What does Matthew 10:15 mean?
ESV: Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.
NIV: Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
NASB: Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment, than for that city.
CSB: Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.
NLT: I tell you the truth, the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah will be better off than such a town on the judgment day.
KJV: 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.
Jesus has given detailed instructions to His hand-picked group of twelve men. These are the "apostles," from a Greek term that refers to those "sent out" by a master to carry His message. They will travel from town to town in Galilee, preaching Christ's message that the kingdom of heaven in near, calling all to repent and follow the Messiah (Matthew 10:5–12).
Jesus knew that not everyone who heard the message would believe it. Some would reject the gift of this revelation from God through His Son and His Son's apostles. When that happens, Jesus has told the apostles to shake the dust off their feet on the way out of the house or of the town, if all refuse the truth (Matthew 10:13–14).
Now Jesus declares that this symbolic action taken by the apostles will be a sign of God's coming judgment on that place. Even though they are Israelites, those who reject the Messiah will experience great suffering. Jesus says that the day of judgment will be more unbearable for them than for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Every Israelite would have been familiar with God's dramatic and terrible judgment on the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah in the time of Abraham (Genesis 19). Fire and sulfur rained from the sky and wiped everyone out. Jesus and other New Testament writers often used the judgment they faced as a point of comparison for God's coming judgment on those who reject the gospel of Jesus and the kingdom of heaven. The day of that future judgment is often called the day of the Lord, when Christ returns to earth and the "Son of Man is revealed" (Luke 17:30).
Rejecting Jesus' representatives on this mission would come with a high price. He was trusting them with great responsibility to hold their countrymen accountable for accepting or rejecting the Messiah.
Matthew 10:5–15 contains Jesus' instructions for His twelve apostles, for their missionary trip to the towns of Galilee, in northern Israel. Their mission will be to preach His message that the kingdom of heaven is near, while also healing people and casting out demons. The apostles must not take with them extra money or clothes. Instead, they will stay with those who are worthy in each town they visit. If nobody in a town believes their message, the disciples are to shake the dust of that town from their feet. Jesus will follow these instructions with a series of warnings and encouragements.
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 11:18:07 PM
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