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Matthew 10




Matthew 10:1-6 (KJV)

1 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.

2 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;

3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;

4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

5 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:

6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.


Verse 1

called unto him his twelve disciples

The decision of who would be amidst the 12 apostles, was made following an all night prayer time upon the mountain. Jesus wanted to know the will of God, and this was an important decision.

Luke 6:12-13 (KJV)

12 And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

13 And when it was day, He called unto him His disciples: and of them He chose twelve, whom also He named apostles;


Some people, at this time of Jesus’ choosing His twelve apostles, thought Jesus to be delirious, deranged, beside Himself in how He was behaving.

Mark 3:13-14 (KJV)

13 And He goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto Him whom He would: and they came unto Him.

14 And He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach,

Mark 3:21 (KJV)

21 And when His friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on Him: for they said, He is beside Himself.

The word 'beside Himself' is the Greek word 'existemi'.  It means to void of  wits, to be insane, to be mentally unstable.


The word ‘friend’ is actually a poor translation, it is a word that refers to family relations. These are likely His brothers. They had not believed on Him, and it was not for almost three years before they would. Jude and James came to understand that Jesus was the Messiah, after His resurrection. So, for the first thirty years of Jesus’ life, He was a brother, at home, learning to be a carpenter, poor. Suddenly, He broke off from that trained occupation, spent time in a desert, denied Himself comforts and security at home, began to choose men to go out and preach, do miracles, and proclaim the coming of the kingdom of the Messiah. Crowds were gathering, and they saw their brother behaving quite unusually.

The enemies of Jesus may have started the rumor that this man was deranged, but the family of Jesus, and some others, must have succumbed to that false idea, and sought to restrain the Lord, take Him home, and help Him recover.

Many a person of God has been thought to be crazy. Paul was accused of the same.

Acts 26:24

"... Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou are beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad."


Paul was considered to be "mad", crazy, "beside himself" by Festus. When Paul was killing Christians, he was not considered to be crazy.

It is like the ones today, who:

have and/or condone killing unborn children,

condone and practice perverted sex with the same gender,

cuss at the Almighty God Who sent Jesus to die for us to have the possibility of having eternal life...

and then call Christians to be "fanatical", "crazy", or "mad" for going to church frequently, reading the Bible often, and talking about heaven and God.

The world considers a real Christian to be crazy. Even real Christians become brain-washed by the world's opinion, and consider themselves to be "crazy".

Paul had a strange conversion.

It was not a simple altar call, but a miraculous vision of the Lord, that knocked him from his horse, put him on the ground, hearing a message that others did not understand, and leaving him blind for days. (Acts 9:2-18, 22:6-21, 26:12-18). There were witnesses to the bright light, and witnesses to a strange sound, but only Paul understood the sounds, and only Paul beheld Jesus. In fact, Paul bragged that he had literally seen Jesus (I Cor. 9:1), and he claims boldly that it was Jesus Himself who "appeared" to him (I Cor. 15:8). I know the hearers of this testimony thought Paul to be crazy.

If someone today claims to have personally been visited by Jesus Himself, and has seen the Lord personally, or heard an audible voice of the Lord... people usually begin to consider such a one to be fanatical, crazy, or "beside themselves."

"Who was this Paul?" they would question... "Does he think he, a murderer, would be honored more than someone who has been a saint for years???" Some have thought me crazy, when I share some of the visions of the Lord. It is all right, they thought Paul to be crazy too. Some of the family of Jesus thought Him to be ‘beside Himself’.

Paul’s whole salvation is considered by many to make him seem ‘beside himself’ (a nicer way to say ‘crazy’). The conversion of Paul was instantaneous, and immediately, without teaching from a Bible school, or from a seminary, he says: "What shall I do, Lord..." (Acts 22:10). Today, people want to see a diploma, a minister's license from some big organization, or a "Doctor of Divinity" after the name. Paul did not go to the disciples for doctrinal instruction. He went to Petra (Gal. 1:17) for two years, and when he returned from having personally studying the Scriptures with the Lord and the Holy Spirit as his Teachers, he had "developed faith" (Acts 9:22).

There were many strange experiences in Paul's ministry.

He shook dust off of a city that rejected his ministry...

(Acts 13:51)

He made a man blind...

(Acts 13:11)

He anointed a handkerchiefs and sent them to the sick...

(Acts 19:11)

He prayed and sang loudly while locked in jail...

(Acts 16:25)

He would suddenly fall into trances and have visions from God...

(Acts 9:2-18, 16:9-10, 18:9, 22:17, 23:11, 27:23)

He spoke in tongues, and sang in tongues...

(I Cor. 14:113-18)

He laid hands to impart spiritual gifts, and prophesied messages

(I Tim. 4:14, II Tim. 1:6, Rom. 1:11, Acts 19:1-7, Heb. 6:2)

He healed the sick, cast out devils, and had many miracles...

(Acts 14:3-18, 15:12, 16:18, 19:11-20, Rom. 15:18-29)

Yet, Paul was not crazy, mad, nor beside himself. He had found the Savior, and His behavior is only misunderstood by those who have not found Jesus.

Acts 26:25-26

"But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness. For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely; for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner."

No, Paul was not crazy. Many who judge Paul, and judge others like him, are "crazy." God's ways are "crazy" to human nature.

Matthew 5:11-12

"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you."

So, Jesus was thought to be ‘mad’, beside Himself, crazy, and insane. They hoped to take Him home to recover. Well, because He did not ‘recover’, we can be saved, we can become more and more like Him. If the world calls that crazy, well, they can talk to the Great Physician on judgment day, and see that the Great Psychiatrist is the One they called ‘beside Himself.

