About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Section - Chapter 10
verse 1 we see Jesus calling His “twelve disciples’ to Himself.
The word “disciple” is used in a number of ways throughout the
gospels. It’s used for any
casual follower of Jesus. It’s
also used to more serious followers, of which their were many.
Then it is used for the “Twelve” men as it’s used here.
called these twelve men and gave them special authority to cast demons out
of people and to heal every sickness.
We need to understand the difference between the word “power”
and the word “authority”. Power
means strength and might. Authority means having control over, or being in
charge of. These are two
different things altogether.
may have the power to cast out demons, but he also needs the authority or
else the demons will not respond. Jesus
had both the power, that is, the ability to cast out demons, and the
authority, because He has the final word over them even though they are
rebelling against Him.
disciples received authority at this point to cast out demons and to heal.
The text doesn’t say, but they had to have received the power as
verses 2 to 4 Matthew lists the names of the twelve special disciples.
There were a wide range of different types of people that Jesus
chose. Peter was said to be an unlearned man.
Matthew the tax collector would have been well educated.
Then there was Judas Iscariot, who we knew to be a thief even when
Jesus called him.
verse 5 we see that Jesus “sent these men out”. You might say that
this was a test run for the future. Jesus
gave them specific instructions. The
first thing that Jesus tells them to do is not to go to the Gentiles or
the Samaritans. Gentiles were
non Jews. Samaritan were half Jews and half Gentiles. The reason for this
most likely is that there is a principle found in Scripture that says,
“to the Jew first and then to the Gentiles”.
Jesus would send them to the Gentiles later on.
This time though, it was to the Jews.
might also be interesting to note that the gospel is the same to both Jew
and Gentile but it is presented differently.
verse 6 Jesus says, “go rather to the lost sheep of
message that these twelve men were to preach was that “the Kingdom of
heaven is near”. We note
that Matthew uses the term “
Kingdom is near because the King is near, and that’s Jesus.
It’s also near because the
verse 8 Jesus tells these men to go cast out demons, cleanse the lepers,
heal the sick and raise the dead. These
would demonstrate to the Jews that the
Jesus says, “freely you have received, freely give”.
Jesus freely gave them the power and the authority to heal so he
wanted them to do these things freely to those needing healing.
Our salvation is priceless. It’s
too expensive to put a monetary value on, so Jesus gives it to us for free
if we give Him our lives. And
this then is the principle we work on.
Because we’ve freely receive His salvation, we freely give it to
others. We give it in the same
way we received it, and we shouldn’t add anything to it, although
history shows that we have.
verse 9 and 10 Jesus tells these men not to take extra money, sandals,
tunics or anything because a worker is worthy of being paid.
What Jesus was saying here is that those to whom these men heal and
cast demons out of will help them with their needs.
It’s only right for them to do that.
We should note though that the things these people will help the
Twelve out with aren’t extra things.
They’re the things Jesus just mentioned.
They are the necessities of life. In one real sense of the word
Jesus was asking these men to trust Him once they leave.
verse 11 Jesus tells the Twelve that when they enter a town search out
“a worthy” person and stay with them.
The Greek word translated as “worthy” means “a weight”.
This word when referring to people suggests not that the person is
heavy, but that he is weighty in good deeds.
He is a respectable and caring person, and he will care for you.
It’s clear that this person would accept the message these men
would share with him.
thing that Jesus is pointing out here is that the preacher of the gospel
can receive some support from those who accept his message.
There’s no question about that.
The question arises when the roll of the preacher gets blown out of
proportion and he becomes more than a preacher.
Many modern day preachers or pastors are not the servants Jesus
would have them be.
verse 12 Jesus tells the Twelve that after they enter a home “give it
your greeting”. This would
obviously be the gracious thing to do.
You come to a home as a humble servant and not the all-powerful man
of God that you really are.
verse 13 Jesus says that if “the home is deserving, let your peace rest
on it”. A deserving home
would be a worthy home as stated in verse 11.
This home would respect both the messenger and message.
It appears that you really can’t tell if a person is worthy
unless you enter his home. And
this is the test with any person, including Christians.
