Matthew 10

Jesus chooses 12 men to be his apostles

1 One day, Jesus asked his 12 disciples to come to him. He gave them authority over bad spirits so that they could send the spirits out of people. They could also make sick people well again from every kind of illness.

2 These are the names of the 12 apostles:

The first apostle is Simon, who was also called Peter.

Then Simon's brother, who was called Andrew.

Also James and his brother John, who were Zebedee's sons.

3 There were Philip and Bartholomew.

There were Thomas and Matthew. (Matthew took taxes on behalf of the government.)

And James who was the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus.

4 There was also Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who later gave Jesus to those people who were against him.

10:4Jesus had many disciples. He chose 12 of them to be with him so that he could teach them. He also called these 12 men apostles. The word apostle means ‘someone whom his master sends out to do a job’. Their job was to tell other people about Jesus. In his book, John calls Bartholomew, Nathanael (John 1:45). Matthew is another name for Levi. In Matthew 10:3 and Mark 3:18, Judas, son of James is called Thaddaeus.
10:4A Zealot was a man who wanted to fight against the Roman ruler. The Zealots wanted the Jews to rule Israel again.

Jesus sends out his 12 apostles

5 Jesus sent out these 12 disciples. Before they left, he said to them, ‘Do not go to any place where the people are not Jews. And you must not go to towns where only Samaritans live. 6 Instead, you must go to the people of Israel. They are like lost sheep with nobody to take care of them. 7 While you travel, you must tell people about the kingdom of heaven. You must tell them that it has now become near. 8 Make sick people well again. Cause dead people to become alive again. If people have a bad illness of the skin, make them well again. Send bad spirits out of people to leave them. God has been very kind to you, so you should be kind to other people. When you help people, do not ask them for money. 9 Do not take any money of any kind in your purse. 10 Do not take a bag with you, or extra clothes. Do not take extra shoes or a stick. You are working to help people. So, people should give you what you need to live.

10:5The Samaritan people and the Jews did not like each other. Some of the Samaritans' ancestors were Jewish and some of them were not.
10:10Jesus would give his apostles what they needed. He wanted them to believe that.

11 When you arrive in a town or a village, look for a good person there. Continue to stay in that person's house until you leave that town. 12 When you go into that house, say to the people there, “We pray that you will be well.” 13 If the people of that house accept you, then everyone in the house will be well. But if they do not accept you, then take back your kind words. 14 Sometimes you will go to some house or town and the people will not accept you there. They will not listen to your message. Then you should leave. Clean the dirt of that place off your feet. 15 I tell you this. One day God will punish people like that. God will punish them even more than the people who lived in Sodom and Gomorrah long ago.’

10:15We can read about the cities called Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis, chapters 18 and 19. The people who lived in those towns were very bad. And they did not obey God.

16 Jesus went on to say to his disciples, ‘Listen well. I am sending you to people who will want to kill you. You will be like sheep among wild animals. You must watch carefully, like snakes do. But you must also be good and kind like doves.

17 Be careful! People will be against you. They will take you to stand in front of their leaders. They will punish you with whips in their meeting places. 18 They will take you to stand in front of kings and rulers. All this will happen because you are my disciples. You will tell all these people and those who are not Jews the good news about me. 19 When they take you to stand in front of their leaders, do not be afraid. Do not be troubled about what you should say or how you should say it. At that time, God will give you the right words to speak. 20 You will not be speaking your own words. The Holy Spirit of your Father God will give you his own words to speak.

21 At that time, a man will let people kill his own brother. A father will let people kill his own child. Children will be against their parents. They will even ask people to kill their parents. 22 All people will hate you because you are my disciples. But God will save the person who remains strong until the end. 23 If people in any town hurt you because of me, you should leave that town immediately. Go to another town. I tell you this. You will not have enough time to speak your message in all the towns of Israel. I, the Son of Man, will return before that can happen.

24 A student is not more important than his teacher is. A servant is not more important than his master is. 25 A student should be happy if he becomes like his teacher. A servant should be happy if he becomes like his master. People have called me Beelzebul. I am like the master of the house. You are like those that live in my house. Do not be surprised when people call you even worse names than they call me.

26 So, do not be afraid of these people. They hide the things that they do. But there will be a time when other people will see those things. Everyone will know all their secrets. 27 I tell you things secretly, like people do in the dark. But you must tell people these things clearly in the light of day. I have said things to you that other people did not hear. But now you must shout all these things loudly from the tops of the houses.

10:27At that time, the top of a house was flat. Sometimes people wanted everyone to hear what they said. So they shouted from the top of their house.

28 Do not be afraid of those people who can only kill your body. These people cannot kill your soul. No, it is God that you should be afraid of. He can kill your body, and then he can also destroy your soul in hell. 29 Think about this. People sell two birds for just one small coin. But God takes care of these little birds. Not one of them can fall to the ground unless God lets it happen. 30 God even knows how many hairs there are on your head. 31 So do not be afraid of those people who are against you. You are more valuable to God than many little birds.

32 You should say clearly to other people, “I believe in Jesus.” If you do that, I will say to my Father in heaven, “This is someone who is my disciple.” 33 But if you say to other people, “I do not believe in Jesus,” I will then say to my Father in heaven, “I do not know that person. He is not one of my disciples.”

34 I will tell you why I have come into the world. I did not come so that everyone would agree with each other. No, I came to put people against one another, to fight against each other.

35 A man will fight against his father.

A daughter will fight against her mother.

A woman will fight against her husband's mother.

36 A man's own family will fight against him.

10:36Jesus came to the world to bring men and God close together. He wanted people to believe in God and to obey him. But to do this he had to fight against bad things and against Satan. People who obey Satan will fight people who obey God.

37 Nobody should love his own father and mother more than he loves me. If he does, he cannot be my disciple. Nobody should love his own son or daughter more than he loves me. If he does, then he cannot be my disciple. 38 If you really want to be one of my disciples, you must be ready to die for me. Live like a person who carries his own cross to go and die. 39 Whoever wants to keep his life safe will lose it. But whoever gives his life to serve me will have true life.’

Jesus teaches about God's gifts

40 Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone accepts you in his home, then he is also accepting me. And anyone who accepts me, also accepts my Father God, who sent me. 41 Somebody may accept a prophet into his home because the visitor is a prophet of God. God will bless that person like he blesses a prophet. Or he may accept a good man who obeys God, because the man is good. God will bless that person like he blesses the good man. 42 People may think that my disciples are unimportant. But God will bless anyone who gives even a drink of cold water to one of them. I tell you, that person will never lose God's help.’