Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.
Twelve is symbolic of governmental perfection.
The Twelve Apostles
Matthew 10:1 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.
They had the power to perform the same miracles that Jesus did, but there is hardly any mention of them using it.
Matthew 10:2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
Peter, the Rock.
- It is, therefore, recorded that Paul was beheaded in Rome itself, and that Peter, likewise was crucified under Nero. This account of Peter and Paul is substantiated by the fact that their names are preserved in the cemeteries of that place even to the present day. —- (Book 2, Chapter 25)
- Hippolytus confirmed the fact that Peter was crucified by Nero in Rome:
- “Peter preached the Gospel in Pontus, and Galatia, and Cappadocia, and Betania, and Italy, and Asia, and was afterward crucified by Nero in Rome, with his head downward, as he had himself desired to suffer in that manner.”
- Note: James and John are called “The Sons of Thunder”
James, son of thunder, brother of John, son of Zebedee.
- James the Greater: James the son of Zebedee, called James the Greater or James Major or James the Elder, and also, along with his brother John and with Peter, belonged to what seems to have been an inner circle of Three. Mathew 27:55-56 identifies that the mother of James and John was a follower of Jesus, and was present at his crucifixion. He was killed by order of King Herod, as reported in Acts 12:2. (See Matthew 4:21; 10:2; 17:1; P 1:19,29; 3:17; 5:37; 9:2; 10:35,41; 13:3; 14:33; Luke 5:10; 6:14; 8:51; 9:28,54; Acts 11:13; 12:2). According to the Book of Acts in the New Testament, James was killed by Herod: Act 12:1-2 “And at that time Herod the king threw on his hands to oppress some of those of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.” This is confirmed by Hippolytus: “James, his brother, when preaching in Judea, was cut off with the sword by Herod the tetrarch, and was buried there.” Eusebius descibed more precisely what was cut off of James:
- “First Stephen was stoned to death by them, and after him James, the son of Zebedee and the brother of John, was beheaded…” (Book 3, Chapter 5)
John (the beloved) son of thunder, brother of James, son of Zebedee.
- Eusebius discusses the reason that John wrote his Gospel: “Matthew and John have left us written memorials, and they, tradition says, were led to write only under the pressure of necessity…And when Mark and Luke had already published their Gospels, they say that John, who had employed all his time in proclaiming the Gospel orally, finally proceeded to write for the following reason. The three Gospels already mentioned having come into the hands of all and into his own too, they say that he accepted them and bore witness to their truthfulness; but that there was lacking in them an account of the deeds done by Christ at the beginning of his ministry.” (Book 3, Chapter 24) According to Hippolytus, John was banished by Domitian to the Isle of Patmos, and later died in Ephesus: “John, again, in Asia, was banished by Domitian the king to the isle of Patmos, in which also he wrote his Gospel and saw the apocalyptic vision; and in Trajan’s time he fell asleep at Ephesus, where his remains were sought for, but could not be found.”
Matthew 10:3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas (the doubter) and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
Philip: A native of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
- When Philip was called by Jesus he readily responded to the call. Philip brought Nathanael to Christ. (John 1:43-48). Jesus asked Philip where they could buy bread for them. Philip was tested by Jesus because Jesus already knew what He would do. Philip answered that Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.
- It was Andrew who told Jesus about the lad who had five barley loaves and two small fishes. There were five thousand fed by Jesus. (John 6:5-12). Philip introduced Greeks to Christ close to the time the Son of man was to be glorified. Certain Greeks came up to worship at the feast and came to Philip telling Philip they desired to see Jesus. Philip told Andrew and they both told Jesus. (John 12:20-24).
- Jesus told His disciples of His betrayal and of His death. Jesus told the disciples not to let their hearts be troubled if they believed in God, to believe also in Him. If they knew Jesus they should know His Father also. Christ gently rebuked Philip when he asked Jesus to show the Father and it will satisfy them. Jesus asks Philip if he does not know Him since they have been together for a long time. Jesus told Philip that if Philip has seen Him then he has seen the Father. (John 14:1-12).
- The disciples witnessed the Ascension of Jesus Christ and returned unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet. They went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. (Acts 1:13).