A person may appear very Christian-like when you meet him on the
street. But you get to see who
he really is in his home. How
he treats his family, how he looks after his possessions, and his normal
behaviour are evident within the confines of his home.
the household is deserving then the peace of these men should rest on the
house. Disciples of Jesus
should be peace lovers, and people should see and experience the peace
that you have. Peace should
flow out of Christians in such a way the people actually sense this peace
and be influenced by it. These
men would bring this sense of peace into the deserving house so they can
experience the peace and be drawn to Jesus.
Jesus goes on to say that if the house is not deserving then “let your
peace return to you”. I
don’t believe what Jesus is saying here is idiomatic or is a figure of
speech. I believe real peace
that a Christian should have is something that he can exhibit to others
and actually give to others. If
people don’t want this peace, you simply take it back.
I’ve often heard people over the years come into our home and
tell me that they sense a peace as they enter the house.
This is what Jesus is talking about.
Jesus gives us peace and it is this peace that others can
participate in as they meet us.
verse 14 Jesus says that if anyone does not receive you or your message,
leave that house or town and shake the dust off your feet.
This was an actual practice in those days that symbolized that
people did not receive the one shaking the dust off their feet.
The idea is simply, “you didn’t receive me, and now I have no
obligation to you, and will not be held accountable for you”.
makes an interesting statement in verse 15.
He says if a household or a town doesn’t receive you, they will
be judged much more harshly than
reason why these towns that reject the Twelve will be judged more severely
is because they are not just disobeying God’s rules as
verse 16 Jesus says that He’s sending these Twelve men out as “sheep
among wolves”. Now that’s
not too encouraging. Christians
are often seen as sheep in the Bible.
Sheep follow their master. Sheep
look like nice cute little animals while wolves are the fierce prey that
kills the innocent sheep. The
wolves in this case is the Jewish leadership, which should be the shepherd
of the sheep but aren’t. By
Jesus saying this He is preparing the Twelve for severe opposition.
these men are going out as sheep in the midst of wolf territory, Jesus
tells them to be “shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves”.
The KJV uses the word “wise” instead of the word “shrewd: as
the NIV. The Greek word means
prudent, sensible, practically wise. Jesus
is telling these men to have their wits about them because they will have
many traps along the way to encounter.
They are to be as shrewd as snakes.
The devil is pictured as a snake in the Bible.
The Twelve were thus encouraged to look out for themselves just as
the devil looks out for himself, but unlike the devil they are to be
innocent. Their motives for
being shrewd is different than the devil’s.
They are shrewd for defensive purposes only, not for offensive
purposes as is the devil’s motivation.
there’s nothing wrong for the Christian to be calculative, shrewd, or
watching out for their backs. The only thing is that this shrewdness needs
to be balanced with humility and gentleness, along with a loving heart.
17 continues on in this vein. Jesus
tells the Twelve “to be on guard against men” who will hand them over
to the local councils. Although
Jesus is sending these men out with great power and authority they will
come in conflict with the Jewish leadership just as Jesus Himself has.
Not everyone will appreciate the good things they do because they
will be a threat to the establishment.
This is always the case, even in today’s world.
goes as far to say that these men will “be flogged”.
That means, they will be beaten for His name sake.
Along with the glory of doing miracles will be the persecution from
verse 18 Jesus tells these men that on account of Him they will be brought
before Gentile kings to give account of themselves.
This did not happen on this particular trial run, but it did happen
later on after Jesus ascended into Heaven.
Men like Peter found themselves before the governors of the Gentile
world, and it was not by invitation, but by being arrested as criminals.
Jesus is not just warning these men of what will happen on their first
missionary trip that’s a trial run, but He’s forewarning them of
can see that these men would not appear before Gentile kings because of a
friendly invitation in verse 19. Jesus
says in this verse that they will be arrested.
They were not arrested on this first trip that they were gong on.
They actually came back quite excited about their success.
verses 20 and 21 Jesus encourages these men not worry about what they
should say once they are arrested, because the Holy Spirit will speak
through them at that time. Now
this clearly speaks of future events because these men did not receive the
Holy Spirit into their lives until the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2.
that Jesus doesn’t say the Holy Spirit will speak through them.
