Matt. 10:1-The word “disciple” actually means “learner”…one who is taught by someone else. The word is used frequently in the Gospels. It is used in the book of Acts as a synonym for “believer”. But, it is not used anywhere else in the New Testament. Among the many disciples of Jesus there were 12 men that He specifically set apart as “Apostles”. The word “Apostle” means “one who is sent forth” as an ambassador who bears a message and represents the one who sent it. The qualifications for being an Apostle were (Ryrie): 1.-seeing the Lord Jesus personally and being an eye-witness of His resurrection (Acts 1:22; 1 Cor. 9:1); 2.-being invested with miraculous spiritual gifts (Acts 5:15-16; Heb. 2:3-4); 3.-being chosen by the Lord or the Holy Spirit (Matt. 10:1-2; Acts 1:26). One of the Apostles is Simon the Zealot (cf. Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13). He was probably a member of an extremist party of Zealots who sought to overthrow the Roman government by force.
Matt. 10:1,5-11:1-Jesus instructs His Apostles for the beginning of their ministry. His instructions were to:
- :5-6-only go to the Jews
- :7-preach that “the kingdom of heaven is at hand”…meaning that He has arrived
- :8-perform miracles by healing the sick, cleansing the leper, casting out the demons
- :8-require nothing from anyone in order to do these things…after all, nothing had been required from them
- :9-10-don’t take supplies on the journey, but depend on those that you serve to provide them
- :11-15-when you arrive at a city inquire as to who is “worthy”, which means “deserving”. Upon arriving they would probably preach in the city square or in the synagogue. As they did so they were to watch the responses and identify those who were receptive to what they were saying. Then, they were to choose one of these people to stay with because they have demonstrated themselves to be worthy, deserving to be their host since they were receptive to their message. If they came to a city and no one received them, they were to leave, shaking the dust off their feet…this was a manner of showing that they had attempted to present the Gospel of the Kingdom to them but that they were non-responsive and that the Apostles left them as accountable for their own decisions. As they shook the dust off their feet, they were symbolically shaking off their responsibility for the people’s decisions. The Apostles had done their job. Now the accountability lay on the people. And Jesus says that it will be a terrible accountability.
Matt. 10:17-18-He talks about those who will receive them, those who will not receive them, and those who will attack them. He spends the most time talking about the last group.
Matt. 10:19-20-Jesus tells them that God's Holy Spirit will give them the words they need in that dire hour.
Matt. 10:21-23-They will be persecuted by their own family and by people that they have never met.
Prayer: Lord, I want to be a “learner”…to follow You and learn from You. Teach me Your truth. There are so many people and philosophies that entice me…please give me the discernment to be able to distinguish what is from You. Don’t let me be deceived.