- Philip preached and did miracles in Samaria. Philip removed unclean spirits out of many who were possessed, healed palsies, the lame. Many Samarians believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. (Acts 8:5-13).
- Philip was told by an angel of the Lord to go toward the south down from Jerusalem unto Gaza in the desert. There Philip led the Ethiopian eunuch to Christ. Because the Ethiopian eunuch believed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip and (he was) taken to Azotus. (Acts 8:26-40). According to Hippolytus, Philip preached and was executed in what today is eastern Turkey: “Philip preached in Phrygia, and was crucified in Hierapolis with his head downward in the time of Domitian, and was buried there.”
- According to Hippolytus, Bartholomew preached in India: “Bartholomew, again, preached to the Indians, to whom he also gave the Gospel according to Matthew, and was crucified with his head downward, and was buried in Allanum, a town of the great Armenia [modern day southern Georgia].” Scholars date his death at around AD 62. Though Bartholomew was listed among the Twelve Apostles in the three Synoptic gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and also appears as one of the witnesses of the Ascension, each time named in the company of Philip, he is one of the apostles of whom no word is reported nor any individual action recorded in the New Testament. According to John 1:47 Jesus’ first words on meeting Nathanael were: “This man is a true Israelite… There is no guile in him.”
Thomas, the doubter.
- Hippolytus records that Thomas was an active missionary, and that he met his fate in India: “And Thomas preached to the Parthians, Medes, Persians, Hyrcanians, Bactrians, and Margians, and was thrust through in the four members of his body with a pine spear at Calamene, the city of India, and was buried there.”
Matthew Levi, the tax collector.
- Eusebius referenced to Bishop Papias of Hierapolis, as early as c. 110 A.D., bearing witness to Matthew’s authorship of his gospel:
- ….Matthew put together the oracles [of the Lord] in the Hebrew language, and each one interpreted them as best he could.” (Eusebius, Book 3, Chapter 39)
- According to Hippolytus:
- Matthew wrote the Gospel in the Hebrew tongue, and published it at Jerusalem, and at Hierees, a town of Parthia.\224 [Parthia is near modern day Tehran]
James, son of Alphaeus.
- James the Less: James the son of Alphaeus (Alpheus) appears on lists of the Twelve Apostles (usually in the ninth place) but is never mentioned otherwise. He is called James the Less, or James Minor, or James the Younger. (See Matthew 10:3; P 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13) Hippolytus identifies that James was stoned to death in Jerusalem: “And James the son of Alphaeus, when preaching in Jerusalem, was stoned to death by the Jews, and was buried there beside the temple.”
Thaddaeus, also called Judas, son of James, also called Lebbaeus.
- According to Mat 10:3 (KJV): Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus…. Thaddaeus is also known as Lebbaeus.
- Hippolytus records: Jude, who is also called Lebbaeus, preached to the people of Edessa, and to all Mesopotamia, and at Berytus, and was buried there.
Matthew 10:4 Simon the (Cananaean) Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.
Simon the Zealot, also called Simon the Canaanite.
- Simon the Canaanite was one of the twelve disciples called by Jesus Christ. (Matthew 10:4; Mark 3:18). Luke refers to Simon as the Zelotes (or Zealot) in Luke 6:16. He is also mentioned as Simon Zelotes (or Zealot) being among the disciples in the upper room after the ascension of Jesus Christ. (Acts 1:13). There is no other Biblical record regarding him.
Judas Iscariot, the betrayer. He is the son of Simon Iscariot.
- The scripture must be fulfilled, concerning Judas Iscariot who purchased a field with the reward of iniquity, and fell headlong, burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. The field was called the Field of Blood. It is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take. Judas by his transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. (Acts 1:16-20,25). Jesus went as it was written of Him to go, but woe to Judas Iscariot who betrayed the Son of man. It is better for that man if he had not to have been born. (Mathew 26:24). There was only one of those given to Jesus that was lost, and that was the son of perdition, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. The son of perdition is Judas Iscariot. (John 17:12). There are only two men who are called the “son of perdition,” Judas, and the coming Antichrist.
Sending Out the Twelve
Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans.
Matthew 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
The Jews were chosen to be the priests of God. In the appropriate line of authority it was up to them to share what they knew of Jesus with the Gentiles.
