Matthew 10:20
For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
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(20) It is not ye that speak.—The words are strong. Human thoughts and purposes seem as if utterly suppressed, and the inspiring agency alone is recognised. It would be obviously beside the drift of our Lord’s discourse to make this promise of special aid in moments of special danger the groundwork of a theory of inspiration as affecting the written records of the work of the disciples.

10:16-42 Our Lord warned his disciples to prepare for persecution. They were to avoid all things which gave advantage to their enemies, all meddling with worldly or political concerns, all appearance of evil or selfishness, and all underhand measures. Christ foretold troubles, not only that the troubles might not be a surprise, but that they might confirm their faith. He tells them what they should suffer, and from whom. Thus Christ has dealt fairly and faithfully with us, in telling us the worst we can meet with in his service; and he would have us deal so with ourselves, in sitting down and counting the cost. Persecutors are worse than beasts, in that they prey upon those of their own kind. The strongest bonds of love and duty, have often been broken through from enmity against Christ. Sufferings from friends and relations are very grievous; nothing cuts more. It appears plainly, that all who will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution; and we must expect to enter into the kingdom of God through many tribulations. With these predictions of trouble, are counsels and comforts for a time of trial. The disciples of Christ are hated and persecuted as serpents, and their ruin is sought, and they need the serpent's wisdom. Be ye harmless as doves. Not only, do nobody any hurt, but bear nobody any ill-will. Prudent care there must be, but not an anxious, perplexing thought; let this care be cast upon God. The disciples of Christ must think more how to do well, than how to speak well. In case of great peril, the disciples of Christ may go out of the way of danger, though they must not go out of the way of duty. No sinful, unlawful means may be used to escape; for then it is not a door of God's opening. The fear of man brings a snare, a perplexing snare, that disturbs our peace; an entangling snare, by which we are drawn into sin; and, therefore, it must be striven and prayed against. Tribulation, distress, and persecution cannot take away God's love to them, or theirs to him. Fear Him, who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. They must deliver their message publicly, for all are deeply concerned in the doctrine of the gospel. The whole counsel of God must be made known, Ac 20:27. Christ shows them why they should be of good cheer. Their sufferings witnessed against those who oppose his gospel. When God calls us to speak for him, we may depend on him to teach us what to say. A believing prospect of the end of our troubles, will be of great use to support us under them. They may be borne to the end, because the sufferers shall be borne up under them. The strength shall be according to the day. And it is great encouragement to those who are doing Christ's work, that it is a work which shall certainly be done. See how the care of Providence extends to all creatures, even to the sparrows. This should silence all the fears of God's people; Ye are of more value than many sparrows. And the very hairs of your head are all numbered. This denotes the account God takes and keeps of his people. It is our duty, not only to believe in Christ, but to profess that faith, in suffering for him, when we are called to it, as well as in serving him. That denial of Christ only is here meant which is persisted in, and that confession only can have the blessed recompence here promised, which is the real and constant language of faith and love. Religion is worth every thing; all who believe the truth of it, will come up to the price, and make every thing else yield to it. Christ will lead us through sufferings, to glory with him. Those are best prepared for the life to come, that sit most loose to this present life. Though the kindness done to Christ's disciples be ever so small, yet if there be occasion for it, and ability to do no more, it shall be accepted. Christ does not say that they deserve a reward; for we cannot merit any thing from the hand of God; but they shall receive a reward from the free gift of God. Let us boldly confess Christ, and show love to him in all things.Take no thought - That is, be not anxious or unduly solicitous. See the notes at Matthew 6:25. This was a full promise that they should be inspired, and was a most seasonable consolation. Poor, and ignorant, and obscure fishermen would naturally be solicitous what they should say before the great men of the earth. Eastern people regarded kings as raised far above common mortals - as approaching to divinity. How consoling, then, the assurance that God would aid them and speak within them! 20. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you—How remarkably this has been verified, the whole history of persecution thrillingly proclaims—from the Acts of the Apostles to the latest martyrology.Ver. 19,20. Mark hath much the same, Mark 13:11; so hath Luke, Luke 11:11,12. The apostles being men but of an ordinary education before Christ called them, he might reasonably suppose that they would not appear before councils, and kings, and governors without some abashment, having not been accustomed to such presences; he therefore arms them in these words, wherein he doth not prohibit ordinary thoughts, which every man hath before he speaketh, but anxious thoughts beforehand, for, ( saith he),

it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. The Lord seemeth to speak here as he did to Moses, Exodus 4:12, complaining he was slow of speech, and of a slow tongue: Exodus 4:11, Who hath made man’s mouth? It shall, ( saith Christ), be given you from God.

For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you; that is, not you from yourselves only: the Holy Spirit shall influence your thoughts as to the matter, and suggest that to you, and it shall influence your tongues, giving you a freedom of speech. This was verified in Stephen, Acts 6:10, and hath been eminently verified in a multitude of martyrs. We may observe from hence, that the influence of the Spirit is not to be confined to the will and afflictions. It hath also an influence upon our words in the service of God: not that we can conclude, that whatsoever Christians so speak, either in their confessions or other duties, is from such immediate assistance; but there is such an influence, though the Spirit in this, as in other operations, like the wind, bloweth where and when it listeth.

For it is not ye that speak,.... Not but that they were to speak the words, and did; but then both the things they spoke, and the very words in which they spoke them, were not of themselves, but were suggested and dictated by the Spirit of God; for as "the preparation of the heart" in them, so "the answer of the tongue" by them, were both "from the Lord": the Spirit, he was the efficient cause, they were only instruments; for not they of themselves spoke; or not so much they,

but the Spirit of your father, which speaketh in you, or "by you": what they should say was not to be dictated by their own spirit or natural understanding, nor by an angel, but by the Spirit of God; called the "Spirit of" their "father", because he proceeds from him, is of the same nature with him, and is the reason of his being given to them: and this character of him might serve to strengthen their faith in the expectation of him, and in the assistance promised, and to be had by him; since he was the spirit of him, who stood in the relation of a father to them, and bore a paternal affection for them.

For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
20. the Spirit of your Father] The Christian “apologist” shall not stand alone. The same Spirit instructs him which inspires the universal Church. St Paul experienced this consolation: “At my first answer no man stood with me.… notwithstanding the Lord stood with me and strengthened me.” 2 Timothy 4:16-17.

Matthew 10:20. οἱ λαλοῦντες, that speak) A similar use of the article occurs in John 6:63.—ἐν ὑμῖν, in you) As instruments.

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