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10. Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
1And he called unto him his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of disease and all manner of sickness.
2Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
5These twelve Jesus sent forth, and charged them, saying, Go not into any way of the Gentiles, and enter not into any city of the Samaritans: 6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons: freely ye received, freely give. 9Get you no gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses; 10no wallet for your journey, neither two coats, nor shoes, nor staff: for the laborer is worthy of his food. 11And into whatsoever city or village ye shall enter, search out who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go forth. 12And as ye enter into the house, salute it. 13And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, as ye go forth out of that house or that city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.
16Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to councils, and in theirs synagogues they will scourge you; 18yea and before governors and kings shall ye be brought for my sake, for a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19But when they deliver you up, be not anxious how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that hour what ye shall speak. 20For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you. 21And brother shall deliver up brother to death, and the father his child: and children shall rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved. 23But when they persecute you in this city, flee into the next: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone through the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
24A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his lord. 25It is enough for the disciple that he be as his teacher, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household! 26Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. 27What I tell you in the darkness, speak ye in the light; and what ye hear in the ear, proclaim upon the house-tops. 28And be not afraid of them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father: 30but the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. 32Every one therefore who shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father who is in heaven. 33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father who is in heaven.
34Think not that I came to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law: 36and a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And he that doth not take his cross and follow after me, is not worthy of me. 39He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
40He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 41He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward: and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. 42And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only, in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you he shall in no wise lose his reward.
The calling of the Apostles is here described to us, not as on a former occasion, when the Lord Jesus Christ, intending to prepare them for their office, selected them for admission into his private circle. They are now called to immediate performance, are ordered to prepare themselves for the work, receive injunctions, and, that there may be no want of authority, are endued with the power of the Holy Spirit. Formerly, they were held in expectation of future labor: now, Christ announces that the hour is come when they must put their hands to the work. It is proper to observe, however, that he does not as yet speak of perpetual apostleship, but only of temporary preaching, which was fitted to awaken and excite the minds of men, that they might be more attentive to hear Christ. So then they are now sent to proclaim throughout Judea that the time of the promised restoration and salvation is at hand at a future period, Christ will appoint them to spread the Gospel through the whole world. Here, he employs them as assistants only, to secure attention to him where his voice could not reach afterwards, he will commit into their hands the office of teaching which he had discharged. It is of great importance to observe this, that we may not suppose it to be a certain and fixed rule laid down for all ministers of the word, when our Lord gives instructions to the preachers of his doctrine as to what he wishes them to do for a short time. From inattention to this point many have been led astray, so as to demand from all ministers of the word, without distinction, conformity to this rule.567567 “Voulant reigler indifferemment tous ministres de la parole selon ee qui est ici dk;” — “wishing to regulate indiscriminately all ministers of the word according to what is here said.”
Matthew 10:1. And having called the twelve disciples The number, twelve, was intended to point out the future restoration of the Church. As the nation was descended from twelve patriarchs, so its scattered remains are now reminded by Christ of their origin, that they may entertain a fixed hope of being restored. Although the kingdom of God was not in so flourishing a state in Judea, as to preserve the nation entire, but, on the contrary, that people, which already had miserably fallen, deserved doubly to die on account of ingratitude in despising the grace which had been offered to them, yet this did not prevent a new nation from afterwards springing up. At a future period, God extended far beyond Zion the scepter of the power of his Son, and caused rivers to flow from that fountain, to water abundantly the four quarters of the world. Then God assembled his Israel from every direction, and united into one body not only the scattered and torn members, but men who had formerly been entirely alienated from the people of God.
It was not without reason, therefore, that the Lord, by appointing, as it were, twelve patriarchs, declared the restoration of the Church. Besides, this number reminded the Jews of the design of his coming; but, as they did not yield to the grace of God, he begat for himself a new Israel. If you look at the beginnings, it might appear ridiculous that Christ should bestow such honorable titles on persons who were mean and of no estimation: but their astonishing success, and the wide extension of the Church, make it evident that, in honorable rank and in numerous offspring, the apostles not only are not inferior to the patriarchs, but greatly excel them.
Gave them power The apostles had almost no rank among men, while the commission which Christ gave them was divine. Besides, they had neither ability nor eloquence, while the excellence and novelty of their office required more than human endowments,568568 “Et cependant une charge si excellente et nouvelle requeroit des graces plus grandes qu'on n'en pent trouver en l'homme;” — “and yet an office so excellent and new demanded higher graces than can be found in man.” It was therefore necessary that they should derive authority from another source. By enabling them to perform miracles, Christ invests them with the badges of heavenly power, in order to secure the confidence and veneration of the people. And hence we may infer what is the proper use of miracles. As Christ gives to them at the same time, and in immediate connection, the appointment to be preachers of the gospel and ministers of miracles, it is plain that miracles are nothing else than seals of his doctrine, and therefore we are not at liberty to dissolve this close connection. The Papists, therefore, are guilty of forgery, and of wickedly corrupting the works of God, by separating his word from miracles.