Jesus Sends Out The Twelve Apostles.
For Parallels see Mk 6:7-13 and Lk 9:1-6. See also Lk 10:1-12 (sending out the 72).
v.5-6 The disciples are instruction to go to the lost sheep of (Jer 50:6) Israel and not to the Gentiles or Samaritans. The mission was to Jewish Galilee, later the disciples would be sent to the whole world (Acts 1:8). Salvation is from the Jews (Jn 4:22, Rom 1:16). The sheep were lost due to neglect by their shepherds (or lack of a shepherd, Mt 9:36).
v.7-8 They were instructed to proclaim that the kingdom of God is at hand (this presumably included “repent”), heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons. Freely they received and freely then should they give (but see v.9-10 below). These were extensions of Jesus’ own ministry to the people.
v.9-10 They were to take no money, change of clothes, or even a walking stick. But they should accept hospitality because the worker deserves his wages (or food). The disciples were to trust God to supply their basic needs. We should not hesitate to give (1 Tim 5:18) to those God has sent to minister to us (i.e., a pastor, church, or missionaries).
v.11-13 Upon entering a village, the disciples were to seek out the worthy and stay with them while they ministered in that area. When they entered a home, they should give it a blessing. If it turns out not to be a worthy home, then they should take the blessing back. “Worthy” meant that the house or town accepted the disciples message.
v.14-15 If any town refuses to listen to their message the disciples were instructed to shake the dust off their feet when they leave. Sodom and Gomorrah will be better off at the judgment than that town. Shaking the dust off their feet indicated separating themselves from Jews who rejected the Messiah.
Read Matthew 10:5-15
The Twelve Apostles.
v.1 Jesus called his twelve chosen men to be apostles and to heal all diseases and illnesses and to cast out unclean spirits. This is perhaps the initial solution to the “workers are few” comments in 9:35-38. This begins the second major discourse of Jesus in Matthew. The number twelve reminds us of the twelve tribes of Israel and indicates the continuity of God’s plan of salvation. Theses are the new leaders of Israel (under the Messiah) and they are commissioned to do miracles the old leaders cannot perform (scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees). Apostle means one sent with a special commission.
v.2-4 The names of the twelve are Simon (Peter), Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot. For parallels see Mk 3:16-19, Lk 6:14-16, Jn 1:40-49, and Acts 1:13. The inner circle consisted of Peter, James and his brother John.
Read Matthew 10:1-4
The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
v.35 Jesus went throughout their towns healing the sick of all manner of disease, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and teaching in their synagogues. This verse closely parallels 4:23.
v.36 He had compassion on the crowds because they were like sheep without a shepherd. But Jesus is shepherd to his people (Mi 5:4). Jesus perhaps refers to the Pharisees lack of pastoral care for the people of Israel.
v.37-38 He said to his disciples: “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” The harvest is the multitudes of people in need of a savior.
Read Matthew 9:35-38
Jesus heals two blind men.
v.27-28 After healing the girl (18-26) two blind men followed him shouting, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” (nlt) These men were faith in action, nothing was going to stop them from seeking Jesus. The title “Son of David” indicated the blind men believed Jesus to be the Messiah. The Messianic age was to be accompanied by the healing of the blind (Is 29:18-19, Is 35:5-6). Jesus asked them if they believed he could make them see and they replied “yes, Lord”.
v.29-31 Touching their eyes, Jesus said “According to your faith be it done to you.” They were immediately healed and went about that region telling what Jesus had done, despite his telling them to keep quiet about it (the healing occurred in the privacy of a house).
Jesus heals a mute, demon possessed man.
v.32-33 Next a mute demon-possessed man was brought to Jesus. He cast out the demon and the man began to speak. The crowds were amazed saying “nothing like this has ever happened in Israel!”
v.34 The Pharisees refused to believe and accused Jesus of being powered by the prince of demons. Jesus challenged their cherished traditions and exposed their insincere motives. See also 12:22-32.
Read Matthew 9:27-34
A girl restored to life and a healed woman.
For parallels see Mk 5:21-43 and Lk 8:40-56.
v.18 The synagogue leader was responsible for the administration of the synagogue and its building. The parallels in Mark and Luke name the leader as Jairus. His daughter has just died and he wants Jesus to bring her back to life by the laying on of hands.
v.19-21 Jesus and the disciples go with Jarius as requested. On the way, a woman suffering for twelve years with constant bleeding touch the fringe of his robe in order to receive healing.
v.22 Jesus turning around and seeing the woman tells her that “your faith has made you well.” She was healed at that moment. She wasn’t worried about the “correct” way to approach God, but instead just reached out to Jesus in faith. We would do well to do the same. God can change the unchangeable situation and bring healing to our lives.
v.23-24 Arriving at the ruler’s house, Jesus tells the crowd to go outside, for the girl is not dead but only asleep. The crowd laughed at Jesus.
v.25-26 After the crowd had been put out of the house, Jesus took the girl by the hand and she got up! The report of this miracle sweep through the area. Jesus can do the impossible. Whatever your situation, emotional pain, addiction, broken relationship, or whatever hopeless situation the plagues your life, come to Jesus.