He says “the Spirit of your Father” will speak through them.
In the New Testament we will notice that the Holy Spirit is also
referred to as the “Spirit of Jesus”, as well as the “Spirit of the
Father” as seen here. The
Holy Spirit may well be a distinct person in the Godhead, but He is both
the Spirit of Jesus and the Father.
also that Jesus says, “your” Father.
He’s not just Jesus’ Father but He is Father to all true
21 speaks of the conflict that will come into families because of Jesus.
Non-Christian children will actually kill their Christian parents.
The gospel will bring peace to the individual, but it doesn’t
necessarily bring peace to a family or any other relationship we have.
in verse 22 we see that it gets worse.
Jesus says that “all men” will hate these men He’s sending
out. They won’t hate them on
this trip, but eventually there will be more men that hates the followers
of Jesus than will love them. These are serious warnings Jesus is speaking
about. Life for the followers
of Jesus in the first generation church was not an easy life. Many
suffered unto death because of their trust in Jesus.
It is clear to me that these words are also spoken to those
Christians living at the end of this age who will suffer in like fashion.
continues by saying, “he who stands firm to the end will be saved”.
This verse makes it clear that there is the possibility of losing
your salvation if you don’t stand firm to the end.
This standing firm means continually trusting in Jesus to the very
end of the trials. If you give
up your trust, you give up your salvation. It’s as simple as that.
verse 23 Jesus tells these men that when they are persecuted in one place
“flee” to another. They
aren’t to be martyrs, at least not yet.
I believe there’s a point to be made here. We aren’t to go
looking for persecution, but it if comes our way and can’t flee from it,
we accept it.
last part of verse 23 is a difficult verse because Jesus tells these men
that they “will not finish going through the cities of
could not have been speaking to these men here concerning the present trip
that they were about to take. All
along in the last few verses it’s obvious that Jesus is speaking
prophetically of future events, and He certainly is here.
The words “Son of Man coming” always refers to Jesus’ second
coming at the end of this age, and He didn’t come before these men
finished this first trip. That’s
clear. They came back to
report all that happened to Jesus. Jesus
never left them in order to come back.
has to be speaking of the end of the age when a great throng of Jewish
people will be spreading the news about Jesus to the Jewish nation.
This might well be the 144,000 spoken about in the Book of
Revelation. You might also connect this to Paul’s discourse on the fate
of the Jews in Romans 9 through 11 when he says that all
I’ve just said is my present understanding of this verse.
There’s lots of controversy over what Jesus meant by His words.
Some say that the Twelve would not have a chance to visit all the
verses 24 and 25 Jesus says that the servant is not greater than his
master, nor is a student greater than his teacher.
If the head of a household is called Beelzebub, which is another
name for the devil, so all in the house will be tarred with the same
speaking Jesus is saying that His followers are going to suffer the same
fate as He is going to suffer. It’s
only to be expected. A student or a servant are associated with the one
over them and in due course the opposition that comes to the one over them
will come to them. That’s
simple logic. Jesus is continuing to warn these men of hard days ahead.
in verse 26 Jesus tells the Twelve not to be afraid.
On their missionary trip they will encounter things and people who
would bring fear to their hearts. Yet
in this context it’s clear to me that Jesus is speaking prophetically to
Christians at the end of this age. Like the Twelve who will experience
fear, Christians at the end of this age will have lots to fear, and maybe
more to fear than these Twelve.
verses 26 and 27 Jesus says that there is nothing concealed that will not
be revealed. Anything said or
done in secret will be shouted from the roof tops. It’s my thinking that
this will take place at the end of this age when Jesus judges the thoughts
and intents of the heart and not only our actions.
I also believe the context tells us that the secrets that will be
revealed and shouted from the roof tops are those that belong to sinners,
or the ones doing the persecution of Christians.
The sins of Christians are covered by the blood of Jesus.
Those sins will not be seen or acknowledge on the great day of our
Lord. We’ll will simply walk
into the presence of God and receive out rewards for our good works.
for the sinner, their sin will be judged and shout abroad, and according
to their sins they will be punished accordingly.
