New Defender's Study Bible Notes
10:1 gave them power. The Lord Jesus, being Creator, has the authority and ability to give supernatural power to specially called men. They did not seek such power, but it was given to them for a special time and purpose. It is dangerous for others to seek it for themselves (e.g., Acts 8:18-20).
10:2 twelve apostles. Note that the twelve are called both “disciples” (“learners,” or “followers”) and “apostles” (sent ones, possibly equivalent in essence to missionaries). Although all believers should be disciples of Christ, these are called the twelve disciples because they were taught directly by Him continuously over three years. They were also specially sent out by Him into all the world, and so were called His twelve “apostles” (note Mark 16:14,15; John 20:19-23; Acts 1:8). Later a few others (e.g., Paul), with similar special training and commissioning directly by Christ, were also recognized as apostles. This designation is not appropriate for others, especially anyone after the “apostolic period.”
10:3-4 Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite. Thaddeus is also called Judas (Luke 6:16), and Bartholomew is probably the same as Nathaniel (John 1:45-49). Simon the Canaanite is elsewhere called Simon the Zealot.
The names of the disciples are combined in pairs, probably because it was by these pairs that they were sent out “by two and two” (Mark 6:7) on this first missionary assignment.
10:8 raise the dead. The disciples were even given the power to raise the dead; although no instances of this are recorded (until Peter’s much later raising of Tabitha, as noted in Acts 9:40), the testimony of Jesus heard by John the Baptist in prison (Matthew 11:5) may indicate that a number of such miracles did occur.
10:10 staves. The parallel account of these instructions (Mark 6:8) says that Jesus told “them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only.” Since “stave” and “staff” are from the same Greek word, there seems to be a slight contradiction as to what Jesus actually said. However, “provide” (Matthew 10:9) is from a different Greek word than “take” in Mark 6:8. That is, the disciples were told to take only what they already had, namely, the ordinary walking stick that they normally carried as they walked from place to place. But they were not to make other special preparations, nor to acquire an extra staff or new shoes or an additional coat, but to rely entirely on the Lord through His people to provide their needs.
10:10 scrip. A “scrip” was a wallet or small bag in which to carry money or provisions for a journey.
10:10 worthy of his meat. Paul quotes this assertion is in the same way as he used the Old Testament Scriptures, viewing both as divinely inspired (I Timothy 5:18; see also Luke 10:7).
10:14 shake off the dust. Once the saving gospel has been clearly presented, so the hearers truly understand, and is rejected by them, then the witnessing believer should not argue further for a conversion. There are multitudes of others still waiting to hear, and he should go on to present the gospel to them. The Holy Spirit must convict those he leaves.
10:15 more tolerable. This statement clearly sets forth the principle of degrees of punishment in hell, corresponding to that of degrees of reward in heaven. Sodom and Gomorrah were incredibly wicked, and are destined to suffer “the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7), but the somewhat less wicked cities of Israel are more culpable because they rejected much greater divine light, and so are destined for even greater judgment. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).
10:18 before governors. This would obviously not happen during the disciples’ first missionary journey around Israel, but it was fulfilled in intense measure later. Jesus was giving instructions to His disciples not only for their immediate assignment, but for the future worldwide evangelization ministry He would give them, and all subsequent disciples. The instructions from Matthew 10:16 to the end of the chapter, therefore, apply to all believers from then until “the Son of man be come” (Matthew 10:23).
10:24 master. Christ is our master (or “teacher”); we are His disciples (or students). Also, He is our “lord” (“ruler”); we are His servants (actually slaves). The disciple must believe what his master teaches, and the servant must do what his lord commands. It is interesting to note that Christians are called disciples only in the four gospels and the book of Acts, never in the epistles. They are called His servants, however, throughout eternity (Revelation 22:3).
10:24 lord. Compare John 15:19. The world hates Christ because He said, “I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil” (John 7:7). It is not strange, then, that the world will hate His servants, for they must preach the same truths.
10:29 farthing. Jesus also said that “five sparrows [are] sold for two farthings” (Luke 12:6). Evidently the sparrow merchants of that day had already introduced the sales method of quantity discounts!
10:29 without your Father. God cares deeply about every creature in His creation. Man has been given dominion over all of them, but as a steward, not a spoiler (Genesis 1:26-28; see especially Job 38–39).
10:34 not to send peace. Jesus was prophesied to be the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) and “peace on earth” was the angel’s song at His birth (Luke 2:14), yet He has been the very center of conflict in the world ever since He came. Those who receive Him, however, do “have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). The promise of global peace will finally be fulfilled, when Christ returns.
10:39 lose it. This apparently paradoxical principle was emphasized by the Lord Jesus more often than any other (Matthew 16:25; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24; 17:33; John 12:25). The same truth is also stressed by Paul (Romans 12:1-2; II Corinthians 5:14-15; 6:9-10; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:5-11; II Timothy 2:11-12). This divine paradox of dying to self and living unto God is the very essence of a truly happy and fulfilling life in this world and eternal life in the world to come.