(Tap footnote to read it. Old Testament quotations are underlined. "Love" with a caret ("^love") is agapé.1"agapé" The Greek words ἀγάπη (agapé, noun), and ἀγαπάω (agapaó; verb) are typically translated "love". However, unlike our English word "love" – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agapé centers on choice and behavior. It’s the "love" based on will, choice, behavior, and action; not feelings. (Feelings-based love is the Greek word φιλέω (phileó), which properly means "brotherly love/affection".) Thus, you could hate someone passionately and still treat him with "agapé". Agapé "love" is best understood as the pursuit of what is most beneficial to someone or something, regardless of the cost to yourself or the type of response received from the person or thing. It can also indicate a preference for someone or something over other things. )
Instructing the Twelve
- And having summoned His twelve disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits to cast them out, and to heal every chronic disease and every sickness.
- And these are the names of the twelve apostles. First, Simon called Peter and Andrew his brother. Also, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother.
- Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;
- Simon the Zealot; and Judas Iscariot, the man who also betrayed Him.
- Jesus sent out these twelve, having commanded them by saying; “Don’t go near the way of the Gentiles, and don’t go into a city of the Samaritans.”
- “But rather go to the *lost sheep of the house of Israel.
- “And while traveling, proclaim saying; ‘The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near’.
- “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons. Freely you received; freely give.
- “Don’t acquire gold, nor silver, nor copper in your money belts.1“money belts” in that age, belts were often hollow and used as a safe way to store money.
- “Don’t bring a food pouch for the way, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff. For the worker is worthy of his food.
- “Now, whatever city or village you enter into, carefully inquire who is worthy in it, and remain there until you leave.
- “Then entering into the house, greet it.
- “And if the house is truly worthy, let your peace come on it. But if it’s not worthy, let your peace return to you.
- “And whoever didn’t welcome you nor hear your words, then going outside that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
- “Amen I tell you; it will be more bearable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement than that city.
Warning about Persecution
- “Behold; I send you out like sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, become shrewd as serpents and pure as doves.
- “But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the Sanhedrins,2A Sanhedrin was a Jewish court that had authority in both civil and religious matters. There was a lesser Sanhedrin in cities of significant size, and the Great Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. The Great Sanhedrin functioned like a Supreme Court over the lesser Sanhedrins. and will flog you in their synagogues.
- “And also, you’ll be brought to governors and kings because of Me; to be a witness to them and to the gentiles.
- “And when they hand you over, don’t be anxious about how or what you might say, for you will be given what to say in that very hour.
- “For you aren’t the man who speaks, but the Spirit of your Father is the One who speaks through you.
- “And brother will betray brother to death, and a father will betray his child, and children will rise up against parents and will put them to death.
- “And you will be hated by all because of My name. But the man who endured to the end; he will be saved.
- “And when they persecute you in that city, flee to another. For amen I tell you: you definitely won’t have finished fleeing through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.
- “A disciple isn’t above the teacher, nor a slave above his master.
- “It’s enough for the disciple to become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they called the master of the house Beelzebub,3From the Hebrew phrase “Baal Zebub” that translates as “lord of the flies”. It’s likely a play on words for the pagan Canaanite god Baal. One of his names was “Ba’al Zevul”, which roughly translates as “Lord of the exalted house”. Since “Ba’al Zevul” sounds very similar to “Baal Zebub”, it was likely a derogatory Hebrew nickname for the Canaanite god. Apparently, the title was later applied to an actual demon. There is some debate on whether Beelzebub is a nickname for Satan, or for another high ranking demon. how much more the members of his household?
Fear God, not Man
- “Therefore, don’t be scared of them. For nothing is *hidden which won’t be uncovered; and there’s nothing secret which won’t be known.
- “What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light. And what you hear whispered in the ear, preach on the rooftops.