There are degrees of rewards in Heaven for the Christian, and there
are degrees of punishment in the Lake
verse 28 Jesus says not to be afraid of those who can kill the body but
not the soul. The one who can
kill or destroy both the soul and body in hell is God.
He’s the one all men should fear.
These men were killed by men, but their soul’s live on.
This tells us that we are more than a shell of a body.
Our bodies are merely temporary houses to dwell in while on earth.
word hell here actually refers to the
29 is interesting to me. Jesus
says, “are not two sparrows sold for a penny”?
The question implies that two sparrows aren’t worth much in the
commerce of men, yet this does not seem to be the case with God the
Father. Jesus goes on to say
that not one of these sparrows fall to the ground, meaning to their death,
outside the will of your Father God. First
of all notice that God is the Father of the Twelve who Jesus is speaking
note that the falling of one sparrow is part of the will of God.
There might well be a couple of ways of looking at this.
One possible way is more Deistic.
Deists believe that God created the world, set it in motion and has
stepped back from His creation and let it evolve as it wishes.
I’m not a Deist. Deists
would interpret these words to mean that God’s will was to step back and
let nature evolve, meaning sparrows die, and their death is His will
because His will is to allow creation to run its course as it wishes.
the other way of looking at this which is very specific and not Deistic is
that God is actively involved in the death of every sparrow.
I tend to believe this. If
God is who we claim Him to be, such involvement is not difficult for Him.
think in context this second option is closer to the meaning to what Jesus
is saying. This context is
seen in verses 30 and 31 where Jesus says that every hair of our heads are
numbered, and for those of us who are getting older, this number changes
moment by moment. This tells
me how detailed God is. This
is extremely detailed. So some
of us who are more detailed than others can take comfort knowing that God
is more detailed then us.
context continues when Jesus
tells the Twelve, and us, not to be afraid because we are more important
than many sparrows. The point
here is that if God is so involved in the life of a sparrow that is way
less important than us, He’ll be involved in our lives.
And even to be more specific, Jesus is speaking about our death
here in context. He’s
speaking of the sparrows death and those who are enemies to the gospel who
will kill the Twelve. So our
death is determined by the specific will of God.
God doesn’t only know when we die, but plans when and how we die.
verse 32 Jesus says that whoever “acknowledges” Him before men, He
will acknowledge before His Father. I
see this acknowledgment on Jesus part as on the Day of Judgment.
He will tell His Father that this one and that one has acknowledged
me in their life time and so God should acknowledge them as well, and so
in verse 33 Jesus says that whoever “disowns” me before men now will
be disowned by me, and I take this to be on the Day of Judgment as well.
the word “acknowledge” in verse 32 and the word “disown” in verse
33. We need to put these two
words together in their context to get a good understanding of what Jesus
is saying here. Verse 32 often
strikes fear into the heart’s of unknowledgeable Christians who feel if
they don’t tell someone or acknowledge to someone that they are
Christians will burn in hell. Jesus
is not saying that if you mess up by not acknowledging Him to others
you’ll lose your salvation. This
word “acknowledge” is associated with the word “disown”.
“Disown” means that if you “disown”, or reject Jesus, or
forsake your trust in Him, then He will disown you at the Day of Judgment.
disown someone or something means that you owned someone or something in
the first place, and that means in this context that one can lose his
salvation. That’s clear to
me, but losing one’s salvation is based on the sin of disowning, or not
believing. It’s not based on
one individual sin.
the Christian should not fear because of this verse.
Jesus is not saying you’ll lose your salvation if you fail to
witness about Him. He’s saying you will lose your salvation if you
disown or stop giving your life to Him.
was a peaceful man, a real man of peace that would bring peace to the
individual as He said in John 14, but we notice in verse 34 that His
mission to earth was not to bring peace to the earth as some think.
Yes, part of His mission was to bring peace to individuals through
reconciliation with God, but bringing peace to this sinful world was not
part of His plans in His incarnation, when He came to earth.
