Matthew 10:1-42

Matthew 10:1-42

Matthew 10:1-4. This calling of the Disciples is different from the commissioning in Matthew 28. This commission has to do with their mission to Israel, the later one embraces all nations. Israel was to be given the opportunity first to receive her King and His Kingdom. If Israel responded the Millennium would have begun then, but God knew the heart of Israel and her desire for a kingdom of this world as opposed to the Kingdom where God will be reigning as King. In some ways it is like the situation with the calling for a king to Samuel (1 Samuel 8). 

The authority given to the 12 enabled them to heal and drive out evil spirits. The listing of the 12 is found here and in three other places in the New Testament Mark 3:16-19, Luke 6:13-16 and Acts 1:13. Peter is always listed first. This is because of his appointed role as leader. The first four consisted of Yeshua’s inner circle of disciples, with Peter, James and John the closest. 

Apart from the name of Yeshua, Peter’s name is mentioned most in the Gospels. He speaks the most, was reproved the most and was so presumptions as to rebuke the Lord. He boldly confessed his faith and in similar fashion denied the Lord. Peter was the most highly praised by the Lord and the only one called Satan. 

Peter had many qualities necessary for leadership. He continually asked questions, some relevant and some irrelevant, but by them he demonstrated his desire to know more about Yeshua and His work. When the others didn’t understand something, they kept quiet, but not Peter. His inquisitive nature gave Yeshua an opportunity to help him grow and mature in faith. He was always the first to respond to Yeshua’s questions or act in almost any situation. 

While Peter had great potential for good, he had the potential to do great damage when not submitted to the Lord and His will. He needed to learn submission, restraint, humility, sacrifice, obedience, love, courage, and confidence in the Lord rather than in himself. This all came together with the filling of the Holy Spirit. Peter learned his lessons slowly but he learned them well. It was he who spoke to the multitudes, who defended the Gospel to the Sanhedrin (Acts 4:8), enacted church discipline Acts 5:3-9, and first brought the Gospel to the Gentiles. 

Andrew was Peter’s brother and like Peter he too was a fisherman from the town of Bethsaida on the Northwestern end of the Sea of Galilee. They both were disciples of John the Baptist and left him to follow Yeshua (John 1:36-37). While he is included in all the lists as one of the first four, he was not as close to Yeshua as Peter, James & John. It was Andrew who brought the young boy to Yeshua with his five loaves of bread. This act demonstrated a certain confidence that Yeshua could do something with this small amount. In John 12:20-22, Philip approaches Andrew with some God-fearing Gentiles who wanted to see Yeshua. It is Andrew who approaches Yeshua about this. His submission to the other three suggests his humility, and willingness to support them. 

James the son of Zebedee always is mentioned with his brother John. His real name would be Jacob. He was probably older and more outspoken. From Mark 1:20 we are given the impression that he was from a wealthy family because they had servants. Both James and John were likely known for their tempers hence the nicknames Sons of Thunder. We see this in Luke 9:52-54. James cared little for Samaritans and probably less of Gentiles. It was his mother who asked that her sons be seated at the right and left hand of the Lord in the Kingdom Matthew 20:21-22. When Herod wanted to attack the infant church, James was executed. This is an allusion to his importance Acts 12:1-3

John was the last of the first group of four and is the most prominent of the disciples. His long life demonstrates his transformation by the Holy Spirit from being a “Son of Thunder” to the Apostle of love. He was also a seeker of Truth. He was the one entrusted with the revelation of the future that ties Old Testament end time prophecy with the New Covenant. It was John who reclined on Yeshua’ breast on that last Passover. In his life and writings we see love tempered with truth. Tradition tells us that John did not leave the city of Jerusalem until Miriam the mother of Yeshua died, because the Lord entrusted her to him in John 19:27. John was banished to the small and barren isle of Patmos of the west coast of Asia Minor and died about 98 AD. 

Philip is the first of the second four disciples. He is a different Philip then the one spoken of in Acts 6:5, 8:4-13, 26-40. Philip is a Greek name meaning “lover of horses”. It was his Greek name that caused the Greeks who wanted to see Yeshua to approach Philip. He too left John the Baptist to follow Yeshua. He is mentioned in John 6:5-7; 12:21-22, 14:8-14. Polycrates, a 2nd century bishop, says Philip ministered in the Roman province of Asia and was buried at Hierapolis. 

