A Few Thoughts From: Matthew 10

To the Jew first and then to the Gentiles; this was the message of Jesus to His twelve chosen disciples when He commissioned them (10:5-6), and it was His message to them when He commissioned them again (Acts 1:6-8). The disciples were go and preach, and if there was rejection there was to be symbolism (10:14). Before symbolism can have a point, it has to be understood. The disciples were front-line workers in God’s kingdom; thus, they needed to be prepared for the response Jesus told them would come.

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Matthew, Mark, and Luke record this limited commission of the Lord’s disciples. In Matthew and Luke the disciples are told to take nothing, but in Mark they are told to take a staff (Mark 6:8). In Matthew, they are not to take two coats, nor shoes, nor staff. Is it that they are not to take two, but the ones they have are okay? In Mark they are to have a staff and they are to have their shoes, but they do not need two coats. Clearly, the idea is that they are to travel light, and that which would be needed would be provided to them by others. The word “provide” (Matthew 10:9, NKJV) is rendered “do not procure” by D.A. Carson (see also R.T. France). Mark says the disciples are to take nothing for the journey, save a staff. Underscore the word nothing in your Bible. If they are to take nothing, then that means they are to take not-one-thing. Would this not include clothing that they were wearing? If nothing is to have its literal force, it would mean exactly that. However, there is some limitation to how the word is understood in this context – and reasonable people can see it. Nothing extra are they to take, but that which they have.

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