|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:5-15 The Gentiles must not have the gospel brought them, till the Jews have refused it. This restraint on the apostles was only in their first mission. Wherever they went they must proclaim, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. They preached, to establish the faith; the kingdom, to animate the hope; of heaven, to inspire the love of heavenly things, and the contempt of earthly; which is at hand, that men may prepare for it without delay. Christ gave power to work miracles for the confirming of their doctrine. This is not necessary now that the kingdom of God is come. It showed that the intent of the doctrine they preached, was to heal sick souls, and to raise those that were dead in sin. In proclaiming the gospel of free grace for the healing and saving of men's souls, we must above all avoid the appearance of the spirit of an hireling. They are directed what to do in strange towns and cities. The servant of Christ is the ambassador of peace to whatever place he is sent. His message is even to the vilest sinners, yet it behoves him to find out the best persons in every place. It becomes us to pray heartily for all, and to conduct ourselves courteously to all. They are directed how to act as to those that refused them. The whole counsel of God must be declared, and those who will not attend to the gracious message, must be shown that their state is dangerous. This should be seriously laid to heart by all that hear the gospel, lest their privileges only serve to increase their condemnation.
Verse 15. - Parallel passage: Luke 10:12 (the seventy). Similar words are used by our Lord in his apostrophe of Capernaum (Matthew 11:24, where see note). The combination in Luke 10:11 and 12-15 of both the contexts is an instructive warning against accepting the present position of our Lord's sayings as the final indication of the occasion upon which they were delivered. Verily. (For the idea of acquiescence that always underlies this word - even in the case of so solemn a matter as the present - comp. Matthew 5:18, note.) I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha. Whose inhabitants were the typical example of the worst of sinners (Deuteronomy 32:32; Isaiah 1:10; Ezekiel 16:46; Revelation 11:8). "The men of Sodom have no part in the world to come" (Mishna, 'Sanh.,' 10:3). In the day of judgment. Luke has "in that day;" cf, Matthew 7:22. In the only two passages in the LXX. (Proverbs 6:34; Isaiah 34:8) where, as it seems, our phrase occurs, it refers, not to the judgment of all, good and bad alike, but to that of the wicked alone. So also in 2 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 3:7; and possibly also in Matthew 12:36, but not in 1 John 4:17 (the only passage where it is not anarthrous). Than for that city. Observe that this verse implies that the wicked dead are still in existence, and are waiting for their final judgment; also that in the judgment of the wicked there will be degrees of punishment.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Verily, I say unto you,.... This was not all the punishment that should be inflicted on such despisers of the Gospel of Christ, and the ministers of it; as not to enjoy that peace and prosperity wished for by the apostles, and to be declared to be on an equal foot with Heathen cities and countries: but they were to suffer everlasting punishment in the world to come; which is here asserted by Christ in the strongest manner, saying:
it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha, in the day of judgment, than for that city. The inhabitants of the land of Sodom and Gomorrha are the rather mentioned, because, as they were very notorious and abominable sinners, so their temporal punishment was well known, exemplary and awful, though not that, but their future damnation is here regarded, of which the Jews made no doubt; for they say (y),
"the men of Sodom have no part in the world to come; as it is said, Genesis 13:13 "the men of Sodom were wicked, and sinners, before the Lord exceedingly": they were "wicked" in this world, and "sinners" in the world to come;''
meaning, that by this passage is designed their double punishment in this, and the other world. But though their punishment was very tremendous, and they will suffer also "the vengeance of eternal fire", as Jude says; yet, their punishment will be milder, and more tolerable, than that of the inhabitants of such a city, that rejects the Gospel of the grace of God: as there are degrees in sinning, for all sins are not alike, as the Stoics say; so there will be degrees in suffering; the sins of those that are favoured with the Gospel, are greater than those who only have had the light of nature, and so their torments will be greater. The inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrha, though they sinned against the light of nature, despised the advice and admonitions of Lot, and ill treated the angels, yet will be more mildly punished than the wicked Jews, who rejected Christ, and his Gospel, and despised his apostles, and ministers; because they sinned not against so much light, and such means of grace, and knowledge, as these did; see Lamentations 4:6 which is thus paraphrased by the Targumist, and may be aptly applied to the Jews in Christ's time:
"the sin of the congregation of my people is greater than the sin of Sodom, which was overturned in a moment; and there dwelt no prophets in it to prophesy, and turn it to repentance.''
The time referred to, signified by "the day of judgment", respects not the destruction of Jerusalem, which was a very severe judgment on that people, but the general judgment, at the end of the world, which is appointed and fixed by God, though unknown to angels and men. The phrase is Jewish, and often to be met with in their writings, who use it in the same sense; particularly in the book of Zohar (z), mention is made of , "the day of judgment", when there will be no pollution in the sanctuary.
(y) Misn. Sanhedrim, c. 11. sect. 3. Hieros. Sanhedrim, fol. 29. 3.((z) In Gen. fol 13. 3. & 16. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable—more bearable.
for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city—Those Cities of the Plain, which were given to the flames for their loathsome impurities, shall be treated as less criminal, we are here taught, than those places which, though morally respectable, reject the Gospel message and affront those that bear it.
Directions for the Future and Permanent Exercise of the Christian Ministry (Mt 10:16-23).
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