Bartholomew’s name means “son of Tolaami”. John’s Gospel refers to him as Nathaniel which likely was his first name. It was Nathaniel who asked if any good thing could come from Galilee. He was an Israelite, Yeshua said of him, in whom there was no guile. He was part of the remnant who not only was a Jew outwardly but inwardly as well. Romans 2:29, 9:6-8, Galatians 6:16. When Yeshua complemented his honesty, he did not become proud but wondered how he knew him. It was then that Yeshua suggested that he saw him under the fig tree. John 1:48. 

Thomas, also known as “Didymus” is Aramaic for the word twin. Known for his doubt, he should also be known for his courage John 11:16, and his great confession in John 20:28. Some traditions claim he went to India as a missionary and was martyred there; others place his later ministry in Persia. 

Matthew was a tax collector and despised because of his work collecting money for Rome and making a profit from his own kinsmen. There is a reference in the Talmud that says “It is righteous to lie and deceive a tax collector”. Tax collectors were fully protected and supported by the Roman occupying army.  When Matthew left his business there was no turning back. Many were eager for his position and Rome would likely not have allowed him to return. Unlike the fishermen who followed Yeshua, Matthew could not go back. It is most remarkable that this disciple wrote the book that cites the most references about the coming of the Messiah in the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament). 

James the Son of Alphaeus is distinguished from the other apostle James (the son of Zebedee, v. 2) and from James the half-brother of Jesus by being identified as the son of Alphaeus. In Mark 15:40 he is referred to as “the Less” which can also mean smaller or younger. Used in the sense of smaller, the name may have been another means of distinguishing him from James the son of Zebedee, who was clearly larger in influence and position and possibly also in physical stature. In the sense of younger, it may have indicated his youthfulness in comparison to the other James.  The most probable meaning of “the Less” would seem to be that of youthfulness, coupled with that of his subordinate position in leadership. Because Matthew’s father was also named Alphaeus, James and Matthew may have been brothers. We can assume he faithfully fulfilled the Lord’s work during his ministry, and we know that he will one day sit on a heavenly throne and join the other twelve in judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt. 19:28).   

The second apostle listed in the third group is Thaddaeus. From Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13 we learn that he was also called Judas the son of James. It is likely that Judas was his original name, and that Thaddaeus was a descriptive name, somewhat like a nickname.  The root of his name is from the Hebrew word shad, which refers to a female breast. The name means “breast child,” and was probably a common colloquialism for the youngest child of a family, the permanent “baby” of the family who was the last to be nursed by his mother.  Thaddaeus spoke his only words recorded in John 14:22. Like most Jewish people, he was looking for the Messiah to establish an earthly kingdom. How he wondered, could the Messiah sit on the throne of David and rule the entire earth without revealing Himself to His people?  

The third name in the third group is Simon the Zealot which may have meant that he was a member of the radical party of Zealots who were determined to throw off the yoke of Rome by force. The Zealots developed during the Maccabean period, when the Jews, under Judah Maccabee, revolted against their Greek conquerors. The Zealots were one of four dominant religious parties in Judah (along with the Pharisees Sadducees, and Essenes) but were for the most part motivated more by politics than religion. Sometimes they resorted to terrorism, Josephus called them sicarii (Latin, “daggermen”) because of their frequent assassinations. The defenders of Masada were Jewish Zealots led by Eleazar. When that brave group fell in A.D. 72 after a seven-month siege, the Zealots disappeared from history. His always being listed next to Judas Iscariot may suggest that they were kindred spirits. Some scholars have suggested Iscariot might refer to “sicarii”, The zealots idea about the Messiah was earthly and material rather than spiritual. But whatever they may originally have had in common soon vanished, as Judas became more confirmed in his rejection of Jesus and Simon more confirmed in his devotion to Him.  