Read Matthew 9:18-26
See parallels at Mk 2:18-22 and Lk 5:33-39.
v.14 The disciples of John the Baptist asked Jesus why his disciples do not fast like the Pharisees and themselves. On fasting, see 6:16-18. Zealous Jews fasted twice a week (Mon. & Thurs.). The OT law required one fast a year on the day of atonement. Fasting was to be accompanied by deep personal reflection, prayer, and sorrow for sin. Jesus himself fasted (4:2) and after his ascension the disciples often fasted (e.g., Acts 13:3 and 14:23).
v.15 Jesus explained that the bridegroom’s friends do not fast when he is with them, but rather when he is taken away (Is 53:8). ‘Bridegroom’ was a Jewish metaphor for God (Hos 2:16-23). The arrival of the kingdom of God was to be a time of celebration like a marriage ceremony. For the disciples to fast when Jesus was with them would be inappropriate.
v.16-17 Jesus gives two examples (parables, Lk 5:36) that showed that the coming kingdom of God cannot be contained within the old religious system. You don’t put a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment and you don’t put new wine in old wineskins. New wine is put into fresh wineskins that will stretch as the new wine ferments and expands. Jesus’ teaching and kingdom must be poured into new forms, the old just won’t do.
Read Matthew 9:14-17
Jesus calls Matthew the tax collector.
For parallels see Mk 2:14-17 and Lk 5:27-32.
v.9 Jesus called a despised tax collector, named Matthew, to follow him. Matthew got up from his tax collecting booth and followed him. Why did he rise and follow him? Perhaps he had heard Jesus’s teaching and wanted to be a disciple. Perhaps Jesus had that effect on people. The Jews wouldn’t think of having a tax collector as a disciple. Jesus once again reaches out to social outcasts and accepts them. Matthew appears on the list of twelve disciples (10:1-4) and is the writer of this book of the Bible.
v.10-11 Jesus had dinner at Matthew’s house and many tax collectors and “sinners” were in attendance. The Pharisees were indignant at this. How could he eat with such people. Heavy taxes were laid upon the people by the occupying Roman government. Tax collectors were looked upon as traitors. They had a reputation as being dishonest.
v.12-13 Jesus replies “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” We are all sinners, of course, but perhaps he came not for those who thought themselves righteous, but for sinners who believed in him and repented of their sin. He tells the Pharisees to go and learn what this means “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (Hos 6:6).
Read Matthew 9:9-13
Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man
For parallels see Mk 2:1-12 and Lk 5:17-26.
v.1 Having left the region of the Gadarenes (see Mt 8:28-34), Jesus arrives in his hometown of Capernaum (cf. Mk 2:1).
v.2 Some men bring him a paralytic lying on a mat. Seeing their faith (the paralytic and the men who brought him), he tells the paralytic that his sins are forgiven. The men had faith that Jesus could heal the physical illness. There may have been a connection between the man’s sin and his illness. In John 9, Jesus’s disciples made such a connection (Jn 9:1-7).
v.3-7 The Jews believed that only God could forgive sins and therefore some scribes took exception to Jesus statement and thought within their hearts “this man is blaspheming.” Jesus, knowing their thoughts, proposes a test: they believed that the illness could be a result of sin, so if Jesus could heal the illness then he could forgive the sin. Jesus said “Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” The man jumped to his feet, and Jesus’s claim is vindicated.
v.8 At this the crowds were amazed and praised God.
Read Matthew 9:1-8
Jesus calms the storm.
For parallels see Mk 4:36-41, Lk 8:22-25, and Jn 6:16-21.
v.23 The disciples followed Jesus into the boat to cross to the other side of the lake. They don’t know it yet, but this will be a test of their discipleship. The boat is presumably of sufficient size to fit all of the disciples and Jesus. A Galilean fishing boat from the era could hold 15 men and was about 27 feet long (esvsb).
v.24 While Jesus slept in the boat, the weather started getting rough and there was a great storm on the sea. The boat was being swamped by the waves. Squalls are a common occurrence on the Sea of Galilee. Some may think that having Christ with them they should have very favorable sailing winds. But the storm and their deliverance was for their sake to provide confirmation to them of his glory.
v.25 They woke up Jesus shouting “save us, Lord.” Where is their faith? This storm coming right after Jesus said “let the dead bury their own dead” may have shaken them a bit.
v.26 Jesus said “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” He rebuked the wind and sea and there was a great calm.
v.27 The disciples were (rightly) amazed at his authority over even wind and sea. The answer to their rhetorical question (who is this then?) is of course that Jesus is the Son of God.
Jesus heals two men with demons.
For parallels see Mk 5:1-21 and Lk 8:26-40.
v.28 They arrived at the other side of the lake in the region of the Gadarenes. They were approached by two fierce demon-possessed men. “Were fierce, we’re demon possessed, and we’re in your face.” Satan robs a man of his sanity and self-control.
v.29 They recognize Jesus as the Son of God. They also are factually correct that they will be tormented at the appointed time.
v.30-32 The demons beg to be sent into a herd of pigs if they are to be cast out of the men. Jesus grants permission and they leave the men and enter the herd of pigs rushing down a steep bank into the sea where the pigs perish. This is also a factually correct figure of where they are going – into the lake of fire.
v.33-34 The herdsmen flee to the town and tell all the people about the exorcism and what had happened to the pigs (perhaps a source of their food?). The people came out and requested that Jesus leave their region. So he did (9:1).
Read Matthew 8:23-34
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