Verse 1

gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease

The secret of power. One cannot receive it until it is given and one will not have to "take it by faith" after it is given (Jn. 3:27; Rom. 8:25).

Mark 3:14

"And He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him, and that he might send them forth to preach."

Jesus first called twelve disciples. He called them for a purpose. He had plans for them. This was not a social club, but a training school. The church (ecclesia, Greek for "called out ones") is a continuation of the calling our of the twelve disciples. We, as the church, do not meet for simply social reasons, but we meet to be trained and prepared by the Lord for a purpose. Notice the reasons that Jesus called the twelve together:

He called them to be with Him...

They saw His love, His mercy, and His sympathy...

They observed His suffering, His giving, His mercy.

Jesus wanted them to be with Him to see these traits.

They listened for nearly three years to His teaching.

He called them to preach the gospel

They had heard His message over and over.

Jesus had preached illustrated sermons...

He had told of a great harvest.

He told them to pray for laborers.

He told them to continue His work after He left.

These twelve disciples are someday to have their names graven on the twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem. They will, in that day, be given each a throne from which they will judge the twelve tribes of Israel. They will receive great honor for being the first called to a special group willing to preach the gospel to the world.


Why did Jesus choose only twelve?


This is the same number as the number of the twelve tribes of Israel... Israel was a spiritual circumcision, a special people, a peculiar people called forth to take the good news of God to the world... They failed, and the Lord turned to the "church" to replace their work of Israel... Now the church (ecclesia, "called out ones") carry on the work of Jesus.

Therefore in the replacement of this ministry of Israel, Jesus dispatched 12 disciples... They, and other disciples called since that time, are to carry on the labors of Christ. After the resurrection of Jesus they were called "apostles"... Matthias was elected to replace Judas. (Acts 2:37, 42, 43). The first 12 were the firstfruits of the great harvest of disciples in the church age. We, the church of disciples, are called to "be with Him" and to "preach" the gospel to the world.

Matthew 10:2-4
"Now the names of the 12 apostles are these:
the first, Simon (who is called Peter),
and Andrew, his brother:
James, the son of Zebedee
and John, his brother:
and Bartholomew:
Thomas (also called Didymus);
and Matthew, the publican;
James, the son of Alphaeus;
and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
Simon, the Canaanite;
and Judas Ischariot, who also betrayed Him..."

Paul in his account to the church at Corith tells us that the Lord in His choosing, does not choose "many wise, ...many noble..." Rather, the Lord chose the humble, lowly, obscure peasant folk... Jesus chose fishermen, a publican, and a political outlaw... They "left all" to follow Jesus... They found that poverty and lowly station are not hindrances to usefulness....

Jesus did not choose to include in the twelve:

Nicodemus, a great Rabbi...

Joseph of Arimathea, a rich and honorable counsel...

because they did not sacrifice position, place, and power... while Jesus ministered... The twelve disciples were willing to leave all and follow Jesus.

Jesus meant them to be 
"apostles", which in the Greek, literally meant, "one sent forth"... An apostle is one sent forth as a representative of the one sending them.... Jesus wanted these twelve to be the firstfruits of the ones who would represent Him in the church age...

In the "Didache", the term "apostles" is applied to many nameless people in the days of the early church. These apostles settled in no church... They were to be tested by high standards, set forth in the Didache... There soon were many apostles more than the twelve...


Paul included Barnabas as an apostle

(I Corinthians 9:5,Galatians 2:9, Acts 13:2, 14:4, 14).

Paul says that Andronicus and Junias were "of note among the apostles..."

(Romans 16:7).

Paul included Apollos...

(I Corinthians 4:6,9).

Paul included "Silvanus and Timothy" as "apostles of Christ"

(I Thessalonians 1:1, 2:6).

Paul called Epaphroditus as "your apostles"

(Philippians 2:25).


The twelve are listed here, shown to be common men, but men dedicated to Jesus.



The first, Simon, who is called Peter

Andrew his brother

James the son of Zebedee

John his brother




Matthew the publican

James the son of Alphaeus

Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus

Simon the Canaanite

Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him


These twelve apostles were of the firstfruits of all apostles. They were similar in their devotion to Jesus, but were very different in temperament.

Peter was bold, impulsive, and eager...

John was thoughtful, quiet...

Nathaniel was believing and prayerful...

Thomas was skeptical...

Matthew was conciliatory...

Simon the Zealot was rebellious, angry, and impatient...



By being with Jesus, and by being taught by Him, they had changed. The ignorant men became learned men. The unprepared became prepared. The weak became strong. The doubtful and skeptical became believing. The angry and vengeful became loving. The called became sent. The difference was Jesus. He had called, trained, and prepared them. Then He gave them "authority".


Matthew 10:1

"He (Jesus) called His twelve disciples to Him and gave them authority."


Jesus shared His authority with them. He then had told His disciples to pray for "laborers" for the "harvest", and their prayers were then answered when Jesus gave them the work to do. Jesus continued after imparting authority to them to tell these twelve to:

heal the sick...

raise the dead...

cleanse the lepers...

cast out demons...

Jesus passes on this exousia ‘authority’ and now with the baptism of the Spirit, we also have the dunamis ‘power’ to do the works of Jesus. We are commanded to go forth, preach... after ‘being with Him.’

Matthew 28:18-20

"And Jesus came and spake unto them saying, All power (Greek = exousia = authority) is given Me in heavens and in the earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."


Verse 5

Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not

Their mission was limited to Jews (Mt. 10:5-6; Jn. 1:11; Rom. 1:16). Later to the 70 disciples, that commission is broadened. To the followers of Jesus, we have an even broader commission. Now we are to take the gospel to every person, every race, every nation.

Mark 16:15 (KJV)

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Luke 24:47 (KJV)

47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Acts 1:8 (KJV)

8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

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