The last disciple listed is Judas which was a common name at the time of Yeshua and was a second name Thaddaeus. It is a personalized form of Judah, which was the name of the southern kingdom and also the name of the Roman province of Judea during the time of Messiah. The name means literally God be praised, and far from applicable in the life of Judas Iscariot. No human being has ever been less directed by the Lord or less worthy of praise. The name Iscariot likely means “man of Kerioth,” a small town in Judea.  The town was located about twenty-three miles south of Jerusalem and seven miles from Hebron. Judas is the only apostle whose name includes a geographical identification, possibly because he was the only Judean among the twelve. All the others, including Jesus, were from Galilee in the north. Judean Jews generally felt superior to the Jews of Galilee; and although Judas himself was from a rural village, he probably did not fit in well with the rest of the apostles.  Judas is always listed among the twelve apostles, but his call is not recorded in the Scripture. There is no evidence that Judas ever had a spiritual interest in Jesus. It is likely that, from the beginning, he expected Jesus to become a powerful religious and political leader and wanted to use the association with Him for selfish reasons. He appears to have followed the Lord in a halfhearted way until he was convinced that Jesus’ plans for the kingdom were opposed to his own. Yeshua chose Judas intentionally and specifically, “for Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him” (John 6:64).   

Yeshua spoke of Judas in His high priestly prayer in John 17:12. Although we cannot fully understand it, God had predetermined the betrayal, though, at the same time, Judas was held fully responsible for it, because it was by his own choice. The Bible is clear that Jesus extended to Judas the opportunity for salvation to the extent that his unbelief was his own choice and fault (cf. Matt. 23:37; John 5:40). Judas chose to reject and betray Christ. That is why Christ did not label him as a victim of sovereign decree but “a devil” (John 6:70) and made clear that he did what he did not because God made him do it but rather as the work of Satan (John 13:27). According to Acts 2:22-23 God sovereignly predetermined Jesus’ crucifixion. Our unbelieving fathers (both Jewish and Gentile) along with Judas were responsible for sending Him to the cross. It was God’s predetermined will to send His Son to die, but it was our rebellious will and sin that made his death on the cross necessary for our salavation.  

Because he was never suspected by the other disciples, Judas must have masked his heart quite well.   He was selected treasurer and was completely trusted (John 13:29).  Judas apparently guarded what he said. His only recorded words were spoken near the end of Jesus’ ministry, when he objected to Mary’s anointing Jesus’ feet with expensive ointment (John 12:5).  Since he was a Judean, he was anxious for the Roman yoke to be thrown off and expected Jesus to usher in the messianic kingdom that would accomplish that.  He wanted the benefits of a restored Jewish kingdom but had no interest in spiritual things. Judas was a materialist with his stealing as a strong indication of that. Yeshua taught much about the dangers of greed and love of money and even warned the twelve that one of them was a devil, but Judas would not listen. He did not argue, as Peter and some of the others did, he acted as if he agreed with Him.   When Jesus had been found guilty by the Sanhedrin and was turned over to Pilate, Judas felt remorse, but regret is not repentance. He did not ask God to change his heart. Because he lived only on the material level, he somehow thought he could resolve his problem by the physical act of giving back the blood money. Then his unforgiven heart turned to vengeance against himself, and he went and hanged himself.  Judas may have failed in his hanging attempt when the branch to which the rope was tied broke and may have died as a result of his fall over a precipice or down a hill (Acts 1:18). 

V 5-6 Jesus’ purpose for sending his disciples was twofold; first for the sake of the lost, to give them opportunity to hear and accept the good news of Messiah; and second, to give the disciples training. Yeshua was instructing His disciples how to reproduce disciples. From Mark’s account of this passage, we learn that Yeshua sent the disciples out in pairs (6:7). They could encourage one another, hold each other accountable, and take turns ministering. It was also in keeping with Torah that a testimony should be confirmed by two or three witnesses (Deut. 19:15) this would give added authority to their teaching. This initial ministry probably lasted only a few weeks, but it was significant, because it was the first time the kingdom truths were taught by anyone other than the Messiah Himself.  

