told that in three centuries the official religion of Rome would be Christianity and that Caesar would be a Christian himself – it would have been laughable. As we approach the year 2,000 every nation on earth – every land, every island, every language among mankind – has believers and disciples who hope in the name Jesus. The truth of this prophecy is realized first with Cornelius (Acts chapter 10).

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Preceding

Matthew 11:7-15 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 3 John the Baptist and the Kingdom Goal

Matthew 12:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Something Greater than the Temple

Paul’s warning about false stories and his call to quit touching the unclean thing

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Related

  1. Did You Know?
  2. Matthew 12丨John Calvin
  3. ‘to do good’ ….. mentioned in the Holy Bible (KJV)
  4. “Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.” (Minor Myers Jr.)

Matthew 10:40-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Reception and Reward

Matthew 10:40-42 – Reception and Reward

|| Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48; John 12:44, 45

MT10:40 “The person accepting you[1] [disciples] accepts me also; and the person accepting me accepts the One who sent me. MT10:41 The person accepting a prophet[2] in the name of a prophet[3] will get a prophet’s reward;[4] and anyone accepting a righteous person[5] in the name of a righteous one will get the righteous reward. MT10:42 Anyone who gives one of these little ones[6] a cup of cold water because of being [my] disciple – I tell you this truth: they will not lose their reward.”

welcome 11

[1] Accepting you: Or, RHM: welcome; KJV: receiveth.

[2] Prophet: The Greek word PROPHETEN means before + speak: to speak things before others; or, to speak things before they occur.

[3] In the name of a prophet: Or, TCNT: because he is a prophet; KNX: the welcome due a prophet.

[4] Reward: Or, GDSP: receive the same reward as a prophet. Jesus has in mind the acceptance or welcome due his own disciples as they go forth. The meaning may be: the hospitable person who entertains the prophet will be blessed by what the prophet has to say to the person. One is reminded of 1 Kings 18:10 and 2 Kings 4:8. There are those many cases in the Gospels where individuals invited Jesus to their home and were much rewarded by his teachings or healings. Those who demonstrate kindness and acceptance to Jesus’ disciples will rise in the Judgment with prophets and the righteous (Acts 24:15; Revelation 20:12, 13).

[5] Righteous person: Righteous means to do what is right, or, obey the law – law-abiding. Or, TCNT: good man; KNX: just man; GDSP: because he is upright.

[6] Little ones: The Greek is MICRON. Or, TCNT: lowly ones; GDSP: the humblest of my disciples (Compare Matthew 25:31-46). Jesus uses “little ones” (MICRON) (Matthew 11:11; 18:6, 10, 14; Mark 9:42; Luke 7:28; 9:48; 12:32; 17:2). The phrase may indicate the humble, the young, or other insignificant disciples.

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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

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

Matthew 10:32-39 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: I Came to Cause Division

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Related

  1. Forbidden Bible Verses — Acts 10:30-33
  2. Sunday, July 2: God’s Word or Someone Else’s? (Jeremiah 28:5-9; Matthew 10:40-42)
  3. Welcome (a sermon on Matthew 10:40-42)
  4. Matthew 10:40-42 We Are God’s Welcome Mat
  5. Welcoming Jesus: Matthew 10: 40-42 A Sermon for Lectionary 13, 4th Sunday after Pentecost
  6. Born Haters of God? The Calvinist’s View of Humanity is Too High!
  7. Transcendent insight on the roots of Christianity – Part I
  8. Great Verses of the Bible: Psalm 51:1-2
  9. The Little Ones: Matthew 10:40-42
  10. Matthew 10:40-42
  11. Sunday Matthew 10:40-42
  12. A Provocation: Fourth Sunday After Pentecost: July 2, 2017: Matthew 10:40-42
  13. Righteous people? (Matthew 10:40-42)
  14. The solemnity of the second coming (Matthew 10:40-42)
  15. Reality of Christian discipleship
  16. Bible Verses about Hospitality
  17. Matthew 10:40-42 – We choose welcome
  18. Matthew 10:40-42 for Sunday, July 2, 2017
  19. You’re Welcome (II): A New View of Christian Hospitality
  20. Receiving Jesus, Being Jesus – Matthew 10:40-42 and Romans 6:12-end
  21. Rewards
  22. Blessed are the persecuted?

