|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:1-4 The word apostle signifies messenger; they were Christ's messengers, sent forth to proclaim his kingdom. Christ gave them power to heal all manner of sickness. In the grace of the gospel there is a slave for every sore, a remedy for every malady. There is no spiritual disease, but there is power in Christ for the cure of it. There names are recorded, and it is their honour; yet they had more reason to rejoice that their names were written in heaven, while the high and mighty names of the great ones of the earth are buried in the dust.
Verse 1. - Parallel passages: Mark 6:7; Luke 9:1. The prayer (Matthew 9:38) is answered in the persons of those who were taught to pray. Christ establishes his new agency. And when he had called unto him. From the circle of the bystanders. His twelve disciples. Who had already been chosen to be specially with him (cf. Matthew 9:35, note; and Matthew 5:1). Twelve. To be heads of the tribes of the new Israel (Revelation 21:14; cf. James 1:1; Matthew 19:28). Observe that the office of the tribes of the covenant nation corresponded to the symbolism of the number 12 (3, Deity, x 4, world = Church). He gave them power; authority (Revised Version); ἐξουσίαν: the greater including the less. So Mark, but Luke expands to δύναμιν καὶ ἐξουσίαν. Against; over (Revised Version); simple genitive (so Mark). Unclean spirits (Matthew 4:24. note). Unclean. As belonging to the unholy, non-theocratic kingdom, the realm of darkness. "Hence also unclean animals (Matthew 8:31, sqq.; Revelation 18:2) and places (Matthew 12:43, sqq.) have a kind of natural relationship with such spirits" (Kubel). To cast them out. Their authority was to ex-send to this (ὥστε ἐκβάλλειν αὐτά, cf. Mark 3:15). And to heal. Probably connected, not with ὥστε, but with ἐξουσίαν (cf. Luke). Observe that nothing is said of their receiving authority to convert. This God himself keeps. But they can remove all hindrances other than those purely subjective and spiritual, whether the objective hindrances be intruding evil spirits affecting body and mind or only bodily diseases. All manner, etc. (Matthew 9:35, note).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And when he had called to him his twelve disciples,.... These persons had been for some time called by the grace of God, and were already the disciples of Christ, and such as were more familiar and intimate with him, than others, that went by that name. They had sat down at his feet, and had received of his words; they had heard his doctrines, and had seen his miracles, and had been by him training up for public work; but as yet had not been called and sent forth to enter on such service: but now all things being ready, they being properly instructed, and the time for the conversion of a large number of souls being up, he called them together privately; and gave them a commission to preach the Gospel, ordained them ministers of the word, and installed them into the office of apostleship. The number "twelve", is either in allusion to the twelve spies that were sent by Moses into the land of Canaan, or to the twelve stones in Aaron's breast plate; or to the twelve fountains the Israelites found in the wilderness; or to the twelve oxen on which the molten sea stood in Solomon's temple; or to the twelve gates in Ezekiel's temple; or rather, to the twelve patriarchs, and the tribes which sprung from them; that as they were the fathers of the Jewish nation, which was typical of God's chosen people; so these were to be the instruments of spreading the Gospel, not only Judea, but in all the world, and of planting Christian churches there. And that they might appear to come forth with authority, and that their doctrine might be confirmed,
he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out; or "over all devils", as Luke 9:1. It was usual with the Jews to call a demon or devil , "an unclean spirit"; especially such as frequented burying places: so in one place (l), an unclean spirit is interpreted by the gloss, , "the spirit of the demons", or devils; and in another (m) place, , "the demon of the graves"; where necromancers sought to be, that these spirits might be their familiars, and assist them in their enchantments: accordingly the devils are here called, "unclean spirits"; being in themselves, in their own nature, unclean, and being the cause and means of defiling others, and delighting in impure persons, places, and things. There were many of these spirits, who, because of the great impiety of the Jews, the prevalence of magic arts among them, and by divine permission, had at this time taken possession of great numbers of persons; whereby Christ had an opportunity of giving proof of his deity, of his being the Messiah, the seed of the woman, that should bruise the serpent's head, by his ejecting them; and of confirming the mission of his disciples, and establishing the doctrine preached by them, by giving them power and authority over them, to cast them out also: and whereas various diseases frequently followed and attended such possessions; he likewise gave them power
to heal all manner of sicknesses, and all manner of diseases, as he himself had done. The expressions are very full and strong, and include all sorts of maladies incident to human bodies, either of men or women; all distempers natural or preternatural, curable or incurable, by human methods: so that at the same time they were sent to preach the Gospel, for the cure of the souls of men, they were empowered to heal the diseases of their bodies; and which, one should think, could not fail of recommending them to men, and of ingratiating them into their affections.
(l) T. Bab. Chagiga, fol. 3. 2. (m) T. Bab. Sanhedrim, fol. 65. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Mt 10:1-5. Mission of the Twelve Apostles. ( = Mr 6:7-13; Lu 9:1-6).
The last three verses of the ninth chapter form the proper introduction to the Mission of the Twelve, as is evident from the remarkable fact that the Mission of the Seventy was prefaced by the very same words. (See on Lu 10:2).
1. And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power—The word signifies both "power," and "authority" or "right." Even if it were not evident that here both ideas are included, we find both words expressly used in the parallel passage of Luke (Lu 9:1)—"He gave them power and authority"—in other words, He both qualified and authorized them.
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