Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part XIV: Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Authority, Matthew 8:1-11:1
L. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Ministry Unto God's Afflicted Flock, Matthew 10:1-11:1
1. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Presentation Of Laborers For God's Afflicted Flock
(Matthew 10:1-5a)
  1. Introduction
    1. After Jesus spoke of the need for God to send forth laborers into His harvest field of souls, He sent out the twelve apostles as an extension of His own ministry to needy Israel, Matthew 9:36-10:1.
    2. How He prepared and sent them offers instruction for us in serving God in His harvest field today:
  2. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Presentation Of Laborers For God's Afflicted Flock.
    1. Jesus sovereignly selected those who would be His laborers, Matthew 10:1a et al.:
      1. The men Jesus sent out to minister in His behalf were those who were already His disciples, Matt. 10:1.
      2. These disciples had been sovereignly chosen by Jesus to follow Him: for example, in Matthew 4:18-20, Jesus had called Peter and Andrew, in Matthew 4:21-22 He had called James and John, the sons of Zebedee, to follow Him in leaving their respective fishing businesses, and in Matthew 9:9, Jesus had called Matthew to leave his tax collector work to follow Him.
    2. Jesus trained those who would be His laborers, Matthew 10:1a:
      1. The word rendered "disciples" in Matthew 10:1, mathetes, means "learner, pupil, apprentice," U. B. S. Greek N. T., 1966, p. 33; Arndt & Gingrich, A Greek-Eng. Lex. of the N. T., 1967, p. 486-487.
      2. As these men had been Jesus pupils and apprentices for some time, He had trained them for ministry.
    3. Jesus spiritually gifted His laborers for the work, Matthew 10:1b: each of these disciples were spiritually gifted by the Lord to cast out evil spirits and to heal all manner of "illness" (nosos , Ibid., p. 545) and "weakness, ailment" (malakia, Ibid., p. 489), Matthew 10:1b, the same words used of Jesus' ministry to heal all manner of "illness" ( nosos) and "weakness, ailment" (malakia) back in Matthew 9:35; Ibid., U. B. S. Greek N. T. Thus, they were equipped with the powers Jesus had for His healing ministry as Messiah!
    4. Jesus assigned His laborers their coworkers in their work for Him, Matthew 10:2-4:
      1. The disciples are named in pairs of two each, cf. Matthew 10:2-4, because Jesus sent them out in pairs of two men each, cf. Mark 6:7; Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, p. 41.
      2. It is noteworthy that the pairing was done into groups that provide for compatibility and balance:
        1. Simon Peter was paired with his earthly brother Andrew, and James with his brother John for the sake of compatibility based on their same business backgrounds, Matthew 10:2 with 4:18-20, 21-22.
        2. Philip was paired with Bartholomew and Thomas with Matthew the tax collector possibly as these men were not only compatible, but not overshadowed by other dominant personalities, Matt. 10:3a.
        3. James the son of Alphaeus is mentioned only in the lists of apostles, and his partner, Thaddaeus may have been Judas the son of James (Matthew 10:3b; Ibid.), men paired with one another likely since they were less dominant and would not overshadow so as to inhibit one another, Matthew 10:3a.
        4. Simon the "Canaanite" (KJV) is called the Zealot in Luke 6:15, and "Canaanite" is probably more accurately "Cananaean, a resident of Cana" of Galilee, Matthew 10:4a; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Matthew 10:4. As a man who was saved out of the political party, the Zealots, that advocated the unbiblical, forced overthrow of Rome (Ibid.), he would counterbalance the unsaved Judas Iscariot who was preoccupied with externalism in this life, Matthew 10:4 with John 12:4-6.
    5. Jesus' ministry assignment for His laborers was based on grace, not on human merit: Judas later betrayed Jesus and Matthew was a former despised tax collector (Matthew 4:4b; 9:9), and Peter was originally called Simon, but Jesus changed his name to Peter, meaning "rock," likely to show what Jesus intended to do through him in His grace, Matthew 16:18; Ibid., Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 276.
Lesson: Jesus sent laborers into God's harvest field whom He sovereignly chose as apprentices, whom He trained, whom He gifted and whom He assigned them their co-laborers, all based on His grace.

Application: For blessing in service, may we heed GOD'S oversight to serve Him in yielding to HIS apprenticeship, HIS training, HIS spiritual gifting, HIS co-laborer assignments, all in HIS grace.