Since the Leaders of the Jews rejected Jesus, the line of authority was bypassed and the Gentiles were graphed in.
Matthew 10:7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand (has drawn near).’
Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
Matthew 10:9 Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts,
Matthew 10:10 nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food.
1 Corinthians 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.”
11 “Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out.
An air of disrespect and pride disqualifies staying at that person’s house or city.
12 And when you go into a household, greet it.
13 If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.
Do not take the household’s offensiveness to heart allowing yourself to be discouraged. Instead, go to the fields that are ripe and ready for a harvest.
14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.
Sandals are a symbol of authority. To shake off the dust is to leave behind those who are spiritually “dead”.
- Genesis 3:19b
For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”
Matthew 10:15 Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!
- 2 Peter 2:6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly;
Persecutions Are Coming
Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless (innocent) as doves.
In your innocence, don’t be naïve as Eve was in the Garden of Eden.
Matthew 10:17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues.
Jesus’ words of warning reflect the seven years of tribulation when Jerusalem is ruled by the Antichrist. He is not only speaking of the near future for the disciples, but the far future.
Matthew 10:18 You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.
Matthew 10:19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak;
Matthew 10:20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
Matthew 10:21 “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.
Matthew 10:22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
Jesus is speaking of a physical salvation where only a remnant of Jews survives the seven year tribulation.
Matthew 10:23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
The return of Jesus is at the end of the seven-year tribulation.
Matthew 10:24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.
Matthew 10:25 It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his (the master’s) household!
Beelzebul; a Philistine deity, see 2 Kin. 1:2-3
Beelzebub G954 means “Lord of the Flies” and is understood as “he who pisses against a wall”.
Composed of rabbinical Hebrew for זֶבֶל dung and בַּעַל, lord of dung or of filth, i. e. of idolatry; cf. Lightfoot on Matthew 12:21. The few who follow Jerome in preferring the form Βεελζεβούβ derive the name from זְבוּב בַּעַל, lord of flies, a false god of the Ekronites (2 Kings 1:2)
Dung-god; Beelzebul, a name of Satan:—Beelzebub.
Jewish scholars have interpreted the title of “Lord of Flies” as the Hebrew way of calling Ba’al a pile of dung and comparing Ba’al followers to flies.
Matthew 10:26 Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.
At the Great White Throne Judgment all things will be revealed and everyone will know the reality of all.
Jesus Teaches the Fear of God
Matthew 10:27 “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.
Man is in darkness until he hears the Light, after he hears he becomes the light and can speak the light to others.
Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in (Gr. Gehenna) hell.
Hell is the term used for the destruction of the body and the soul. It is called the second death. However, the spirit of a man is never destroyed.
Matthew 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.
A copper coin is Greek for “assarion”, a coin worth about 1/16 of a denarius.
A denarius is a Roman silver coin in the time of Jesus. It took its name from its being first equal to ten “asses,” a number afterwards increased to sixteen. Since a copper coin was worth about 1/16th of a denarius, then a copper coin was the equivelent of one ass. It was the principal silver coin of the Roman commonwealth. From the parable of the laborers in the vineyard it would seem that a denarius was then the ordinary pay for a days labor.
Matthew 10:30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
The average human head has about 100,000 hairs with a similar number of hair follicles.
Matthew 10:31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Confess Christ Before Men
Matthew 10:32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 10:33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
To be denied by Jesus is to be cut off from His assembly and to take the place with unbelievers.
Christ Brings Division
Matthew 10:34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.
The knowledge of the Prince of Peace invites the enmity of the world.
The truth will always offend a sinner.
Heaven would be hell to those who hate God.
Matthew 10:35 For I have come to ‘set a man against (alienate a man from) his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’;
Matthew 10:36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’
To lose the respect and love of one’s own family is the worst kind of pain; a betrayal by those who should have your back.
Matthew 10:37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
Matthew 10:38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
Prophecy Alert@ Jesus just foretold His own death would be on a cross early in His ministry.
Matthew 10:39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
He who finds spiritual life will lose his physical life, and he who loses his physical life for Jesus’ sake will find eternal spiritual life.
A Cup of Cold Water
Matthew 10:40 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.
Reference: See notes in Isaiah 21
Matthew 10:41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.
- I Corinthians 3:11-15 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.