Matthew 10 gives us the commissioning words Jesus spoke to His disciples when He sent out the 12. When Jesus sent them out, He gave them authority. With that, He gave them specific instructions answering who, what, where, why and how for their itinerant teaching mission and signs and wonders ministry. He concluded with a statement of the dire consequences in store for anyone who doesn’t welcome His servants or listen to the gospel of the kingdom. As we read this, we see how it is in kingdom work. As we ponder it, we find applications in our own lives. It is the gospel of the kingdom.
Jesus called His twelve disciples and gave them authority to drive out unclean spirits and heal every disease and sickness.
These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, Zebedee’s son, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew, the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas, the man from Kerioth, who betrayed Him.
Jesus sent the disciples out with these instructions.
Don’t go among the Gentiles or into any town of the Samaritans. But go to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach, ‘The kingdom of heaven is here.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out devils. Give these things as you received them—without pay.
Don’t take any gold, silver, or copper money along in your pockets, and no bag for the way. Don’t take two tunics, or shoes or a stick—a worker earns his keep.
When you go into any town or village, look for a person there who is deserving, and stay with him till you leave. When you go into a home, greet it. If the home is deserving, let your peace come on it. But if it’s unworthy, let your peace come back to you. If anyone doesn’t welcome you or listen to what you say, leave that house or town and shake the dust off your feet. I tell you the truth, on Judgment Day it will be easier for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.” Matthew 10:1-15
Jesus instructed the disciples to preach, “The kingdom of heaven is here.” The kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God are synonymous. The Jews had a reverent fear of uttering the name, “God.” So they substituted “heaven” to convey the meaning. Matthew followed this protocol.
The disciples were to “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out devils.”
“Give these things as you received them—without pay.” They were to earn their keep.
Jesus told the disciples to go to a town and look for “look for a person there who is deserving, and stay with him till you leave.”
“Let your peace come on it.”
Shalom, usually translated “peace,” is one of the great words of the Old Testament. Shalom is so woven into the fabric of the Old Testament that to touch virtually any strand of Bible history or theology is to meet it. As Douglas Harris notes, “’The root meaning is ‘to be whole, sound, safe. The fundamental idea is totality. God is the source and ground for shalom. Howard Snyder
“But if it’s unworthy, let your peace come back to you.” If they and their ministry was not received, they were to leave. Jesus told them the dire consequences that would come on those.
You see, I’m sending you like sheep among wolves. So be shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves. Be on your guard against men, because they’ll hand you over to their courts and whip you in their places of worship. On My account you’ll be dragged before governors and kings to testify to them and to the nations. But when they hand you over to the authorities, don’t worry how you’ll speak or what you’ll say. When the time comes, you’ll be told what to say. It isn’t you speaking but your Father’s Spirit speaking through you.
A brother will betray his brother to death, and a father his child. Children will turn against their parents and kill them. Everybody will hate you because of My name. But be faithful to the end, and you will be saved. When they hunt you in one town, flee to another. Let Me assure you, before you have gone through all the towns of Israel, the Son of Man will come. Matthew 10:16-23
Jesus realistically told them He was sending them into danger as sheep among wolves. “But when they hand you over to the authorities, don’t worry how you’ll speak or what you’ll say. When the time comes, you’ll be told what to say. It isn’t you speaking but your Father’s Spirit speaking through you.” Their Father’s Spirit they were to rely on is the Holy Spirit of our heavenly Father and Son (Ro 8:9-11). The same Spirit we rely on. Cf: Jn 1:33; Ac 2:4; Gl 5:25; Titus 3:5
“Let Me assure you, before you have gone through all the towns of Israel, the Son of Man will come.”
By “the coming of the Son of Man,” that is, of “Christ,” is probably meant the destruction of Jerusalem, which happened about thirty years after this was spoken. The words are often used in this sense. See Matthew 24:30; Mark 13:26; Luke 21:27, Luke 21:32. Barnes
The “coming of the Son of Man” is a term referring to the founding and propagating of the kingdom of Christ after His glorification, beginning with the Pentecostal miracle. Ye shall not have finished or completed the cities, there will be abundant room for your labors till the time of My entering into glory and the beginning of My work as the almighty Head of My Church, according to My divinity and humanity. Kretzmann
The Son of Man came at Pentecost and at the judgment of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and He will come on the Last Day.
Jesus encouraged His disciples and us by giving eternal perspective to keep going when the going gets tough.
A pupil isn’t above his teacher, or a slave above his master. A pupil should be satisfied to share his teacher’s lot and a slave to share his master’s. If the master of the house was called Beelzebul, how much more certainly the members of his household! So, don’t be afraid of them.
All that’s covered will be uncovered, and all that’s hidden will be known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the daylight: and what you hear whispered in your ear, preach from the housetops. Don’t be afraid of those who kill the body and can’t kill the soul, but fear Him who can destroy soul and body in hell. Aren’t two sparrows sold for a cent? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s permission. As for you, even the hairs on your head are all counted. So don’t be afraid. You’re worth more than many sparrows. Whoever will confess Me before other people, him will I confess before My Father in heaven. Whoever will deny Me before others, him will I deny before My Father in heaven.
Don’t think that I came to bring peace to the earth. I didn’t come to bring peace but a sword. I came to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man’s enemies will be those in his own home. If you love father or mother more than Me, you’re not worthy of Me; and if you love son or daughter more than Me, you’re not worthy of Me. If you don’t take your cross and follow Me, you’re not worthy of Me. If you find your life, you’ll lose it, but if you lose your life for Me, you’ll find it.
Anyone who welcomes you welcomes Me; and anyone who welcomes Me welcomes Him who sent Me. Anyone who welcomes a prophet because he is a prophet will get a prophet’s reward. Anyone who welcomes a righteous man because he is righteous will get a righteous man’s reward. Anyone who will give one of these little ones just a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, I tell you, will certainly not lose his reward. Matthew 10:24-42
In the commissioning, Jesus says:”A pupil isn’t above his teacher, or a slave above his master. A pupil should be satisfied to share his teacher’s lot and a slave to share his master’s.
Have courage, “don’t be afraid,” … “don’t be afraid of those who kill the body and can’t kill the soul.” Jesus encouraged His disciples and us by giving eternal perspective to keep going when the going gets tough.
He concludes with, “Anyone who will give one of these little ones just a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, I tell you, will certainly not lose his reward.”
All Scripture is from An American Translation, Beck