  23. I believe…

Matthew 10:32-39 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: I Came to Cause Division

Matthew 10:32-39 – I Came to Cause Division

|| Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; 12:8, 9, 51-53

MT10:32 “So, anyone who will confess me before humans[1] I shall confess[2] before my Father in the heavens. MT10:33 But, whoever disowns me[3] before humans I will disown[4] before my Father in the heavens. MT10:34 Do not think I came to push peace on earth[5] but a sword. MT10:35 For I came to divide[6] ‘a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a bride against her mother-in-law. MT10:36 A person’s enemies[7] will be those right in the family.’ [Micah 7:6] MT10:37 The one having more affection[8] for father or mother is not worthy of me; and the one having more affection for son or daughter is not worthy of me.[9] MT10:38 And any who do not take up their own Cross[10] and follow me[11] are not worthy of me. MT10:39 Anyone who finds their soul[12] will loose it; and anyone who surrenders their soul[13] because of me will find it.

[1] Confess me before humans: The word “confess” is from the Greek HOMO-LOGESEI (same + word). It is also rendered: TCNT: acknowledge. The theme is still “fear” (implying courage). Jesus is not hiding from his disciples the difficulties and challenges before them. Compare Luke 12:8; John 12:42; Hebrews 3:1.

[2] I shall confess: Compare Revelation 3:5. What a joyful prospect!

[3] Disowns me: Or, KJV: deny me. The most disturbing example is Peter who must have remembered these words. Compare Matthew 7:23 and see notes on that verse.

[4] I will disown: Compare 2 Timothy 2:12. This discussion confirms the two outcomes to Judgment Day as stated by Paul and John (2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 John 2:28; Daniel 12:2; John 5:29).

[5] Push peace on earth: The Greek is BALEIN and is generally rendered “put” or “cast.” KJV: send; RHM: thrust.

[6] I came to divide: KJV: set a man at variance; BER: to bring division; RIEU: to sow discord.

[7] A person’s enemies: The whole phrase is from Micah 7:6. Micah 7:5 adds, “Trust no neighbor, put no confidence in a friend, do not open your mouth to the wife who shares your bed.” (NJB) There have been historical moments when a follower of Jesus – with faith in his teachings – was at odds with relatives and friends. Sometimes this is a moral division; other times it is a doctrinal division. Even among “Christians” there is out right hatred for persons of another “Christian” faith or viewpoint.

[8] Affection: The Greek is not AGAPE but PHILON or family love. KJV: loveth; NEB: cares more for; GDSP: more than he loves me.

[9] Not worthy of me: Or, BAS: not good enough for me. True Christian discipleship is, indeed, an exclusive friendship with the Lord Messiah allowing no room for an equal affection with another, even though family.

[10] Take up their own Cross: The first use of “cross.” The Greek word generally translated “cross” is STAURON and may also mean an upright stake. It is unknown the exact form of the STAUROS Jesus himself bore. The Nazarene uses the term 15 times in the Gospels (Matthew 16:24; 27:32, 40, 42; Mark 8:34; 15:21, 30, 32; Luke 9:23; 14:27; 23:26; John 19:17, 19, 25). Paul uses the word 17 times, Peter once, and once in Revelation. The Greek STAUROS is used in the book of Esther with regard to a “stake.” (Esther 2:23; 5:14; 6:4; 7:9, 10; 8:7; 9:13, 25) This thought of taking up one’s cross (or, stake) must have been a shocking thought. Nowhere do the disciples question this. One may ask where did Jesus get the idea of suffering on a cross or stake. Paul argues the Christ must die on a “tree” using Deuteronomy 21:22, 23 (Galatians 3:13). There in Greek the word is XYLON which means “tree” or “wood” implying some kind of upright pole or log. At any rate, the imagery of Jesus is one that portrays the difficulty of the Christian walk.

[11] Follow me: Compare 1 Peter 2:21 and Revelation 14:4. TCNT: follow in my steps; WEY: follow where I lead.

[12] Finds their soul: Or, LAM: concerned about his life; KNX: secures his own life; WMS: gains his lower life; TAY: if you cling to your life. A commentary would be that of Mark 8:36 – a person struggles to gain his whole world in specific endeavors or dreams, and yet looses their life or soul.

[13] Surrenders their soul: Jesus speaks of self-sacrifice in the course of discipleship. One may surrender life as a martyr – or, emptying self of personal goals and desires to serve others – but find the True Life in the future resurrection (1 John 3:13-18). Or, WMS: lose his lower life for my sake will gain the higher life; KNX: secure it; NEB: gain it.

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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

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

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deny_jesus_he_will_deny_you

Related

  1. What’s Holding You Back?
  2. The “Great Expectations” of Discipleship
  3. Deepen your Faith through Discipleship
  4. Discipleship by, J. Heinrich Arnold: Trust
  5. Are You a Jesus Follower?
  6. Today’s Scripture – December 21, 2017

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

Related

God’s People are His Flock

One Shepherd

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 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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