Friday, January 20, 2012

Matthew 10

The Twelve Apostles

Jesus give authority over unclean spirits to his apostles and gave them the power to heal every disease and every affliction.

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles

Jesus tells his Apostles to go out and heal and cast out demons and such as he has. He tells them not to acquire gold or other items in their journey but to spread your peace to those who are worthy. If anyone won't receive you, the day of judgement will be worse for them than for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah.

That ending seems harsh.

Persecution Will Come

You will be persecuted, be prepared

This makes sense, as he is sending them into places with different beliefs than the ones he is spreading.

Have No Fear

Don't fear those who will persecute you. Repeat my teachings. Do not fear those who can kill the body but not the soul. If you acknowledge me before men I will acknowledge you before God. If you deny me I will deny you.

Don't worry about this life, the next one is the one that matters. A compelling message if you believe in  the afterlife I suppose. As someone who doesn't, it just looks like a really effective way to manipulate people.

Not Peace, but a Sword

Do not think I have come to bring peace to the Earth. I have come to set family members against one another.  A person's enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves their father, mother, son, or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

WTF! What happened to turn the other cheek? Also, why pit family against each other. I find this section horrible and baffling. 


If someone helps one of my prophets it is like helping me and they will be rewarded.


  1. The first thing that bothered me about this chapter was the listing of the apostiles. Not itself, but when you compare it to the other lists, they all differ just a bit. See Mark 3:16-19, Luke 6:14-16, and Acts 1:13. Most of the names are the same though.
    He tells the apostles NOT to go the way of the gentiles, whereas in other places he teaches to go teach to them. I have 7 notes here in my bible of NT scriptures contradicting this statement, but I will just cite the one from this very same gospel.
    Matthew 28:19 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,"
    I have other old notes in this chapter like what Jesus told the disciples to bring while proselytizing.
    I do agree with you about the intolerance and the tearing apart of families seems pretty messed up.
    In verse 23 he says, "When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes." Basically, the world will end before they are able to preach to the nations. (It seems like Christianity has spread to the furthest reaches of the earth already) However, when we get to chapter 24, he says (in verse 14) that the when the gospel is preached to the ends of the earth, the world will end after that.
    I know I'm being super nitpicky on some of this stuff, but maybe someone will come along and explain things better. I'd really like to hear another person's opinion on this.

  2. "He tells the apostles NOT to go the way of the gentiles"

    I completely missed this. I focused on the 'go to those who are worthy' parts. It seems pretty messed up that the only way to get to heaven is through Jesus and he has instructed his disciples to not even try to save some people. I guess if it is contradicted later it is not so bad?

    As to the end of the world stuff, it certainly appears that he is saying the world will end soon. I'd like to focus on that verse though, because the language is confusing to me. You quoted it, it ends with " will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes". From context it definitely sounds like he is talking about the end of the world. But doesn't "Son of Man" just mean Jesus? He refers to himself as that if I am understanding correctly. So what does it mean that "the son of man comes"? Does that make sense?

  3. I believe that because it's capitalized it is referring to Jesus and his second coming, but I could be wrong. I don't remember what translation that was, it was just the first thing that popped up when I copied and pasted it via

  4. "Do not think I have come to bring peace to the Earth. I have come to set family members against one another. A person's enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves their father, mother, son, or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." Matthew 10: 34-36

    You have to understand the context of the whole chapter to understand these verses. Jesus is sending out His disciples to go out and tell people about Him. He first warns them about what will they encounter (persecution, hatred, rejection, etc). When we come to verses 34-36, He is NOT saying that He came to cause any sort of violence. What He is referring to is the conversion of people to Christ. This is in fact a reality--even to this day. When people became Christian, the people they call family and friends reject them and become their enemies. I personally have heard many testimonies from people who's families refuse to talk to them because they became Christian.

    I hope that clarifies that passage.
    As for the gospel reaching the ends of the earth: it has not reached everywhere yet. There are hundreds of nations who have never heard the gospel.

    As for the differences: Here's a little background info on the writers of the Gospel.

    Matthew: One of the original 12 apostles. Used to be a tax collector and left everything to follow Jesus. (Other name was Levi). His writing is aimed towards the Jews, and most of his audience were Jews. He constantly refers back to the Old Testament (OT) (quoting from it more than 60 times). He cites Jewish customs and refers to Christ as "the Son of David." The gospel was written in Greek and he wrote as an eyewitness. His main focus was to show that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah talked about in the OT. The gospel of Matthew was written in Greek.

    Important point: It was not written in chronological order--he focused on broad concepts and not on a timeline.