- “And don’t fear the men killing the body, but not able to kill the life.4“life” the Greek word here is “ψυχή” (psuché), usually translated “soul” here. However, it does not mean the part of us which survives death and goes to reward or punishment (Biblically that’s our spirit. In Revelation 8:9, animals are said to have “psuché”.) Psuché literally means “breath” and is usually translated “life”. It refers to the life; the vital force which – together with the body – enables a person to live. It can also refer to mind, will, emotions, and desires, which together make up a person’s identity. The exact same word is used in verse 39. where we must lose our psuché to gain it. But rather, fear the One able to destroy5“destroy” the Greek word here is “ἀπόλλυμι” (apollumi). It means to utterly lose (as in Matthew 10:6), to ruin, or to destroy. Its root word emphasizes the loss incurred, not the destruction. both body and life6“life” see note earlier in verse in the Valley of Hinnom.7“the Valley of Hinnom” Most translations render this “hell” but any lexicon will tell you it’s a proper noun referring to a specific valley – the Valley of Hinnom – just outside Jerusalem. Symbolically, it’s where the Jews believed the wicked were punished in the afterlife. But this might refer to Israel’s history instead. Two kings of Israel sacrificed babies as burnt offerings to the pagan gods Baal and Moloch in the Valley of Hinnom. (2 Chronicles 28:1-3, 2 Chronicles 33:6, Jeremiah 7:30-31) As a result, God sentenced them to judgement through the prophet Jeremiah. (Jeremiah 19:1-11) Their sentence was carried out about 20 years later when Nebuchadnezzar sacked Jerusalem. He burned almost everything and enslaved all Judah. (2 kings 25:1-12) This happened again a few centuries later when Rome destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. See following note. 8Verse Note: While Jesus might have been referring to judgement in the afterlife, it’s unlikely. (See note on the word “soul” in this verse.) He might’ve been referring to the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. If you look at “soul” here in the sense of “identity” (again, see note) it makes some sense. Some of those trapped inside Jerusalem during the siege became so depraved, what they did isn’t fit to be put into print. That could count as a destruction of “body and soul/identity”.
- “Aren’t two sparrows sold for a brass coin?9“a brass coin” is literally and specifically an “assarion”. It was worth one tenth of a drachma. And one among them won’t fall to the ground without your Father willing it.
- “And even the hairs on your head are all *numbered.
- “So don’t fear; you have more value than many sparrows.
- “Therefore; everyone who will endorse Me in front of men, I will also endorse him in front of My Father in the heavens.
- “But whoever denies Me in front of men, I will also deny him in front of My Father in the heavens.
- “Don’t assume that I came to bring peace on the earth. I didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword.
- “For I came to divide; a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a bride against her mother-in-law.
- “And a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.10quotation/allusion to Micah 7:6
- “The man who loves his father or mother more than Me isn’t worthy of Me. And the man who loves his son or daughter more than Me isn’t worthy of Me.
- “And whoever doesn’t take his cross and follow after Me isn’t worthy of Me.
- “The man who found his life11“life”The Greek word here is “ψυχή” (psuché); (see note on verse 28 above.) It refers to the life; the vital force which – together with the body – enables a person to live. It can also refer to mind, will, emotions, and desires, which together make up a person’s identity. This latter sense adds an interesting nuance of meaning to this verse. will lose it. And the man who lost his life12“life” see previous note. because of Me will find it.
- “The man who welcomes you welcomes Me. And the man who welcomes Me welcomes the One who sent Me.
- “The man who welcomes a prophet because13“because” literally “in the name of”, which in that culture was an idiom that was equivalent to “because”. he’s a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. And the man who welcomes a righteous man because14“because” literally “in the name of”, which in that culture was an idiom that was equivalent to “because”. he’s righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward.
- “And whoever merely gives one of these little ones a cup of cool water to drink because15“because” literally “in the name of”, which in that culture was an idiom that was equivalent to “because”. he’s a disciple; amen I tell you; he definitely won’t lose his reward.
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