Matthew 10 Questions - The 12 Sent Out
1. Read Matthew 10:1-4. Before Jesus gave his disciples a work to do, what had he asked them first to do from Matthew 9:37-38?
- He asked the disciples to pray that the Lord of the harvest would send out workers into his harvest field. Then Jesus invited 12 of them to become His workers.
2. What did Jesus give his twelve disciples? Do you think this was a permanent gift or just a short term one? Have we been given this gift?
- Jesus gave them authority to drive out evil or unclean spirits, and to heal every disease and sickness.
- We see the apostles doing these very things in Acts. ( Acts 3:2-8 - lame man healed; Acts 5:12, 16 - unclean spirits & sick people healed; Acts 14:8-10 - lame man walked; Acts 14:8-10 - Paul cured sick people)
3. What did Jesus do before He chose His 12 disciples? ( Luke 6:12-16)
- Jesus spent the night praying to God before choosing the 12 disciples the next morning. None of the disciples initiated the idea of following Jesus or becoming His disciples. ( John 15:16)
4. What do we know about the 12 disciples/apostles that Jesus handpicked? Why do you think He chose 12?
- These men were ordinary men - Jesus is looking for ordinary people to do ordinary things extraordinarily well.
- Not much is said in the New Testament about each of the disciples because it is the work not the workers that is glorified. However, they were the foundational stones upon which the church was built.
- Peter is always the first one listed - he is the leader.
- It appears like there are 3 groups within this group of 12. The first 4 - Peter, Andrew, James & John were the inner circle that were very close to Jesus. The next 4 - Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew - Philip was the leader. They were close, but not as close to Jesus as the first 4 were. The next 4 - James the Son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas Iscariot - James was the leader. Appears to be decreasing amount of information about this group and also decreasing intimacy with Jesus.
- We know that Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen, and Matthew was a tax collector but we do not know the occupations of the other 7.
- Peter was impulsive, a natural leader, a man of action. Andrew means manly. He was humble and brought others to the Lord.
- John was quieter, called the disciple Jesus loved.
- James and John were called Sons of Thunder. James was probably passionate, zealous, fervent and aggressive.
- Thomas was sceptical
- Simon the Zealot's name indicates that he was a radical Jewish revolutionary dedicated to driving out the Romans
- Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus
- Probably Jesus chose 12 men because there were 12 tribes of Israel.
5. Read Matthew 10:5-10. Where were they supposed to go and what were they supposed to do on their journey?
- They were to go to the lost sheep of Israel - not among the Gentiles or any town of the Samaritans (They were not yet equipped to preach to the Gentiles and Jesus wanted to focus on Galilee initially.)
- They were to preach that the Kingdom of heaven is near. (The only person who ever perfectly did and obeyed and fulfilled God's will was Jesus - Therefore, in Jesus the Kingdom had come to us. In the life of Jesus is the kingdom. Look at him and what being in the Kingdom means)
- Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy - In other words, Jesus sent out the 12 to bring cleansing and healing to those who needed it.
- drive out demons - Jesus came not only to cancel sin but to break the power of sin
6. What was to be their attitude when they were an ambassador for the Lord?
- Freely they had received so they were to freely give
- Rabbis were bound by law to give their teaching freely and for nothing. A judge or a witness was not to take payment for their services. Just as God had taught Moses for free so others are to teach for free. It is a privilege to share with others the riches God has given us.
- Not to desire to acquire gold or silver or bronze for their purses (bag)
7. What were they not to take on their mission trip? Why?
- Money (Gold, silver, copper), no bag or extra tunic, sandals or staff
- Whoever serves the Lord and works/helps others should be supported (fed and taken care of)
8. Read Matthew 10:11-15. What were they to do when they entered a city or town?
- Search for a worthy person and stay at their house until leaving. If they stayed someplace with questionable morals or character it would seriously hinder their usefulness.
- When entering a home, give it a greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it. If not, take back the blessing. That was an acceptable custom in the east.
- They were not to move around, because it may look like they were moving to a more comfortable, luxurious or entertaining place.
9. What were they to do when they were not received at a place?
- Shake the dust off their feet when they left the home or town. That is what Jews did when they crossed from Gentile territory to their own country - he shook the dust of the Gentile roads off his feet. Jesus is saying that if a home or a town does not accept them, they must treat it like a Gentile place
10. What happened in Sodom and Gomorrah?
- The 2 towns were destroyed because there were not even 10 righteous people in their town during the time of Lot.
- Sodom and Gomorrah are known for their wickedness and just before their destruction Sodom and Gomorrah had been guilty of not accepting the messengers of God. However, Sodom and Gomorrah had never had the opportunity to reject the message of Christ and His Kingdom. So the greater the privilege; the greater the responsibility.
11. Read Matthew 10:16 - 23. What could they expect when they were going about preaching?
- Jesus is bluntly honest with His disciples. He gives them their task and tells what could happen in the worst case scenario. This is not how most people win converts now a days. Many church leaders offer or promise wealth, ease, comfort, advancement, fulfillment of worldly ambitions. But Jesus offers hardship and death but in people's hearts they want the call to heroism and adventure. Jesus offers the 12 men 3 kinds of persecution:
- From the church - Feel like sheep among wolves.
