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1: His twelve disciples - Hence it appears that he had already
chosen out of his disciples, those whom he afterward termed
apostles. The number seems to have relation to the twelve
patriarchs, and the twelve tribes of Israel.(Mk 3:14,6:7,Lu 6:13,9:1).
2: The first, Simon - The first who was called to a constant
attendance on Christ; although Andrew had seen him before Simon.(Ac 1:13).
3: Lebbeus - Commonly called Judas, the brother of James.
4: Iscariot - So called from Iscarioth, (the place of his birth,)
a town of the tribe of Ephraim, near the city of Samaria.
5: These twelve Jesus sent forth - Herein exercising his supreme
authority, as God over all. None but God can give men authority
to preach his word. Go not - Their commission was thus confined
now, because the calling of the Gentiles was deferred till after
the more plentiful effusion of the Holy Ghost on the day of
pentecost. Enter not - Not to preach; but they might to buy what
they wanted, (Joh 4:9).
8: Cast out devils - It is a great relief to the spirits of an
infidel, sinking under a dread, that possibly the Gospel may be
true, to find it observed by a learned brother, that the diseases
therein ascribed to the operation of the devil have the very
same symptoms with the natural diseases of lunacy, epilepsy, or
convulsions; whence he readily and very willingly concludes, that
the devil had no hand in them.
But it were well to stop and consider a little. Suppose God
should suffer an evil spirit to usurp the same power over a man's
body, as the man himself has naturally; and suppose him actually
to exercise that power; could we conclude the devil had no hand
therein, because his body was bent in the very same manner
wherein the man himself might have bent it naturally?
And suppose God gives an evil spirit a greater power, to effect
immediately the organ of the nerves in the brain, by irritating
them to produce violent motions, or so relaxing them that they
can produce little or no motion; still the symptoms will be those
of over tense nerves, as in madness, epilepsies, convulsions; or
of relaxed nerves, as in paralytic cases. But could we conclude
thence that the devil had no hand in them? Will any man affirm
that God cannot or will not, on any occasion whatever, give such
a power to an evil spirit? Or that effects, the like of which
may be produced by natural causes, cannot possibly be produced
by preternatural? If this be possible, then he who affirms it
was so, in any particular case, cannot be justly charged with
falsehood, merely for affirming the reality of a possible thing.
Yet in this manner are the evangelists treated by those unhappy
men, who above all things dread the truth of the Gospel, because,
if it is true, they are of all men the most miserable.
Freely ye have received - All things; in particular the power of
working miracles; freely give - Exert that power wherever you come.(Mk 6:7,Lu 9:2).
9: Provide not - The stress seems to lie on this word: they might
use what they had ready; but they might not stay a moment to
provide any thing more, neither take any thought about it. Nor
indeed were they to take any thing with them, more than was
- Lest it should retard them.
- Because they were to learn hereby to
trust to God in all future exigencies.
10: Neither scrip - That is, a wallet, or bag to hold provisions:
Nor yet a staff - We read,(Mk 6:8), Take nothing, save a staff only. He that had
one might take it; they that had none, might not provide any.
For the workman is worthy of his maintenance - The word includes
all that is mentioned in the 9th and 10th verses; (Mt 10:9,10)
all that they were forbidden to provide for themselves, so far
as it was needful for them. (Lu 10:7).
11: Inquire who is worthy - That you should abide with him: who
is disposed to receive the Gospel. There abide - In that house,
till ye leave the town. (Mk 6:10,Lu 9:4).
12: Salute it - In the usual Jewish form, "Peace (that is, all
blessings) be to this house."
13: If the house be worthy - of it, God shall give them the peace
you wish them. If not, he shall give you what they refuse. The
same will be the case, when we pray for them that are not worthy.
14: Shake off the dust from your feet - The Jews thought the land
of Israel so peculiarly holy, that when they came home from any
heathen country, they stopped at the borders and shook or wiped
off the dust of it from their feet, that the holy land might not
be polluted with it. Therefore the action here enjoined was a
lively intimation, that those Jews who had rejected the Gospel
were holy no longer, but were on a level with heathens and
16: (Lu 10:3).
17: But think not that all your innocence and all your wisdom
will screen you from persecution. They will scourge you
in their synagogues - In these the Jews held their courts of
judicature, about both civil and ecclesiastical affairs.(Mt 24:9).
19: Take no thought - Neither at this time, on any sudden call,
need we be careful how or what to answer. (Lu 12:11).
21: (Lu 21:16).
22: Of all men - That know not God.(Mt 24:13).
23: Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel - Make what
haste ye will; till the Son of man be come - To destroy their
temple and nation.
24: (Lu 6:30,Joh 15:20).
25: How much more - This cannot refer to the quantity of reproach
and persecution: (for in this the servant cannot be above his
lord:) but only to the certainty of it. (Mt 12:24).
26: Therefore fear them not - For ye have only the same usage with
your Lord. There is nothing covered - So that however they may
slander you now, your innocence will at length appear.(Mk 4:22,Lu 8:17,12:2).
27: Even what I now tell you secretly is not to be kept secret
long, but declared publicly. Therefore, What ye hear in the
ear, publish on the house - top - Two customs of the Jews seem to
be alluded to here. Their doctors used to whisper in the ear
of their disciples what they were to pronounce aloud to others.
And as their houses were low and flat roofed, they sometimes
preached to the people from thence. (Lu 12:3).
28: And be not afraid - of any thing which ye may suffer for
proclaiming it. Be afraid of him who is able to destroy both
body and soul in hell - It is remarkable, that our Lord commands
those who love God, still to fear him, even on this account,
under this notion.
29-30: The particular providence of God is another reason for
your not fearing man. For this extends to the very smallest
things. And if he has such care over the most inconsiderable
creatures, how much more will he take care of you, (provided you
confess him before men, before powerful enemies of the truth,)
and that not only in this life, but in the other also?
30: See note ... "Mt 10:29"(Lu 12:7).
32: Whosoever shall confess me - Publicly acknowledge me for the
promised Messiah. But this confession implies the receiving his
whole doctrine, (Mk 8:38), and obeying all his commandments.(Lu 9:26).
33-34: Whosoever shall deny me before men - To which ye will be
strongly tempted. For Think not that I am come - That is, think
not that universal peace will be the immediate consequence of
my coming. Just the contrary. Both public and private divisions
will follow, wheresoever my Gospel comes with power. Ye - this
is not the design, though it be the event of his coming, through
the opposition of devils and men.
34: See note ... "Mt 10:33".(Lu 12:51).
36: And the foes of a man - That loves and follows me.(Mic 7:6).
37: He that loveth father or mother more than me - He that is not
ready to give up all these, when they stand in competition with
38: He that taketh not his cross - That is, whatever pain or
inconvenience cannot be avoided, but by doing some evil, or
omitting some good. (Mt 16:24,Lu 14:27).
39: He that findeth his life shall lose it - He that saves his
life by denying me, shall lose it eternally; and he that loseth
his life by confessing me, shall save it eternally. And as you
shall be thus rewarded, so in proportion shall they who entertain
you for my sake. (Mt 16:25,Joh 12:25).
40: (Mt 18:5,Lu 10:16,Joh 13:20).
41: He that entertaineth a prophet - That is, a preacher of the
Gospel: In the name of a prophet - That is, because he is such,
shall share in his reward.
42: One of these little ones - The very least Christian.(Mk 9:41).