Mat 10:5-6 Many Jews at the time Matthew was writing were rejecting the gospel because of the argument by its opponents that it was a Gentile belief, as was plain from the fact that so many Gentiles were gladly receiving it, and anything so welcome to the despised Gentiles couldn’t be for the Jews; how would Jesus’ words in Mat 10:5-6 have helped to counter this notion? Cf. Act 3:26, Rom 1:16, 2:9-10. Think: was it the case that the Jews had reason to reject the gospel because it had gone forth to the Gentiles, or that the gospel was going forth to the Gentiles because the Jews were rejecting it? Cf. Act 13:44-49, 18:5-6, 19:8-10, 28:23-28. Who always has first dibs on the gospel: Jew or Gentile? In God’s sovereign plan, what allowed the gospel to go forth to the Gentiles? See Rom 11:25,30. Is it possible that in God’s sovereign plan the trigger that will allow the gospel to return and be accepted by the Jews is the Gentiles’ rejection of Christ, perhaps at the time of His second coming? See Rom 11:15,32, 2Th 2:3,11-12. What is the significance that the word for “lost” in Mat 10:6 means literally perished or destroyed (as it is usually translated)? Why does this describe the state of a “lost” literal sheep, and how is it also descriptive of those who have strayed from the shepherd of their souls? By what means do we as sheep stay within spiritual earshot of the shepherd so as to not become “lost”? See Jos 1:8, 1Th 5:17, and think: what happens to a sheep if it stops listening or doesn’t hearken to the voice of the shepherd, and stops bleating so that the shepherd doesn’t hear it? What does this also teach us about the importance of godly fellowship and shepherds who keep the sheep from wondering away? Cf. Heb 10:25.
Mat 10:7-10: What was to be the central aspect of the apostles’ ministry for which Jesus sent them out? See Mat 10:7. Note that “preach” means literally to herald, announce, proclaim; what were they to herald on their ministry tour throughout Israel? Who else heralded this same message? See Mat 3:1-2. In this light, was the argument valid of those who opposed the gospel that the Jews should reject Jesus as their Messiah since His kingdom was mostly preached among the Gentiles? Again, why had Jesus’ gospel message of the kingdom come to be preached among the Gentiles: because His message was mostly for Gentiles and not for Jews, or because the Jews were rejecting “the kingdom of heaven” that had first been preached to them? Considering that the Jews’ rejection of Jesus as their Messiah was because He did not fulfill their expectations to establish an earthly kingdom, what insight do we glean about why Matthew mostly uses the term “kingdom of heaven” whereas the other gospel writers who were not writing to Jews referred to it as the “kingdom of God”? Think: what does “kingdom of God” connote to a Jew who is expecting an earthly kingdom, and in what way does “kingdom of heaven” better connote the kingdom Jesus did establish? Note: observe also that “heaven” is often used as a euphemism for “God” (i.e., consider the expressions “heaven forbid”, or “for heaven’s sake…”) so that they mean the same thing, but have slightly different connotations. What evidences were the apostles to present to validate their proclamation that the kingdom of heaven was at hand? See Mat 10:8. By what means were they able to do so? See Mat 10:1. What two examples are recorded in Scripture of an apostle raising the dead? See Act 9:36-37,40-41, 20:9-10. What did the disciples freely receive that they were to freely give? Did that mean that they would need to finance their own gospel endeavors, perhaps by first working to save up enough money and other supplies to provide for their sustenance while they traveled about? See Mat 10:9-10. For what reason did Jesus say that the disciples did not need to acquire money and extra supplies for their ministry? Cf. Luk 10:7. In this context, what is one quality of the sort of person Jesus has in mind in Mat 10:11 as being “worthy” that the apostles were to inquire about in the cities in which they ministered? Think: people who understand the importance of an excellent secular education for their temporal, worldly benefit are willing to take out loans and even impoverish themselves for a time in order to obtain that which they highly value, knowing that it will reward them in the future; for this reason the best schools cost the most and have high admission standards to ensure that only those who are “worthy” are admitted (cf. Act 5:11-13). In light of the eternal value of the gospel, how much ought a “worthy” person be willing to pay for it? See Mat 13:45-46. Are we “worthy” in this regard, or are we perhaps living on spiritual welfare and suppose that the nourishment for our souls is an “entitlement” that ought to be provided for free and shouldn’t cost us anything? What is the responsibility to God’s workers who teach and proclaim the gospel of God’s truth by those who are “worthy” and benefit from their labors? See 1Co 9:7-11,13-14, Gal 6:7-8 in the context of Gal 6:6, 1Ti 5:17-18. What is the responsibility of God’s workers in regard to the material “honor” they are worthy of, even when it isn’t forthcoming? See 1Co 9:12, Phil 4:10-14, 1Ti 6:8. How does Scripture describe those workers whose motivation is their remuneration? See Isa 56:10-11, Jer 6:13, 2Pe 2:1-3,15. How does it describe those who withhold wages from the worker? Lev 19:13, Jer 22:13, Mal 3:8-10, 2Co 11:7-9, Jam 5:4.
Mat 10:11-15: How did the means by which the apostles were to be supported on this missionary endeavor differ from the means by which missionaries are mostly supported today? What advantages for the spread of the gospel would there be to lodging with one worthy person in the community as opposed to moving from one house to another or asking for money to provide for one’s own food and lodging? What examples do we have of the apostles following this model even after the resurrection? See Act 9:43, 16:15, 17:5-7, 18:1-3, 21:4,7-8. Was this practice necessarily to be normative for all time and circumstances? See Luk 22:35-36, Act 28:30. How were the apostles to locate a “worthy” person with whom to stay? Note: “inquire” means to seek out, make careful search or examination. Besides providing for their material support, what does Mat 10:14 also indicate about those who were “worthy” with whom they were to stay? What benefit do those receive who contribute to the needs of the saints and in this way practice hospitality (Rom 12:13)? See Mat 10:13. What is the great value of the “peace” possessed by God’s workers? See Joh 14:27, Phil 4:7. What is the great danger of the peace which they offer not remaining with a house or city, but returning to them? See Mat 10:14-15. Many people, especially in today’s age of apostasy, either do not believe or give no thought to a final day of judgment; what does Mat 10:15 indicate about the reality of such a day? Cf. Mat 11:22-24, 12:36, Act 17:30-31, 2Pe 2:9, 3:7. How do we know that it must be different from any loss or destruction in this life? Think: Sodom and Gomorrah were already destroyed in this life, and yet clearly face something that will be more tolerable “in the day of judgment” than for those who reject the greater revelation of God through His Son, even though not sinning in the likeness of those cities.