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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

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  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

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