|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 6. - But go. On your daily journeying (πορέεσθε, present). Rather. With conscious preference. To the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Thus also he describes his own mission (Matthew 15:24). The words recall Jeremiah 50:6 (27:6, LXX.), "My people hath been lost sheep." Observe that our Lord implies a special relation of Israel to God (for the house has its owner) which was lacking in the case of all other nations. Yet, their proper teachers having proved faithless, they were now as shepherdless as these (Matthew 9:36). Lost. Notice here the basis of the parable related in Luke 15:4-7; cf. Matthew 18:12, 13 (ver. 11 of the Received Text is a gloss), where the term "wandering" is not so strong (Bengel).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. To whom he himself was sent, Matthew 15:24. By "the house of Israel" is meant the whole Jewish nation; for though this phrase, when distinguished from the house of Judah, designs only the ten tribes; yet here it intends all the Jews, then living in the land of Judea, among whom there were some of all the tribes: and by "the lost sheep" of this house, are meant either all the people of the Jews in general, who were wandering, and were lost in error and sin, and to whom the external ministry of the Gospel came; or rather the elect of God among them, for whose sake particularly the apostles were sent unto them. These are called "sheep", because they were chosen of God, and given to Christ to be redeemed, looked up, sought out, and saved by him; and "lost" ones, not only because lost in Adam, and by their own transgressions, so that neither they themselves, nor any mere creature, could save them from eternal ruin and destruction; but also, because they were made to go astray, and were lost through the negligence and errors of their pastors, the Scribes and Pharisees: and this character is the rather given of them, partly to reflect upon the characters of the shepherds of Israel: and partly to magnify the grace of God, in having regard to such ruined and miserable creatures; and also to excite the compassion and diligence of the apostles, to preach the Gospel to them: respect seems to be had to Jeremiah 1:16.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel—Until Christ's death, which broke down the middle wall of partition (Eph 2:14), the Gospel commission was to the Jews only, who, though the visible people of God, were "lost sheep," not merely in the sense which all sinners are (Isa 53:6; 1Pe 2:25; compare with Lu 19:10), but as abandoned and left to wander from the right way by faithless shepherds (Jer 50:6, 17; Eze 34:2-6, &c.).
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