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The Gospel According to Matthew: Chapter 10

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1Then Jesus b Other ancient authoritiesread victorious summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. 2These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; c Or birth 4Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.

5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ d Or Jesus Christ 8Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, e Other ancient authorities read Asa cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. 9Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, 10no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. 11Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. 12As you enter the house, greet it. 13If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. 15Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

16“See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; 18and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. 19When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; 20for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 22and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

24“A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; 25it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!

26“So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 27What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. 28Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. a Other ancient authorities read Amon 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

32“Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; 33but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

34“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.


For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter‐in‐law against her mother‐in‐law; 36 and one's foes will be members of one's own household.

37Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.

40“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; 42and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”


c Other ancient authoritiesread victorious

a Or birth

b Or Jesus Christ

c Other ancient authorities read Asa

d Other ancient authorities read Amon

Text Commentary view alone

10.1–42 : Matthew's sending and instruction about mission.

The second discourse (vv. 5–41 ) deals with mission and the realities the disciples will encounter in the world.

1–5 :

The twelve, representing the twelve tribes, shows that Jesus’ followers claim to be the remnant of the true Israel (a symbolic group of twelve leaders existed among the Essenes, 1QS 8.1–2 ). For the list of the twelve, cf. Mk 3.16–19; Lk 6.14–16 .

6–15 :

Mk 6.8–11; Lk 9.2–5 .

5–6 :

Only in Matthew does Jesus instruct the twelve to limit their mission to Israel. Matthew's community does concern itself with non‐Israelites ( 28.19 ), but first speaks to Jews (cf. Acts 10.28 ). Among the Gentiles, treats the restriction as geographic, not ethnic.

5 :

The Samaritans lived in Samaria, between Galilee and Judea. Most Jews regarded them with hostility, although the two groups had much in common (e.g., the Torah).

12 :

Greet it, by saying, “Peace be to this house.”

14 :

Dust from your feet, see Lk 10.11 .

15 :

Sodom and Gomorrah, Gen 18.16–19.29 .

17–25 :

Mk 13.9–13; Lk 21.12–17 .

17 :

Councils and synagogues, local judicial forums and public centers. Flog, as punishment for violating the Torah (Deut 25.1–3 ); cf. 20.19; 23.34 .

18 :

Governors, the title used of Pilate ( 27.2 ).

23 :

Before the Son of Man comes, the time before judgment is short and the task is urgent.

24 :

Cf. Jn 13.16; 15.20 .

25 :

A reminder of the earlier charge by the Pharisees ( 9.34 ). Beelzebul, originally a title of the Canaanite deity Baal (see 2 Kings 1.2n. ), in the Gospels a designation of Satan (see 11.24 ).

26–33 :

Lk 12.2–9 .

27 :

A denial of any secret or esoteric teaching.

34–39 :

Lk 12.51–53; 14.26–27 . Jesus’ presence creates division also. Cf. Mic 7.6 .

40–42 :

Mutual support and provision is a hallmark of the communities gathered around Jesus. Whoever welcomes a prophet, the prophet is equivalent to God who sent him (Ex16.8; 1 Sam 8.7 ). Jesus’ disciples are like the prophets ( 5.12; 11.9; 13.17 ). Little ones, new or vulnerable disciples. See 18.6 .

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