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Matthew 10:1-42
Yeshua's Teachings

Last Updated 7/12/00

CHAPTER 10:1-42 TEXT:

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. Now 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; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 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. Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come 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. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He 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. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He 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. And 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.


10:1 Disciples/Apostles

These men became emissaries on behalf of the Messiah and in the power of Messiah. The miracles they were able to perform (as Yeshua did) were continued evidence that the offer of the Kingdom of God was being offered.

One of the little mentioned facts about Yeshua, is that He was able to attract followers from all of the major religious groups within Judaism, many of whom were usually at odds with each other. This included Essene types such as Peter and Andrew (who were disciples of John), Zealots (such as Simon and Judas?), and "outcasts" such as Matthew, who was an tax collector working for Rome. Pharisees were also a part of his following as seen by Paul, Nicodemus and those mentioned in Acts 15 and Luke 13.

10:1 ... power against unclean spirits

The power against demons was, and remains, directly related to the advancement of God's kingdom. Though it may be possible to "cast out" demons even today, one must carefully consider the root, and ultimate result, of this activity. As Yeshua said earlier, not all those casting out demons in His name, would be recognized by Him (Matthew 7:15-27).

The criteria to judge these things by is this: What is being promoted; Torah-observant faith in Yeshua or some anti-Torah system of belief that says it is of God? The former advances the Kingdom, the latter is not the faith God established, and therefore is of darkness, not light. Even though it may completely have the appearance of light, it is not the gospel of the true Yeshua (2 Corinthians, chapter 11).

10:1 ... unclean spirits

What's with all this "demonic" activity in the four Gospels? There are several specific periods in history where a rise in demonic activity occured or will occur. Each of these coincides with a "birth" of someone (or something) very significant. Each period is also a time of God causing a great "spiritual awakening."

They are as follows:

  1. The birth of Abraham: In chapter eight of the book of Jasher (1) an account is given of the birth of Abraham. Here we find Nimrod, who was ruling the known world, learning from his astrologers about the birth of a child born to Terah who would would usurp him and whose decendants would possess all the earth. Their attempts to kill the baby Abraham are thwarted by God.
  2. The birth of Moses: In the beginning of the book of Exodus, a new Pharaoh feels threatened by the growing number of Hebrew slaves and orders the execution of new born males. Moses miraculously survives. Pharoah's guidance comes from his own mystics who later do spiritual battle with Moses.
  3. The births of John the Baptist and Yeshua the Messiah: The Gospel of Matthew recounts the story of how Yeshua escaped death at the hand of Herod's decree. During his lifetime we see Him and His apostles casting out many demons. What isn't explained is how his cousin John, only six months younger than Him, survived Herod's massacre. There is an account in the Pseudepigrapha, concerning John being protected by God throught this ordeal and thus ending up living in the wilderness, where he was "taken in" by the community of people who lived in that area and trained to be a priest.
  4. The return of Yeshua: The book of Revelation shows that the most ferocious period of demonic activity the world will have seen is yet to come -- it precedes the return of Yeshua and is part of what is called the birthpangs of the Messiah.

10:5-7 Go not into the way of the Gentiles ... the Kingdom of heaven is at hand

The Messiah and the Kingdom of God were promised to the Jews. He is their living Torah. They in turn are to be a light to the world (Matthew 5:14-16). Gentiles, as a whole, would not receive the message of salvation until after Yeshua had died.

God's salvation plan has always been and remains the same:

Romans 1:16 - ... to the Jew first, and also to the gentiles

10:7 The kingdom of heaven

"Kingdom of Heaven" and "Kingdom of God" are interchangeable. It was and still is common practice among Jews to refer to God in this fashion - out of deep respect for the name of God. Even today, the term "HaShem," meaning "the Name" is often used in place of "God," both in Jewish writings and conversation.

10:8  ... freely ye have received, freely give

The benefit the apostles received cannot be overstated. They had directly received the gift of the Kingdom from the Messiah Himself. The proof of their receiving and giving the Kingdom is seen in verse 14 & 15. These apostles receive special recognition at the return of Messiah, as stated in the book of Revelation.Yeshua mentions their special place in His mystical prayer of John 17, where He elevates them before the Father, and also those who receive their teachings.

10:14,15 ... more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha

Why is this so? Because Sodom and Gomorrha did not have the witness of the Torah and the prophets and the Messiah's own emmissaries. By the time the apostles are witnessing to Israel, they have had the written Torah for some 1300 years. Yeshua's group of twelve are upholding the witness of the Torah and the prophets. They are the "third witness" to come to Israel.

How did so many of them miss the fact that Yeshua was the Messiah?

Matthew 16:3 - O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

Paul addressed what the problem of many of his Jewish brethren was -- they did not submit to God's righteousness, as taught in the Torah, and sought their own. When Yeshua, who was/is the "goal" or "aim" of the Torah arrived, they did not discern who He was.

Chapter 10 of Paul's letter to the Romans explains this. Unfortunately key parts to this are mistranslated in all Christian texts, thus we supply the following from the Jewish New Testament for a pivotal verse:

Romans 10:4 - The goal at which the Torah aims is the Messiah ... (2)

(A detailed study of this teaching will be presented in our Romans study.)

10:16 ... harmless as doves

Humility and obedience (to the point of accepting death), regarding walking with God and teaching the Torah, is the theme of the balance of this chapter. The word for "harmless" in verse 16, has the meaning of: unmixed, pure as with metal or wine, without a mixture of guile. What is the "unmixed" message they are testifying to? God's Torah.

The term "harmless" is the same one that Paul uses in his letter to the Philippians. It is interesting that we see several of the same themes in Paul's letters as we do in this chapter of Matthew. In Philippians chapter 2, Paul speaks of obeying God's Torah as part of "working out your salvation." Note that the Torah/Tenakh is all that they could be "obeying," and that not remaining pure to Torah was the only thing they could rightfully be "rebuked" for.

This section (below) comes on the heels of the preceding verses (5-11) that describe Yeshua receiving His reward because He was faithful unto death. (See Matthew 10:22 below for what our standards are.) Here too, this same term (harmless, meaning "unmixed") is associated with the Torah, called, "the word of life.":

Phillipians 2:12-16 - Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

10:21 ... brother shall deliver up the brother to death

The prophet Micah spoke of this in His day:

Micah 7:6 - For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house.

The Talmud connects such family disloyalty to the time of Messiah:

Soncino Talmud 49b - In the footsteps of the messiah, insolence will increase and honour dwindle; the vine will yield its fruit [abundantly] but wine will be dear; the government will turn to heresy and there will be none [to offer them] reproof; the meeting-place [of scholars] will be used for immorality; galilee will be destroyed, gablan desolated, and the dwellers on the frontier will go about [begging] from place to place without anyone to take pity on them; the wisdom of the learned will degenerate, fearers of sin will be despised, and the truth will be lacking; youths will put old men to shame, the old will stand up in the presence of the young, a son will revile his father, a daughter will rise against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, and a man's enemies will be the members of his household; the face of the generation will be like the face of a dog, a son will not feel ashamed before his father. So upon whom is it for us to rely? Upon our father who is in heaven.

10:22 ... but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

There is no "one time fix" in the Jewish view of salvation -- no teaching of, "believe these things in your heart and you're saved for life." You can willfully turn away and be lost. It should be noted that Paul does teach in several places that nothing can take you away from God. However, he is not addressing free will choice of turning away in any of those verses.

This did not change with Yeshua or His disciples. Many attempts are made by certain groups (who do not understand the Hebrew interpretation of Scripture) to teach doctrines such as, "once saved, always saved." This spiritually arrogant concept is alien to the Judaism of Yeshua and goes against God's Torah and the teaching of Yeshua and His followers.

Great feats of theological gymnastics often occur when "explaining away" the simple message of Torah-based verses such as these:

Hebrews 6:4 - For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
James 5:19-20 - Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

(Paul did not take his salvation as a "sure thing." See comments to verse 10:39 below.)

10:24,25 ... If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub ...

Yeshua goes as far to say that those persecuting the ones that follow Him (and therefore are correctly following the Torah) will think that they are the ones that are being true to God. It is a tragic fact of the times we live in, that those who are now coming to a Torah-based faith in Yeshua, are being presecuted by others who claim to be the "God's people." The latter even go as far as claiming that the modern day return to Torah is actually of Satan and a sign of the end times. Web sites and articles are now appearing, "warning" people not to let themselves be placed under the "bondage" of "the Law."

This topic will be addressed in detail in our Revelation study later this summer.

10:26  for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed

It is the Torah (the only "word of God" that Yeshua and His followers ever knew or referred to) that reveals every hidden thing:

Hebrews 4:12 - For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

10:28  And fear not them which kill the body ...

This is a summation of this section - not fearing death as part of your faith.

10:29-30  Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? ...

The context here is that God's concern for you is primarily for your soul, not your physical body. You may in fact suffer in this life, and die for your faith.

In the book of Hebrews we are told the following:

Hebrews 11:35 - ... and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.

10:32  Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men

The word "confess" is homologeo in the Greek (Strong's #3670). This is a compound word derived from homou (meaning "the same" or "akin to") and logos. The term logos in its simplest meaning denotes "something said." We know however, that it also has to do with Divine Expression, such as we see in chapter 1 of John's gospel, where Yeshua is called the logos.

Hence, to "confess" Yeshua is not simply a matter of "saying the words," but of identifying with who He is (what He represents), which is the Torah, as He is the goal of the Torah (Romans 10:4). This further explains His words in Matthew 7:21-29, where people who did things in His name are condemned by Him. They did not build their house on the foundation He represents, His word, which is the Word of the Father (John 14:24), which is His Torah.

10:34  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth:

See note to 10:21 above.

10:38  And he that taketh not his cross ...

"Taking up your cross" in the context of this chapter, means not being afraid to be killed. The Greek word for "cross" found here is stavros, meaning a "persecution stake." The Dutullet Hebrew Matthew has the word "gallows" in place of "cross."

10:39  He that findeth his life shall lose it ...

John's Gospel includes this analogy:

John 12:24 - Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

Paul taught the same about himself. He "lost" his life of trying to gain salvation through his own merit. Again in this section, Paul makes clear that he does not take his salvation for granted:

Philippians 3:3-14 - For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

The preceding verse is often misapplied to teach that Paul taught against the Torah (the Law). Nothing is further from the truth. Here, Paul is stating that he no longer relies on his own prideful righteousness - following the Torah in the flesh to "earn" his salvation. He now humbly teaches following Torah in faith - as faith in Yeshua does not void the Torah:

Romans 3:31 - Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

The Talmud teaches of the humilty and seriousness involved in teaching the word:

Mishnah Avoth 1:11-13 - Be not like unto servants who serve the master in the expectation of receiving a gratuity, but be like unto servants who serve the master without the expectation of receiving a gratuity, and let the fear of heaven be upon you.


1. The book of Jasher is mentioned in the books of Joshua and Second Samuel. It is also referred to in Jewish Biblical commentaries. The book parallels the events from creation to Joshua's entering of the Land. Jasher was rediscovered in Ethiopia in the last century. A forged version was soon released (and is still available). What is believed to be the actual text may be purchased on www.amazon.com . To avoid the recognized forgery, we recommend the edition: ISBN: 0-934666-25-3.

2. The Syriac Peshito version of the New Testament follows along the same line, translating Romans 10:4 as, "Messiah is the AIM of the Law."


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