The apostles were not to go into area, belonging to Gentiles or any city that belonged to Samaritans. In other words, they were not at this time to proclaim the kingdom message to non-Jewish people. This was a temporary command since the clear call of the Great Commission is to all nations by the example of Yeshua who ministered both to Gentiles and to Samaritans. Yeshua healed the Gentile centurion’s servant (Matt. 8:5-13) and had first revealed Himself publicly as the Messiah to the Samaritan woman of Sychar, who believed in Him herself and led other Samaritans to faith (John 4:7-42).  The redemption of the whole world had always been in God’s plan which was spoken to Abraham (Gen. 12:3). Israel was called to be a light to the nations to draw them to His righteousness and to “bring salvation to the end of the earth” (Isa. 42:6; 49:6; 60:3; 62:1-2).  

From the beginning, Israel was not called simply to receive, but also to be the channel of, God’s blessing.  There are perhaps two reasons why Yeshua chose to restrict their ministry at this time to the Jewish people. First was the Jews special place in God’s plan. They were God’s chosen people, the people of the covenants, the promises, and the law. As He explained to the Samaritan woman, “Salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22); that is, it came to the Jews first and, through them, would come to the rest of the world, just as God had promised Abraham. Israel, represented by “Jerusalem, and Judea,” which was the launching point for taking the gospel to “Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).  Paul always began a new ministry in the local synagogue whenever he was able (Acts 9:20; 13:5; 18:4; 19:8). Jews were to be the first to hear the gospel and the first to preach the gospel. Had the apostles gone first to the Samaritans and Gentiles, the Jewish people would have been very reluctant to listen to them, because they would have perceived the apostles as bearers of a pagan religion. Second, Jesus sent the apostles to preach first to Jews because they were barely up to the task of witnessing to their own people—much less of witnessing to Gentiles and Samaritans, whose cultures, and ways they little understood and greatly despised.   

V 7-8 The message Jesus gave the apostles to proclaim was that the kingdom of heaven was at hand.  In Scripture, the kingdom has three essential aspects. First, is repentance which is turning from sin and receiving Messiah as King and Lord submitting to His rule in our life. Secondly it is obedience to God’s Word. Third, the kingdom will be seen in its fulfillment when Messiah returns to earth to establish and rule in person and the He will set up His eternal kingdom (Matt. 25:31; Acts 3:19-21; Rev. 11:15; 20:4). The heart of the message of the kingdom is the King and His kingdom. This is not just the physical area of His realm but the actual rule of the king through the administration of his will over the citizens of the kingdom. All of Yeshua’s teaching from His public teaching to the multitudes in the Sermon on the Mount through His private instruction was to impart the truths and principles of life in God’s kingdom. The credentials that they were authorized ambassadors were the same as Yeshua, the miracles of God that came through them. Because the twelve had no formal training and were obviously not part of the established leadership dominated by the scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and priests; they had to have a means of confirming their preaching and teaching. “The signs of a true apostle,” were signs, wonders and miracles” (2 Cor. 12:12). The blind man healed in Jerusalem immediately recognized Jesus’ power to heal as proof He was from God. He told the unbelieving Pharisees, “Well, here is an amazing thing, you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing, and does His will, He hears him. Since the beginning of time, it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, He could do nothing” John 9:30-33. 

The signs, wonders, and miracles Jesus commanded the apostles to perform were not for the purpose of simply demonstrating supernatural power. The miracles they performed created wonder and demonstrated the character of God and the nature of His kingdom. 

The first of these credentials was the ability to heal the sick and cleanse the leper. Jesus did not want the people simply to know God’s power, but to know that He offered His power to help themThey pointed to God’s compassion and mercy. They demonstrated the future kingdom coming to earth where disease would no longer be present and the restoration of man and nature would occur, just as the prophets had foretold (Isa. 29:18; 35:5-6; 42:7).  

When John was imprisoned and sent his disciples to ask Jesus if He were truly the Messiah, Jesus answered, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Matt. 11:4-5). Jesus knew John would recognize those miracles as the confirming marks of God’s Messiah and God’s kingdom.  While most of these miracles ceased at the end of the apostolic era, those who genuinely represent Yeshua still minister to the sick, the suffering, and those in need.  The New Covenant is a continuation of the Older Covenant as God calls His people to care for the needy (Psalms 140:12)  I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. The godless person “oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore a pledge” (Ezek. 18:12).  False prophets have no mercy or compassion but rather use and abuse people. Ezekiel warned about false prophets in Ezek. 34.  Believers who are sound in doctrine and moral character often show little compassion for the poor, the sick, and the afflicted.  The result is that they become ineffective and inconsistent representatives of God and His Kingdom.   

