Verse 1 – And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of diseases.
Mark says He sent them out two and two. They were given power to cast out demons, heal the sick, raise the dead, and above all preach what Jesus had taught. When the gospel is preached, there has to be evidence of what has been preached. For instance: If preaching that Christ is above every demon and principality, then demons should be cast out; if preaching on healing from the One who heals, then healing should take place. When sermon after sermon is preached and there is never any manifestations of this power, then something is wrong.
Verse 2 – Now the names of the twelve disciples are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
Verse 3 – Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddeus;
Verse 4 – Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.
Verse 5 – These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans.
Verse 6 – “But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
The reasons for not going to the Samaritans are many, but one was because they only believed the first five books of Moses and rejected the prophet’s writings. The gospel was to be preached to the Jews first because of the covenant and they were God’s chosen. The Gentile preaching would come later.
Verse 7 – “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Verse 8 – “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
“Freely you have received, freely give,” meant they were not to charge for the services of healing, casting out demons, and healing diseases, or preaching. However, later, those who preach the gospel are to be compensated: 1 Corinthians 9:11; 1 Timothy 5:18.
Verse 9 – “Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your moneybelts,
Verse 10 – “nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food.
Jesus told them not to take any provisions one would normally take on a trip. Why? Because, He wanted their total dependence on God. Jesus did not mean they had to go barefoot, they were to go with what they had on, no extra belongings. They were not to make bargains or sell their services, but to expect food and lodging from those who received.
Verse 11 – “Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out.
“Those who are worthy,” those who would welcome the disciples and show them hospitality. Luke adds – “Go not from house to house.” They weren’t to go about as vagrants.
Verse 12 – “And when you go into a household, greet it. (Show the family respect.)
Verse 13 – “If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.
Verse 14 – “And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.
When a Jew “shook the dust off their fee,” it showed a gesture of rejection. It showed that the household or city was making the wrong choice by rejecting the gospel. The disciples would have no further connection with them. Same principles as: don’t throw your pearls to the swine. If they won’t listen to the true gospel, walk away.
Verse 15 – “Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!
Those who hear the gospel and reject it will be much worse off than those two cities that were destroyed by fire and never heard the gospel.
Verse 16 – “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
They were not to take violent action to respond to violent persecution.
Verse 17 – “But be aware of men, for they will deliver you up to counsels and scourge you in their synagogues.
Do not run needlessly into danger, but be cautious.
Verse 18 – “And you will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.
You may not be brought before kings, but if you take a stand with God, you will have persecution. People will mock you, talk about you, and despise you for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Verse 19 – “But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak;
Verse 20 – “for it is not you who speak, but the spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
When they were arrested for preaching the gospel, they were not to be anxious about what to say. That didn’t mean not to be prepared. When someone is full of the Holy Spirit and full of God’s Word, they don’t stumble around for something to say. But you have to know God’s word before it will come out of your mouth.
Verse 21 – “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child and children; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.
Verse 22 – “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
Just as the disciples were hated and despised by some, we as Christians today will be also. It’s whom they represented and whom we represent today. People reject Christ, and so they will reject us. We may not see this killing because of our faith in the US yet, but times are coming when people will be put to death for their faith in Christ. This is going on in other parts of the world now.
Verse 23 – “But when they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
The disciples were not to throw their lives away. Jesus then tells them they won’t run out of places to go, because the Jews will scatter.
Verse 24 – “A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master.
The disciples should expect to be treated as Jesus was treated.
Verse 25 – “It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household!
Beelzebub, the prince of devils. Beelzebub was a god of the Ekronites (2 Kings 1:2). The word literally means “the god of flies,” because this god was supposed to protect them from swarms of flies. The Jews changed the “bub” to “bul,” meaning “god of dung,” or “filth.” By giving the name to Christ they poured upon Him the greatest possible abuse and contempt.
Verse 26 – “Therefore, do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.
Verse 27 – “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in light’; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.
Verse 28 – “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
This passage proves that the bodies of the wicked will be raised up to be punished forever. Temporal death of the body is nothing compared to eternal death in hell.
Verse 29 – “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.
Verse 30 – “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Jesus assured them that God is aware of everything, no matter how small. He also told them that no disciple would suffer persecution without the Fathers consent.
Verse 31 – “Do not fear therefor; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Verse 32 – “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will confess before My Father in heaven.
Verse 33 – “But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
This is not merely one-act of confessing the Lord as our Savior. It means to acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ, our dependence on Him for our salvation, and our attachment to Him. In conduct and conversation we are to exhibit that He is our Father!
Verse 34 – “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
Verse 35 – “For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.’
Jesus was showing that His presence demands a decision. Because some will follow Christ and some won’t, conflicts will arise between friends and family members. As we follow Christ, our values, morals, goals, and purposes will set us apart from others. Placing Christ first in our lives doesn’t give us the right to be disrespectful of others though.
Verse 36 – “And a man’s foes will be those of his own household.”
Verse 37 – “He who loves father and mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
If we are not willing to place Christ supremely above all other, Jesus says we are not worthy of Him.
Verse 38 – “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
If a person is not willing to publicly acknowledge Christ, be willing to be persecuted, even unto death, they are not worthy of Him.
Verse 39 – “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
Verse 40 – “He who receives you receives Me and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.
Verse 41 – “He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.
If people receive you, as a Christian, they receive Christ and the One who sent Him. Meaning, they don’t persecute and mock you for being a Christian.
Verse 42 – “And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of clod water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”
How much we love Christ can be measured by how we treat others. Jesus uses giving cold water to a thirsty child as an example for being kind to someone who most likely can’t do anything in return. Each time we do an act of kindness, or not, we are doing it to Jesus.