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10:2-4 Now these are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (called Peter), and Andrew his brother; James son of Zebedee and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
In these verses Matthew lists the names of the twelve disciples (from now on designated apostles) to whom Jesus gave this power. He emphasizes that Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus was given the same power and sent forth with the others. As far as we know Judas did the same miracles as the other disciples.
He gives them the message which they are to preach: the good news that the kingdom of heaven is near and that the way of salvation is coming. The message is the same today for every believer to proclaim: that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world.
As they gave the message, signs and wonders would follow. They were to heal the sick, raise the dead to life, heal lepers and drive out demons. As the disciples had received this power freely from the Lord Jesus Christ so they were to freely give it to others. The Contemporary English Version says, "You received without paying, now give without being paid".
Jesus did not tell them to go and pack their suitcases and make certain they had enough money to provide for food and lodgings. Rather, they were to go straight away with only the clothes they were wearing. He does add however that workers deserve their food (1 Cor. 9:7-11).
If that house was indeed worthy, accepting the apostles and their message, then the blessing would remain upon it. If it did not turn out to be worthy then the disciples were to take back the blessing of peace.
If anyone would not receive them or their message they were to leave that home or town and shake the dust off their feet. To the Jews the dust of heathen countries was unclean. Paul and Barnabas did this to the town of Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:51).
Jesus declares that in the Day of Judgment it will be more endurable for the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah that for the town, which although it had been given the opportunity to hear the word of God, refused to receive it.
Jesus warned his disciples that he had not come into the world to bring an end to war and contention either between individuals or nations. The "peace on earth" proclaimed by the angel at the birth of Christ referred to the reconciliation to God which Jesus’ death would make possible (Col. 1:21-22). There will be those who will continually oppose the teaching and the person of the Lord Jesus Christ; therefore there will be no peace but only conflict whenever the word of God (which is the sword of the Spirit) is proclaimed (Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12).
The gospel message will bring division among families; a son will turn against his father, a daughter against her mother, and vice-versa. The enemies of believers will come from within their own families.
10:41 Whoever receives a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward. Whoever receives a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive a righteous person's reward.
The person who receives a prophet of the Lord as such will receive the same reward as a prophet. Anyone who receives a righteous person because of their righteousness will have the same reward as a righteous person.
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