Matthew 10:1-4. 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.
The lesson to be learnt from these names are, first, that these men are
mentioned in couples, and I think that, as a rule, God’s servants work
best in pairs. In other senses than the matrimonial one, it is not good
that man should be alone. Moses needs Aaron; Peter needs Andrew; James
needs John. It is well to be of such a temperament and disposition that
you can work harmoniously with another of your Lord’s servants. If ye
cannot, pray God to alter you. Notice that expression, in the 3rd
verse, “and Bartholomew.” I think there is not a single instance in the
New Testament where Bartholomew is mentioned without the word “and”
before or after his name, — “and Bartholomew,” or “Bartholomew and”
someone else. Perhaps he was not a man who ever began any work by
himself, but he was a grand man to join in and help it on when somebody
else had started it. So, dear friend, if you are not qualified to be a
leader in the Church of Christ, be willing to be Number Two; but do
serve the Master, in some capacity or other, with all your might. Be a
brother who carries an “and” with him wherever he goes; be like a
horse, that has his harness on, and is ready to be hooked into the
team. That is the lesson of the two words “and Bartholomew.” The last
lesson from the names is at the end of the 4th verse: “and Judas
Iscariot, who also betrayed him.” He preached of Christ, he worked
miracles in the name of Christ, he was ordained as one of the apostles
of Christ, yet he was “the son of perdition.” Oh! let none of us be
content merely with our official position, or trust in the good which
we hope we have done, or in any gifts with which the Master has
entrusted us. Judas Iscariot had all these marks of distinction, yet he
betrayed his Lord. God grant that no one among us may turn out to be a
Matthew 10:5-6. 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
The gospel is now to be preached to every creature in all the world;
but, in those days, it was to be proclaimed first to the Jews, then to
the Samaritans, and afterwards to the Gentiles as a whole. The
largeness of our commission to” preach the gospel to every creature”
need not prevent our following providential directions to make it known
in one place rather’ than in another. It is well for the servants of
Christ always to ask their Master where they are to go. You know how it
is recorded, in the Acts of the Apostles, that Paul and Silas “essayed
to go into Bithynia; but the Spirit suffered them not.” Ask the Lord,
therefore, where thou shalt work, as well as what thy work shall be,
for thy Master knows how thou canst best serve him.
Matthew 10:7. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
That blessed kingdom, which is now set up among men, of which Christ is
the King, and I hope many of us are the subjects. That kingdom was then
Matthew 10:8. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
“Exercise your healing arts most freely. They cost you nothing; let
them not cost anything to those who receive the benefit of them.”
Matthew 10:9-10. 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.
They were to “quarter on the enemy,” as we say. Wherever they went,
they would be furnished with food, and raiment, and shelter, if they
faithfully executed the commission with which their Master had
Matthew 10:11-13. 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
How about your houses, dear friends. Are they “worthy” houses, in this
New Testament sense? If an apostle came there, could he bring “peace”
to it? Or would he have to take the peace away with him to some other
house that was more worthy to receive it?
Matthew 10:14-15. 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 Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.
Despised and rejected privileges make the fiercest fuel for the fires
of hell. They who might have heard the gospel, and would not hear it,
shall find the hand of God more heavy upon them than it will be even
upon the accursed Sodomites. Woe, then, unto such as live in London,
yet who will not hear the Word of the Lord, or, when they do hear it,
will not accept it!
Matthew 10:16-17. 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
“Do not trust yourselves with them.”
Matthew 10:17-19. 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
“Let it not fret you that you are not orators, that you are not men of
culture; speak what God the Holy Spirit shall teach you to say, and
leave the result with him.”
Matthew 10:20. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
Oh! that is grand, — when a man has so communed with God that the very
Spirit of the Father has entered into him. Then shall there be a
wondrous power about his speech; men may not understand whence it came,
but they will be obliged to feel the force of it.
Matthew 10:21. 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.
Read the marterologies, and see whether it was not exactly as our Lord
foretold that it would be. In martyr times, men often burst all the
bonds of natural affection, and betrayed even their own fathers or
children to death. Yet the saints quaffed not; they were content to let
every earthly tie be snapped so that the tie of their heavenly and
eternal relationship might be confirmed. So may it be with us also!
Matthew 10:22-27. 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