That comes later.
we can expect conflict. He says that He hasn’t come to bring peace but a
sword. A sword cuts, divides
and kills. Many Christians
have not only been killed by the sword
but have seen the sword kill their relationships with both family and
friend as seen in the last half of verse 36.
verse 37 we see how important it is for us to love God over everything
else in life, and that includes our family members.
We put Him first in all things.
This may seem harsh to some. They
read this and immediately put together a mental list in their minds.
First love God, then love my wife, then love my children, and down
the line it goes. Let me
suggest what I feel is a better way of looking at this than merely making
are to love the Lord foremost in everything that is associated
with our lives. This
means that if we really love Him we’ll do His will, which means that we
will love our wife, our children and all else down the line.
Loving God is seen and demonstrated in how we love others.
It’s not that we have to make a choice between God and others.
We love God by loving others. We love the one who is in our
presence at any given time. We
love the one who needs our love. By
so doing, we are loving God which takes away the harshness that comes by
making the list.
being said the context really
makes it clear concerning what Jesus meant.
In the last few verses Jesus has been talking about persecution
that His followers would face, even to the extent that family members
would kill them. So when Jesus
tells His followers to put God first in this context He’s saying that
when you’re face with pressure between following God or giving into you
family members to deny God, you follow Him no matter the consequences.
You don’t give into family members.
continues in verse 38 by saying that if you don’t take up your cross and
follow me then you are not worthy of me.
Jesus should be a very worthy person in our lives.
This means that we give our whole lives to Him when we first come
to Him. Taking up your cross
means, not living for ourselves but for Jesus.
The cross is a symbol of death.
If you wear a cross around your neck it is saying that you have
died to yourself to live for Jesus. I’m not sure people think of that in
those terms. They think of it
in terms of the death of Jesus. Yet
as Jesus died for us, He wants us to die for Him every day.
This is what taking up your cross means.
denominations teach that you come to Jesus and make Him your Saviour at
initial salvation and then farther down the road at some later date you
make Jesus your Lord. This is
not New Testament thinking. These
words should show us clearly that when we first come to Jesus with the
idea to follow Him, He has to be our Lord then and not later.
39 is just the opposite to what the world teaches.
The world teaches hedonism which means to simply live for yourself
– enjoy all the pleasures you can find.
Jesus says that if you lose your life, forsake the worldly
pleasures to follow Him, we’ll find real life.
Real life is not found in the things of the world but found in the
things of God who created all there is.
says that we should deny ourselves for His sake, not for anyone else’s
sake. If we deny ourselves for
any other reason than for Jesus, we will not find true life.
thing to note here is that I believe this thinking implies that the
present life in which we live is all about denying self to serve Jesus and
others. The next life is when
we reap the reward of our self denial now.
Then we will be able to experience all of the Godly pleasures in
great abundance. The abundant
life spoken of in John 10 is more futuristic than anything else.
We have abundance in the spiritual sense now, but in the next life
we’ll have abundance in the natural sense as well.
40 says that he who receives you receives Jesus and he who receives Jesus
receives God the Father. We note here that
after Jesus sends people out, we are in fact His representatives.
We can do all that He does as we represent Him.
This is what the term “in the name of Jesus means”.
In His name means that we go about representing Jesus and if this
is the case we should represent Him in the way He wants to be represented,
which has not always been the case throughout history.
verse 41 Jesus says that anyone who receives a prophet will receive a
prophet’s reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man will receive a
righteous man’s reward. This tells us that there are different rewards
that will be handed out in the next life.
We are excepted into eternal life with Jesus based on trusting Him
alone, but beyond that we are rewarded for the works we do, and each work
has a different reward. God
being as detailed as He is has so many different kinds of rewards that we
can’t count them.
42 tells us a bit more of the nature of these rewards and the nature of
the work to be done. Jesus
says if we just give a cup of water to a child in His name, or as His
representatives, we will be rewarded for that.
That’ s not hard to do. We
often think in terms of doing the spectacular for Jesus, but that’s not
what Jesus is talking about here.
is important to know though that the cup of water we give a child has to
be done as a disciple of Jesus. We
don’t do it in the name of a church or a group.
We do it in the name of Jesus as His follower.
If we do it in any other name, we have no reward.