A second credential that the Apostles were given was the power to raise the dead and cast out demons. They were enabled to demonstrate God’s power even in bringing the dead back to life and having power over the kingdom of darkness.  The ministry of the true servant of Messiah is seen in the work of God’s power in redeeming lives, being given spiritual understanding, and helping to foster spiritual growth. Through the gospel God has given His servants power to raise the spiritually dead to life and to undermine the work of demons and of Satan himself. 

The Apostles had freely received and so were called to freely give. They were to use the power God gave them to glorify God and not for their personal gain or advantage.  Exorcists were common in the Jewish community of Yeshua’s day, and many of them made a lucrative living casting out demons. People who were demon possessed or had loved ones who were possessed were willing to pay almost any price for deliverance, and there were plenty of charlatans willing to take advantage of their desperation (Acts 19:11-16).  Simon the magician saw the financial possibilities with such powers (Acts 8:18-20).  The Talmud called for rabbis to teach for nothing. The only exception was for teaching a small child of parents who were shirking their own responsibility for teaching him. The Mishna held that a rabbi was no more to take money for teaching than a judge was to take money for his decision in a court or a witness for his testimony. Rabbi Zedek wrote, “Make not the law a crown wherewith to aggrandize thyself, or a spade wherewith to dig.” The famous Hillel said, “He who makes worldly use of the crown of the law shall waste away, hence thou mayest infer that whosoever desires a profit for himself from the words of the law is helping his own destruction.” False teachers, on the other hand, put a price on their ministry, because their motive is not to serve either God or men but themselves. Isaiah spoke of such false shepherds (Isa. 56:11). Peter says of them that “in their greed they will exploit you with false words 2 Pet. 2:3. Today God’s ministers are to be supported by God’s people, because “the worker is worthy of his support,” as Yeshua taught (Matt. 10:10; Luke 10:7).   

Matthew 10:9-10 The disciples are told that God will provide them with what they need.  They did not need to have a complete wardrobe or plenty of traveler’s checks and credit cards.  It was an established principle that teachers of the Word were to be housed and clothed and provided for by those who receive them.  In doing so the Talmud taught that those who provide for Godly teachers are doing it unto the Lord.  Such treatment was consider as equal to the offerings in the Temple (1 Tim 5:1718  1 Cor 9:14). 

Matthew 10:11-15 “Find someone worthy” refers to a host who receives and welcomes the message and the messenger.  He should remain until the time for the disciple to leave. If he remains in that town, he is to stay with his initial host and not look for a better arrangement.  The Shalom of God would then rest on the house.  If the disciples came to those who were unworthy, or unreceptive to the message, they were to remove the Shalom that they brought with them.  The disciples were to shake the dust off their feet.  This was done when Israelites left pagan and idolatrous lands.  When they entered the Land of Israel, they wanted to be sure to have no unholy ground still on them (Acts 13:51).  The judgment of those who reject the Gospel as clearly as the disciples would present it would be under greater judgment than that of Sodom and Gomorrah.  There is more light now given and available to men than at any other time (Heb 2:3). 

Matthew 10:16-18 Jesus describes his disciples as sheep.  Even though they have been granted great powers they are still like sheep that as a rule are defenseless against wolves.  Wolves were the main predators of sheep, and yet Jesus says that this is what his disciples are to be, and then to go among the wolves.  The world is filled with predatory people.  The disciples of the Messiah are to be as sheep and not as wolves.  In the business world we are trained to be predatory, so this is a very difficult task since we work and live among wolves (Rom 8:36). This is a great contradiction from worldly shepherds.  They guard their sheep from wolves and yet our Shepherd calls us to go amid wolves.  Why? So that He may find those who are really sheep in wolves clothing.  God has not promised us peace and prosperity if we obey His call, in fact He has told us that there would be many trials and tribulation (2 Tim 3:12). We are to be shrewd as serpents.  Serpents were known from the account in Genesis for their cunning, and in this way, we are to emulate serpents.  Too often we are as shrewd as doves and as innocent as serpents.  Jesus continually demonstrated great wisdom in dealing with those who sought to ensnare him consider his response to their question in Mat 22:15 concerning the coin with Caesar’s image.  Paul became all things to all people that he might win them.  Jesus warns them to beware, and not to be naive of the schemes of men. 

