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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: F.E. Marsh :: Readings 301-350 (Peace - Service)

F.E. Marsh :: 348. Sent Forth

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MATTHEW 10:1-16

THE ones who are sent forth are those whom Christ has chosen, called, ordained and empowered (Mat. 10:1; Mark 3:13-15; Luke 6:13). As it was with the Apostles, so it is with believers to-day. Those who are chosen in Christ (Eph. 1:4), called by Christ (Rom. 8:30), ordained by Him (John 15:16), and empowered by Him (Acts 1:8), are set apart to work with Him (2 Cor. 6:1).

Let us look at the directions that Christ gave to His disciples.

  1. They were to be generous: “Freely ye have received, freely give” (Mat. 10:8). The Lord had not stinted them, in giving them blessing, neither were they to hold back the blessing from others. When Samson found the honey in the car case of the lion, he took some home to his parents (Judges 14:9); when the four lepers came upon the spoil of the Syrians, they kept not the good things to themselves, they went and informed the inhabitants of the city of Samaria (2 Kings 7:8-10); even so, those who have received the grace of God, should pass it on to others.
  2. The disciples were to be careless as to their comfort (Mat. 10:9-10). They were not to carry a large portmanteau, nor to have a bag of gold with them. In the East it was customary to give hospitality to those who asked for it. Customs are not the same with us in the West, although all who are the Lord’s should ever be willing to extend hospitality to the servants of Christ. Those who have the love of souls will not be careful of their own ease and comfort (1 Thess. 2:8-9).
  3. The disciples were to be courteous. When they came to a house they were to “salute” it (Mat. 10:12). Their salutation “Peace be to this house,” or “Peace be unto you,” would be the benediction of God. A Christian should always be a walking blessing, shedding forth the fragrance of Christ wherever he goes, and this shall be so, as Christ dwells in the heart; for as scent in the clothes will betray itself, so Christ will be known when He lives in the soul.
  4. The disciples were to be independent (Mat. 10:14). If the people to whom they went would not receive them nor their message, then they were not to force themselves upon these unwilling persons, but to shake the dust off their feet, as indicating that they would not take the dust of their floors from them; as Trapp says, “In token that you sought not theirs but them, and that you will not carry away so much as any of their dust.”
  5. The disciples were to be patient. They were to be as “sheep” (Mat. 10:16). No one can read the history of the Church without being impressed with the correctness of the Saviour’s simile in comparing the disciples of Christ to sheep in the midst of wolves. Mr. Fox relates how the Christians in Calabria, in 1560, were thrust into one house as in a sheepfold, and how the executioner came and fetched them out one by one and butchered them all, to the number of eighty-eight.
  6. The disciples were to be wise (Mat. 10:16). Matthew Henry remarks: “Wise-not as foxes, whose cunning is to deceive others-but as serpents, whose policy is to defend themselves, and to shift for their own safety.”
  7. The disciples were to be “harmless as doves” (Mat. 10:16). It is related of Francis Xavier, that as he was preaching in one of the cities of Japan, a man went up to him, pretending that he had something to communicate in private. Upon his approach, Xavier leaned his head to hear what he had to say. The scorner thus gained his object, which was to spit freely upon the face of the devoted missionary, and thus to insult him in the most public manner. Xavier, without speaking a word or showing any sign of annoyance, took out his pocket handkerchief, wiped his face, and went on with his sermon, as if nothing had happened to interrupt him. By such an heroic control of his passions, the scorn of the audience was turned into admiration. The most learned doctor of the city, who happened to be present, said to himself, that a law which taught men such virtue, inspired them with such courage, and gave them such complete mastery over themselves, could not but be from God. Afterwards he desired baptism, and his example was followed by others. So effectually did the meekness of the missionary promote the success of the work.

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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