    Mark: A close companion of Peter (one of the 12), but he was not one of the 12. He became the interpreter for Peter and wrote down what Peter dictated to him. The gospel of Mark was written in Italy and seemed to be aimed at Roman believers and gentiles. Mark used Latin expressions (or Greek equivalents), and uses the Roman time system. There are fewer references to the OT, omits Jewish elements such as the genealogy found in Matthew and Luke.

    Mark focused on the deeds of Jesus rather than the teaching, and shows Jesus' humanity more clearly than the other gospel writers.

    Luke: The only gentile to have written a part of the Bible (he wrote Acts also). There is not much known about Luke expect that he was from Antioch and was a friend of Paul's (Who you will meet in Acts). Luke was a physician and this can be seen in his writing as he gives much attention to Jesus' healing ministry.

    The gospel of Luke was written in Rome and he wanted to reach a broad audience. He compiled his writings from a multiple of eyewitnesses. A theme for this gospel is compassion for those who were hated or held low in the eyes of the Jews. He focused on showing Jesus progression towards the cross--the purpose for Jesus being on earth, the saving of sinners.

    John: One of the three apostles that were very close to Jesus. John also wrote the three John books later on in the New testament and Revelation.

    The book of John is unique, as it he focused on addressing what was not talked about in the previous gospels. It is the most theological book of the gospels. His purpose was so that readers may believe in Jesus Christ and receive eternal life.

    All this information I got from John MacArthur's Study Bible. I hope that was helpful in understanding some of the differences found in the gospels.

  5. 2 Peter 1:20? " knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation."

    1. 4 gospels, each gospel focusing on a different aspect of the entirety of one message and of the life of Jesus...that does not mean that the writers were not inspired by the Holy Spirit.

      Each gospel was written to a specific purpose and targeted at a certain group of people but the message is still the same.

      2 Peter 1:20-21 "knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."

      1 Peter 1: 10-12 "Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicated the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look."

      This speak about both the OT and NT.

  6. I have heard many Christians say "you are taking that out of context", but in my experience it is rare that the proper context is actually given. Anzhelika, I thought you explained it pretty well up there, thank you. The language used in the passage you quoted is pretty strong and I hope you can understand why it was a bit jarring to read, "I have come to set family members against one another" seems pretty harsh. But you are right, the chapter is all about them going to places to convert people to Christianity and if they succeed in converting some members of a family but not others there will most likely be some problems.

    I'd also like to point out that causing rifts between families is not just a "convert to Christianity" thing, but a more general phenomenon for moving between religions. The question is "Is it worth it?" If you are a Christian, I think the answer is "absolutely, yes it is, our eternal soul is in play here. If we cause some rifts in some families but also save some of them from eternity in a burning lake, it is worth it." I would hope that it is also seen as tragic that the family unit was damaged. I would have been happier to see this reflected in the scripture. As someone who doesn't believe in heaven or hell or eternal souls, it seems like a lot of pain is being caused for something that isn't real. It is hard (impossible?) to resolve these 2 viewpoints because so much is at stake, I think the best we can do is understand and respect one another's position.


    "As for the gospel reaching the ends of the earth: it has not reached everywhere yet. There are hundreds of nations who have never heard the gospel."

    Can you elaborate on that? Are we talking obscure island nations? I was under the impression that Christianity has spread pretty far and wide at this point


    "Important point: It was not written in chronological order--he focused on broad concepts and not on a timeline. "

    I didn't realize this, thanks for the heads up

    1. Christianity has spread all over the world: but there are many groups of people who have never heard about it. Places in South America, Africa, Middle East, and Asia.

      The language is very strong in many parts of the Bible and there is a really good reason for it.

      Reading your blog is somewhat overwhelming for me and extremely eye opening. I've grown up in Christian home--and so am familiar with the Bible. A lot of what you are pointing out, I have never thought about because to me it always has made sense.

      I'm also not one to debate about the existence of God and the concept of heaven or hell--Frankly, I'm not prepared for it unless I immerse myself into the topic...

      From your previous comment, I get the sense that you understand the meaning of the passage. I also understand that since you do come from a nonbeliever viewpoint, the Bible is hard for you to accept. As for me, being a Christian, it is heartbreaking knowing that my friends and family are not saved...

      I am curious about your position of not believing in heaven or hell (or eternal souls)...

    2. I also want to comment on what you said about context. I completely agree with you. Context is extremely important when reading the Bible--many people who profess to be Christians take scripture out of context and apply it in any way they see fit. Or non-Christians pull verses out of context to prove some sort of point. Understanding the OT also helps--much of the NT directly refers back to the OT and a knowledge of the OT helps understanding many passages and the historical background for the gospels.


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