Matthew 10:17-18. Notice that the first area of persecution was to come from the religious. Religion in some ways can become idolatrous, it becomes distorted and formed after the image and likeness of man rather than God. God desires us to have a relationship with Him. In the garden man sewed fig leaves to cover his sin and nakedness, God wanted fellowship with mankind. Adam and Eve hid from the presence of God and to this day most religion is man’s efforts to hide what he clearly perceives is his nakedness. 

God had to shed the blood of animals to cover man’s nakedness, and this is a clear foreshadowing of the sacrificial system and ultimately the shedding of the Messiah’s blood to restore a right relationship with Him. Religion will go to great lengths to keep God at arm’s length.  

In the period called the tribulation a world religion will once again kill the true witnesses of God. There have been thousands of martyrs who have been killed by religious authorities. In the first century it was the Jewish leadership but in the centuries since then it has been the institutionalized church. 

Reformers such as Wycliffe and Hus, and many others throughout history stood like the prophets of old against the false shepherds of their day. In the period known as the great tribulation, a false Christianity will rise to power and prominence and do all kinds of atrocities in the name of God. It is described in Revelation 17:1-6 as “The Harlot”.  

The reference to scourging is based on the Law of Moses. Those who were judged by the leadership of Israel could be flogged but no more than 40 lashes Deuteronomy 25:3. Paul authorized these beatings when he persecuted the first disciples and then was beaten himself at least five times after he came to faith. (2 Corinthians 11:24). 

Matthew 10:18-23 The secular government will be involved in challenging the disciples message. The reason for this persecution the disciples are told, is for “My sake”. Whom God loves the world, and its leaders despise. Jesus represents the death knell of their rebellion and authority which began at the fall, and which will end forever at the end of the millennial kingdom. One of the demonstrations that the Messiah lives in us is the reaction that we get from the unbelieving world (John 15:18-21). 

When the disciples would be brought before governors their words and their actions would be a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. In the history of the church the more government sought to quash Christianity the more it grew. In fact, the church tends to thrive in a hostile environment more than in a favorable one. One can be lukewarm when faith is tolerated or even fashionable, but in times of great persecution faith must be genuine or it is avoided. 

The disciples are told not to worry about what they will say as they stand before their accusers. God will provide them the words that they need at that moment. The disciples were to be prepared by their relationship with the master and spending time in study of His word. Persecution was to come from religious leaders, from governors, and now Jesus warns them it will also come even from your own family.  

Virtually all people who are not believers will give the disciples of Jesus trouble. The word “endure” in the original Greek meant to be able to stay under, to undergo, or to bear trials. From both Old and New Testament usage of this word we get an idea of what it means to persevere in our faith. We do not earn our salvation by enduring we rather prove our faith. Theologically this is called “perseverance”, and our perseverance is a demonstration of genuine faith. It is our trials and persecution that demonstrate the reality of our faith. In fact, James tells us that we are blessed when trials come James 1:2-4. In Matthew 10:23 the disciples are told not to endure persecution if it can be avoided. When Paul experienced heavy opposition, he was told to move on Acts 13:40ff. 

Matthew 10:24–25 A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. This is an obvious truth yet one that is not really appreciated by Christians. Our willing surrender to our Messiah and redeemer places us as disciples of our living Rabbi (teacher) Jesus. It is a seldom accepted fact that not only are we called to be willing disciples but bond-slaves as well. A bond-slave was thought more highly than the other servants for he was a free will servant. Real life in the Kingdom is only found when we submit to such a relationship as 1 John 2:6 reminds us. Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. Jesus tells his disciples in Matthew 10:25 that we ought not to be surprised if we are treated poorly. If we are to be true disciples, we should develop the same attitude that Paul had (Philippians 3:10) who spoke of sharing in his sufferings and becoming like him in his death (Matthew 10:39).  

