What does Matthew 10:1 mean?
ESV: And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction.
NIV: Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
NASB: Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every sickness.
CSB: Summoning his twelve disciples, he gave them authority over unclean spirits, to drive them out and to heal every disease and sickness.
NLT: Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness.
KJV: And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
The previous chapter concluded with Jesus' expression of compassion for the people of Israel. Looking on the crowds following Him, Jesus saw vast fields ready to be harvested. He meant that the people were primed to believe in Jesus as the Messiah and be made ready to participate in the kingdom of heaven. The problem, though, is that not enough workers were available to go out and harvest them by bringing the good news about the Messiah (Matthew 9:36–37).
Christ will address this problem by sending out twelve laborers to do this harvesting work. These are specifically chosen men, also known as "the Twelve." These are the twelve apostles, who form a special group that will represent Him both in this moment and after His death, resurrection, and return to heaven. A group of twelve carried significant symbolism, because of the connection to the twelve tribes of Israel.
Jesus will send them out in pairs to the towns of Israel. Matthew 10 contains Jesus' very specific instructions about how to accomplish the mission He is giving them. Remarkably, Jesus is sending them out with the same authority He has been displaying during His ministry on earth. Matthew has made much of the word "authority." The Romans centurion recognized Jesus' authority over physical illness (Matthew 8:5–13). Jesus demonstrated to the scribes His authority to forgive sins on earth by healing a paralyzed man (Matthew 9:1–8).
Now Jesus gives to this core group of twelve disciples the authority to cast out unclean spirits—meaning demons—and to heal every disease and affliction. They will operate under the authority of Jesus and with His power.
Matthew 10:1–4 lists the twelve apostles, Jesus' core group of hand-picked followers. These men are often collectively referred to as "the Twelve." Jesus gives them His own authority to cast out unclean spirits and to heal every disease and affliction, the same miracles Jesus Himself has been doing up to this point. The apostles include brothers Peter and Andrew, brothers James and John, along with Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, another James, Thaddaeus, Simon, and Judas Iscariot. Judas is the one who will betray Jesus after the Last Supper.
Jesus gives His authority over disease, demons, and even death to His twelve hand-picked apostles. He gives them instructions in preparation both for a short-term trip to the towns of Galilee and their ministry after He has left the earth. First, they will preach His message of the kingdom in Israelite towns as they heal and cast out demons to demonstrate His power. Later, they will suffer great persecution as they represent Him before both Jews and Gentiles. They should not be afraid, though, and trust their Father to be with them and to reward them.
Jesus has recently expressed compassion for the people of Israel, who are spiritually lost. Matthew 10 is a record of Jesus' instructions to His twelve core apostles, as He sends them on a short-term trip to the towns of Galilee. He also includes warnings and encouragements about the persecution they will eventually experience. In chapter 11, Jesus will continue to proclaim truth to the people of Israel, leading to further conflict with local religious leaders.
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
Accessed 12/6/2023 11:22:22 PM
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