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Matthew 10:11-15 Meaning

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“Whenever you enter a city or village, search for a worthy person and stay in his home until you leave town. When you enter the home, give it your blessing. If it turns out to be a worthy home, let your blessing stand; if it is not, take back the blessing. If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave. I tell you the truth, the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah will be better off than such a town on the judgment day. - Matthew 10:11-15 (NLT)

And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. - Matthew 10:11-15 (KJV)

Matthew Henry's 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.

Ellicott's Commentary


(11) Enquire who in it is worthy.—The command was a plain practical rule. The habits of Eastern hospitality would throw many houses open to the preachers which would give no openings for their work, or even bring on them an evil report. From these they were to turn away and to seek out some one who, though poor, was yet of good repute, and willing to receive them as messengers of glad tidings.
There abide.—The purpose of the rule was (1) to guard against fickleness, as in itself an evil; and (2) against the tendency to go from one house to another according to the advantages which were offered to the guest.

(12) When ye come into an house.—The English indefinite article is misleading. We must read “into the house,” i.e., the dwelling of the man who had been reported as worthy. The salutation, as the words that follow imply, was the familiar, “Peace be with thee—Peace be to this house” (Luke 10:5).

(13) If the house be worthy.—The doubt implied in the “if” seems at first somewhat inconsistent with the supposition that they only went into the house after having ascertained the worthiness of the occupant. It must be remembered, however, that the missionaries entered each city or village as strangers, and that in such a case even the most careful inquiry might not always be successful.

Let your peace come upon it—i.e., the peace implied in the formula of salutation. The imperative is not so much a command addressed to them as the proclamation of an edict from the King in whose name they went. Their greeting was not to be a mere ceremonious form. It would be as a real prayer wherever the conditions of peace were fulfilled on the other side. At the worst, the prayer for peace would bring a blessing on him who prayed.

(14) Shake off the dust of your feet.—The act was a familiar symbol of the sense of indignation, as in the case of St. Paul (Acts 13:51) at Antioch in Pisidia. The Jewish maxim, that even the very dust of a heathen land brought defilement with it, added to its significance. It was a protest in act, declaring (as our Lord declares in words) that the city or house which did not receive the messengers of the Christ was below the level even of the Gentiles.

(15) For the land of Sodom and Gomorrha.—The thought implied in the previous verse is now expressly asserted. The cities that stood out, in the history of the world, as most conspicuous for their infamy, were yet less guilty (as sinning less against light and knowledge) than those who rejected the messengers of the King. The same comparison reappears with the addition of Tyre and Sidon in Matthew 11:21.

In the day of judgment.—The phrase, like the Old Testament “day of the Lord,” is wider in its range than the thoughts we commonly connect with it, and includes the earlier and more earthly judgments, as well as that which is the great consummation of them all.
 
Unworthy Servant
Staff Member
Thank you Chad,

a few things to consider in that passage. It deserves a bit more thought than most have in the past given it. I have read through a good many commentaries and sermon notes from the last few hundred years and while most agree on what you have presented here, there doesn't appear to be anything really opening this passage up a bit more to explore some gems in it.

For example, if we were to say angels (messengers of God) have been sent out to declare the righteousness of god in Christ Jesus the Lord, and we, the people of the towns or cities, how would we honestly place ourselves regarding receiving the salutation of His Peace, given that Jesus is the Prince of Peace and for how long would we welcome that message into our homes?
What also would be the judgement fore those who reject the salutation and with it the life giving message of repentance and the Kingdom of Heaven or as Luke rendered it, the Kingdom of God?

Do we think it is impossible that the dust.... even us, ourselves, being formed from dust, will not be or can not be shaken off, if we neglect so great a Salvation?

1Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 2For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 3How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will?
Hebrews 2:1-4


Bless you ....><>
 

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