Beelzebul or Beelzebub, in Hebrew means lit. “Lord of the flies” and was a euphemism for Satan. This is a reference to the accusation that was made by the Pharisees and Sadducees in Matthew 9:34, Mark 3:22, the account in Mark is what led to Jesus statement regarding the “unpardonable sin”, which is calling the Spirit in Jesus demonic. This sin cannot be replicated at this present time because Jesus is not here on earth in His person. 

Matthew 10:26-31 – Do not fear them – Three times here Jesus says “Do not fear” which is one of the most common commands in Scripture.  We should not fear conspiracies, insults, financial loss, or loneliness. We should not fear armies or enemies or war or the lack of leaders. We should not fear suffering or death, not our own death, or the death of a parent, a child, or a friend. The false accusations that the world loves to hurl will one day be proven to be what they are. The world specializes in calling darkness, light and what is light darkness. All things will eventually be revealed. Instead, we should be concerned about the opinion of our heavenly Father. He is the only One we should fear, and we know that those who are in Messiah, walking in His commands and abiding in His Spirit, have nothing to fear. God is very aware of our needs and problems and illustrates his care and concern with everything that we face each day. God controls the lives of all His creation including one little sparrow. He is aware of and controls the hairs on our heads by his sovereign will. In other words, divine providence governs even the smallest details and even the most mundane matters. These are very powerful affirmations of the sovereignty of God in every area of our lives. 

Matthew 10:32-33 Confession of our faith is an essential element to our walk. There are four things that are necessary ingredients to our growth as believers: Reading Gods Word, Prayer, Fellowship and Confession of our faith, before men. Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; To deny our relationship and faith before men is to demonstrate that we do not belong to the company of the committed. The result is that you will be denied by the Messiah as being one of His. We get a glimpse of this in Matthew 7:21-23

Matthew 10:34-37 Jesus did not come to bring peace to the earth, this is an allusion to a wrong notion that the Jewish community had regarding the Kingdom of Messiah. They believed it would be a kingdom of this world. Jesus taught that His kingdom was not of this world. Peace comes to those who will allow him to rule in their lives. But the world would reject the King sent and so the reign of war and worldliness will continue until the 2nd coming when Yeshua will come and establish His Kingdom on earth (Acts 1:6-7). As was alluded to earlier even our own families will turn against us. What Yeshua spoke of concerning family hatred was also prophesied in the Old Testament in Micah 7:6

Matthew 10:38-39 Take up your cross – The cross is an allusion to pain and humiliation of being cursed Deuteronomy 21:23, Galatians 3:13. All of us are to bear the curses of the world and follow in the steps of our Messiah. We are to be living sacrifices as Paul writes in Rom. 12:1-2. Real life is found in losing or surrendering our lives to the service of our Master. 

Matthew 10:40-42 One of the things that I have wondered about concerns pious Orthodox Jewish people who do not believe in Jesus. Well Scripture is quite clear when it says that He who receives Yeshua receives the Father. If they truly love God, then they will love the One He sent. John 8:42 Yeshua said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Deuteronomy 18:18-19

The Rabbis taught of the rewards associated with welcoming and hosting God’s prophets and teachers.  The expression ‘in the name of’ a prophet, or a righteous man was a Rabbinical teaching that hospitality for a prophet or a righteous man, would be compensated with a share in the prophet’s or righteous man’s reward. The Rabbi’s cited 1 Kings 18:4 where Obadiah of King Ahab’s court had become a prophet, because he had provided for the hundred prophets (Sanhedrin 39b). The promise of Jesus, concerning ‘a cup of cold water’ to ‘one of these little ones’ was aluded to a teaching of the Pharisees. ‘The ‘little ones’ were ‘the children,’ who were still learning the basics of faith, and who would in time grow into ‘disciples.’ The Midrash wrote ‘Where there are no little ones, there are no disciples; and where no disciples, no sages; where no sages, there no elders; where no elders, there no prophets; and where no prophets, there does God not cause His Shekhinah to rest. (Ber. R. 42, on Gen. 14:1). Yeshua’s teaching consistently went far beyond Jewish ideas and hopes. Is it any wonder that the people marveled at his teachings and why the Scribes, Pharisee and Sadducees were all envious of the response to His teachings?   

Where Jesus Walked: A Jewish
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