display | more...
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Matthew
Book: Matthew
Chapter: 10

The apostles called. (1-4) The apostles instructed and sent
forth. (5-15) Directions to the apostles. (16-42)

1-4 The Word "Apostle" signifies Messenger; they were Christ's
messengers, sent forth to proclaim his kingdom. Christ gave them
power to heal all manner of sickness. In the Grace of the Gospel
there is a Slave for every sore, a remedy for every malady.
There is No spiritual disease, but there is power in Christ for
the cure of it. Their names are recorded, and it is their
honour; yet they had more reason to rejoice that their names
were written in Heaven, while the high and mighty names of the
great ones of the Earth are buried in the Dust.

5-15 The Gentiles must not have the Gospel brought them, till
the Jews have refused it. This restraint On the apostles was
only in their first mission. Wherever they went they must
proclaim, The kingdom of Heaven is at Hand. They preached, to
establish the Faith; the kingdom, to animate the Hope; of
Heaven, to inspire the Love of heavenly things, and the contempt
of earthly; which is at Hand, that men may prepare for it
without delay. Christ gave power to work miracles for the
confirming of their doctrine. This is not necessary now that the
Kingdom of God is come. It showed that the intent of the
doctrine they preached, was to heal sick souls, and to raise
those that were dead in Sin. In proclaiming the Gospel of free
Grace for the healing and saving of men's souls, we must above
all avoid the appearance of the Spirit of an Hireling. They are
directed what to do in strange towns and cities. The servant of
Christ is the Ambassador of peace to whatever place he is sent.
His message is even to the vilest sinners, yet it behooves him to
find out the best persons in every place. It becomes us to pray
heartily for all, and to conduct ourselves courteously to all.
They are directed how to act as to those that refused them. The
whole counsel of God must be declared, and those who will not
attend to the gracious message, must be shown that their state
is dangerous. This should be seriously laid to Heart By all that
hear the Gospel, lest their privileges only serve to increase
their condemnation.

16-42 Our Lord warned his disciples to prepare for Persecution.
They were to avoid all things which gave advantage to their
enemies, all meddling with worldly or political concerns, all
appearance of evil or selfishness, and all underhand measures.
Christ foretold troubles, not only that the troubles might not
be a surprise, but that they might confirm their Faith. He tells
them what they should suffer, and from whom. Thus Christ has
dealt fairly and faithfully with us, in telling us the worst we
can meet with in his service; and he would have us Deal So with
ourselves, in Sitting down and counting the cost. Persecutors
are worse than beasts, in that they prey upon those of their own
kind. The strongest bonds of Love and duty, have often been
broken through from Enmity against Christ. Sufferings from
friends and relations are very grievous; nothing cuts more. It
appears plainly, that all who will live godly in Christ Jesus
must suffer Persecution; and we must expect to enter into the
Kingdom of God through many tribulations. With these predictions
of trouble, are counsels and comforts for a time of trial. The
disciples of Christ are hated and persecuted as serpents, and
their ruin is sought, and they need the Serpent's Wisdom. Be ye
harmless as doves. Not only, do nobody any hurt, but Bear nobody
any ill-will. Prudent care there must be, but not an anxious,
perplexing thought; let this care be cast upon God. The
disciples of Christ must think more how to do Well, than how to
speak Well. In case of great peril, the disciples of Christ may
go out of the way of danger, though they must not go out of the
way of duty. No sinful, unlawful means may be used to escape;
for then it is not a door of God's opening. The fear of Man
brings a Snare, a perplexing Snare, that disturbs our peace; an
entangling Snare, By which we are drawn into Sin; and,
therefore, it must be striven and prayed against. Tribulation,
distress, and Persecution cannot take away God's Love to them,
or theirs to him. Fear Him, who is able to destroy both soul and
body in Hell. They must deliver their message publicly, for all
are deeply concerned in the doctrine of the Gospel. The whole
counsel of God must be made known, Ac 20:27. Christ shows them
why they should be of good cheer. Their sufferings witnessed
against those who oppose his Gospel. When God calls us to speak
for him, we may depend On him to teach us what to say. A
believing prospect of the End of our troubles, will be of great
use to support us under them. They may be borne to the End,
because the sufferers shall be borne up under them. The strength
shall be according to the Day. And it is great encouragement to
those who are doing Christ's work, that it is a work which shall
certainly be done. See how the care of Providence extends to all
creatures, even to the sparrows. This should silence all the
fears of God's people; Ye are of more value than many sparrows.
And the very hairs of your head are all numbered. This denotes
the account God takes and keeps of his people. It is our duty,
not only to believe in Christ, but to profess that Faith, in
suffering for him, when we are called to it, as Well as in
serving him. That denial of Christ only is here meant which is
persisted in, and that Confession only can have the blessed
recompence here promised, which is the real and constant
language of Faith and Love. Religion is worth every thing; all
who believe the Truth of it, will come up to the price, and make
every thing else yield to it. Christ will lead us through
sufferings, to Glory with him. Those are best prepared for the
Life to come, that sit most loose to this present Life. Though
the kindness done to Christ's disciples be ever So small, yet if
there be occasion for it, and ability to do No more, it shall be
accepted. Christ does not say that they deserve a reward; for we
cannot merit any thing from the Hand of God; but they shall
receive a reward from the free Gift of God. Let us boldly
confess Christ, and show Love to him in all things.