- From the state: May be handed over to the local councils and flogging in their synagogues. On account of Jesus be brought before governors and kings to be a witness to them & to the Gentiles. May be arrested but they were not to worry about what to say or how to say it.
- From their family: Brother will betray brother to death; a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents & have them put to death.
- All people will hate them because of Jesus but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
12. What does it mean to be shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves?
- A snake symbolized wisdom - In Colossians 4:5 it says we are to conduct ourselves with wisdom towards outsiders, making the most of every opportunity. The basic idea is that we need to say the right thing at the right time and place, having a sense of propriety and appropriateness, trying to discover the best means to achieve the highest goal. Snake stays low & is cautious - be as careful as snakes.
- Doves represent purity, innocence, and are gentle and harmless - Christians are to be like this too even though they will not compromise but speak honestly and with integrity
13. What were they to do if they were persecuted?
- If persecuted, flee. There is no need to recklessly court martyrdom and thereby needlessly throw away a Christian's life & witness that is so precious. If it a matter of abandoning the faith, then the Christian must be prepared to die. This persecution will take place before the Son of Man comes.
14. Why might the state persecute a Christian when their desire is to live a pure life, show love to others and reverence to God?
- One main reason is because the Christians way of treating slaves was so different. Eg. Christian slaves were considered equal to other Christians. In fact, a slave could hold a high office in a Christian church. They even sanctioned a marriage between a highborn girl and a freed man which was illegal under Roman law.
- Christianity also seriously affected the livelihood of the temples and those trades and activities that served the temple financially. They wouldn't appreciate losing money. Eg. The silversmiths at Ephesus ( Acts 19:24-27)
15. What is the meaning of vs 23 - You will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes?
- You will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Kingdom of God comes. ( Lk 9:27) As they were going around preaching, healing the sick, etc. people opened their hearts to Jesus Christ and accepted Him as Lord and Master - so the Kingdom of God came into their hearts.
- The pattern for every missionary and faithful follower of Jesus is to tell the Good News, but if persecuted flee and keep doing this until the Lord comes.
16. Read Matthew 10:24, 25 Why should we not think that everything will go well for us?
- If Jesus was crucified, what makes us think we will have it any easier, for the student is not above his teacher or a servant His master?
- No person deserves to share the fruits of victory, if he refuses to share the struggle of which these fruits are the result.
- Family members should not expect to be treated better than the head of the house. Beelzebul, ruler of the demons, was a name that was given to Jesus by the Pharisees so the disciples could be expected to be called that as well.
17. Read Matthew 10:26 - 28. What and why should we not fear?
- Do not be afraid of those who can kill the body but not the soul. (people and even Satan) Rather be afraid of the One who can destroy both the body and the soul in hell. (God)
- God will disclose all that is now hidden
- We are worth more than many sparrows
18. Read Matthew 10:29 - 31. How valuable are you to God?
- We are worth more than many sparrows. Jesus even takes notice when a sparrow lights and hops to the ground.
- Nothing will happen to us, no matter how small that is apart from God's will
- We are important enough to God that He even counts the hairs on our head.
19. Read Matthew 10:32 - 36. What will Jesus do if we are proud to let people know that Jesus is our Lord? What will Jesus do if we are ashamed of Jesus or deny that we know Jesus? How can we deny Jesus?
- If we are proud to acknowledge Jesus before people, Jesus will be proud to acknowledge us before God. ( Matthew 7:21-23)
- If we deny Jesus before others, Jesus will deny us before God. We can deny Jesus with our words, with our silence-failing to witness, by our actions. This would be a person who makes an outward profession of faith but turns away when hard testing comes.
- If we are loyal to Jesus in this life, He will be loyal to us in the life to come.
20. What can we expect to have happen even in our own families? Why?
- A sword, not peace will come into our family.
- A man will turn against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter in law against her mother in law.
- A person's enemies will be members of his own household.
21. Read Matthew 10:37-39. How much are we supposed to love and follow Christ? Do you love Him that much? How can you show that love?
- Love Jesus more than his father or mother, son or daughter. A person has to choose sometimes between the closest ties here on earth and loyalty to Jesus.
- Is not worthy of me identifies the person who will not come to Christ because of other intimate and meaningful relationships that might be affected. ( 1 Corinthians 7:14-15)
- We are to love Jesus so much that we are willing to take up His cross and follow Him and lose our life for His sake. There is no place for a policy of safety first in the Christian life. The person who first seeks for comfort, ease, security and fulfillment of personal ambition may get these things, but will not be a happy person for we are sent into the world to serve God and others around us. The way to serve others, to fulfill God's purpose for us, and the way to true happiness is to spend life selflessly, for only then can we find life, now and in the hereafter.
- The disciples knew that to take up their cross and follow Jesus meant to abandon themselves without reservation to Jesus' lordship with no consideration of cost - even of life itself.
22. Read Matthew 10:40-42. What kind of rewards can we as believers receive? What are the conditions?
- We can receive the prophet's reward if we receive the prophet, because that would be the same as receiving Jesus, which would be the same as receiving God who sent Jesus.
- We can receive a righteous man's reward if we receive a righteous man because he is righteous
- We won't lose our reward if we give even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple.