Matthew 10:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 10:6, NIV: Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.

Matthew 10:6, ESV: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Matthew 10:6, KJV: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Matthew 10:6, NASB: but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Matthew 10:6, NLT: but only to the people of Israel--God's lost sheep.

Matthew 10:6, CSB: Instead, go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

What does Matthew 10:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus has begun giving instructions about what He wants His twelve hand-picked apostles to do when He sends them out on their own (Matthew 10:1–4). He began by defining where they should not go: to any Gentile areas or Samaritan towns (Matthew 10:5). Instead, Jesus now says, He is sending His representatives to the "lost sheep of Israel."

At the end of the previous chapter, Matthew described Jesus as feeling compassion for the people as He looked out over the crowds. Jesus saw that they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Those are the "lost sheep" Jesus is sending His disciples to reach with the good news of the Messiah and the kingdom of heaven.

In saying this, Jesus was directing the good news to all the people of Israel, not just some. God's plan was that the good news of Jesus would first be preached to Israel and then later to the rest of the nations (Romans 1:16).