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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

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