Matthew, Chapter 10
Matt. 10:9 "Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,
10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet
staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. 11 And into whatsoever
city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there
abide till ye go thence. 12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.
13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be
not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whosoever shall not
receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or
city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15 Verily I say unto you, It
shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of
judgment, than for that city."
The ministers of the gospel face two financial conditions in preaching
the gospel. Sometimes they must go without the resources available to
them to make the trip or get back home or to take care of their needs
while they are gone. Sometimes they go with the resources available to
them and may or may not receive any help from those to whom they preach
In the first condition, we must rely upon the Lord to prick the hearts
of his people to assist us in our efforts. This is the condition in the
above passage of scripture in which the Lord would teach them to rely
upon him and his pricking the hearts of his people to take care of their
needs on the journey. They experienced the Lord's provision in this
manner as we read in Luke 22:35 "And he said unto them, When I sent you
without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said,
Nothing." The Lord through the hearts of his people had provided for
their needs. Likewise, he will provide for our needs when we have
nothing of ourselves.
The Lord went on the say in Luke 22:36 "Then said he unto them, But now,
he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he
that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." There are
also times in the lives of the gospel ministry that they must provide
for their own needs when they journey. Even here, the Lord is merciful
in that he has provided us with means to make the journey and to sustain
us on the journey. Thus, the Lord provides for us in either condition.
Just as our financial needs, we also have environmental needs. If we go
away from home and come to stay with a quarrelling couple or family,
then it is hard for us to meditate, pray, study, and prepare ourselves
for preaching the gospel. We should take due diligence as to where we
stay on our journey. If there are brethren in the area to which I go,
then I inquire of them where I should stay. If there are no brethren in
the area then I would inquire of the Lord where I should stay. If where
I am staying is peaceful, then I am at peace, the household is at peace,
and we have a sweet fellowship while I am there.
If the household with whom I am staying is not at peace, then it makes
for an unsettling stay. When I leave this household my peace returns to
"And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye
depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15
Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom
and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city." The judgment
upon the land of Israel was more severe than the judgment upon Sodom and
Gomorrha. Sodom and Gomorrha perished quickly, whereas the siege of
Israel and Jerusalem in 70 AD lasted several years with far greater
numbers starving to death than perishing by the Roman sword. The
judgment against Israel was that they refused to receive the apostles or
hear their words.
Matt. 10:16 "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves:
be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."
Beginning with verse 16 the Lord tells the apostles about the
persecutions they will have to endure for his name's sake. It is one of
the blessings of spiritual life that we are persecuted for
righteousness' sake and for Jesus name's sake. It is a great privilege
to be able to suffer for Christ's sake. When we consider all that Jesus
did for us and how he suffered, bled, and died to redeem us from our
sins because of the great love he had for us, it is of God's mercies
that we can suffer in his service.
In the persecutions that come upon the Lord's ministers that preach the
gospel, we must remember that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal.
We are not to behave as wolves or respond to the persecutions with
carnal resistance. The apostles were sent forth as "sheep" in the midst
of wolves. The nature of sheep is vastly different from the nature of
wolves. Wolves come to destroy and devour. Sheep do not have the claws,
and devouring teeth, and strength that wolves have. Sheep are dependant
upon their shepherd for protection.
Because of the different natures of wolves and sheep, the Lord
instructed the apostles to be "wise as serpents." Normally, we do not
have good thoughts of serpents. There is very little good said in the
scriptures about serpents. The Lord did not tell the apostles to be
serpents, but rather to be "wise" as serpents. Serpents are wise in that
they vigilantly watch for their enemies. They are prepared for their
enemies. They do not allow their enemies to sneak up upon them. The
gospel ministers must likewise be ever watchful against the enemies of
the truth. They need to be prepared for those who would devour the
flocks and would destroy them. They must also realize that they are not
sufficiently strong enough of themselves to face the enemy. Therefore,
they must look to the Great Shepherd of the sheep to be their strength
against their enemies. They must not be ignorant of the enemies devices,
but be strong in faith.
Next, the Lord told them to be "harmless as doves." Doves are a symbol
of peace. Doves are generally not a threat to those about them. Thus, it
is to be with the gospel ministry. They are to be messengers of peace.
The message they bear does no harm to those about them. Their behavior
is to be non-threatening to their enemies. They are not to respond in
kind to the threats and persecutions of their persecutors.
Matt. 10:17 "But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the
councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall
be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony
against them and the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, take no
thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that
same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the
Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. 21 And the brother shall
deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the
children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put
to death. 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he
that endureth to the end shall be saved."
Based on the above passage, the apostles faced local persecutions
(v.17), national persecutions (v.18-20), family persecutions (v.21), and
universal persecutions (v.22). This is still typical of persecutions
today against those who preach the truth and hold to the truth.
Sometimes the persecutions are more severe than at others. However, for
the last 2,000 years men have been persecuting those who preach and
believe the truth. It will surely continue until the Lord comes in the
"But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and
they will scourge you in their synagogues." The first to feel the
effects of the preaching of the gospel are those in local congregations
of false believers and local government. The true gospel sheds a light
on their wicked activities and they respond by persecuting the
messengers who speak the truth. In the book of Acts we see them first
warn the apostles and then they beat them for speaking the truth.
"And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a
testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up,
take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in
that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the
Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." Paul was a good example of
one that was brought before governors and kings for Christ sake. He was
brought before Felix, Festus, Agrippa, and Caesar. In his testimony unto
them the Spirit of God spoke in Paul to deliver the testimony to them.
"And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father
the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and
cause them to be put to death." The Lord said later in this chapter,
"For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the
daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother
And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." The gospel message
can bring strong opposition even in one's own household. The apostles
and those who preach the gospel sometimes had their own families turn
against them and become their bitterest enemies. Even if our own
families forsake us and become our enemies, yet, the Lord will never
"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake." The "all men" is
not to be taken as all men without exception, but rather men out of all
walks of life, nationality, ethnic background, financial status,
classes, etc. This hatred dwells in the hearts of those who hate the
truth and who would suppress it because it shines a light upon their
"But he that endureth to the end shall be saved." This does not mean
that he will be saved from his sins or get eternal life through his
works, nor does it mean that he will be saved from persecution. We are
saved from sin by the blood of Christ and we obtain eternal life through
the work of the Holy Spirit in causing us to be born of the Spirit. This
is all by grace and not by our works. The salvation under consideration
is to have a continual walk and fellowship with Jesus, even during the
times of severest persecutions.