1 Jesus then called His twelve apostles [see next verse] to Him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal all kinds of diseases and illnesses. 2 Now the names of the twelve apostles were: First, Simon, also called Peter, Andrew, his brother, James and John, sons of Zebedee, 3 Philip, Bartholomew [i.e., the same as Nathaniel. See John 1:45], Thomas [i.e., the same as Didymus. See John 11:16], Matthew, the tax collector [i.e., the same as Levi. See Mark 2:14], James, the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus [i.e., the same as Judas, son of James. See Luke 6:16], 4 Simon, the Cananean [i.e., the same as the Zealot. See Luke 6:15], and Judas Iscariot, who also [besides being an apostle] was His betrayer.
5 Jesus sent these twelve apostles out and ordered them saying, "Do not go on any road leading to Gentile territory or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 But [rather] go to the lost sheep of the people of Israel. 7 And preach as you go, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' 8 Heal sick people, raise people from the dead, restore health to those with infectious skin diseases, and drive out evil spirits. You have received [blessings] freely, [now] give them out freely. 9 Do not take [any] gold, silver or copper [coinage] in your money belts, 10 or a traveling bag [for personal belongings], or a change of jackets or shoes, or [even] a walking stick [Note: By comparing this and the restriction in Matt. 10:10 with the permission given in Mark 6:8, the harmony seems to be "if you do not already have a walking stick, do not get one"]. For the worker deserves having his food provided.
11 Then inquire around for a trustworthy family in every town or village you enter, and stay there [with them] until it is time to move on. 12 When you enter a [particular] house, greet the people warmly [Note: The usual Jewish greeting was to say "Peace to you," See Luke 10:4]. 13 And if the people seem trustworthy, express your wish for blessings to rest upon them. But if they prove to be untrustworthy, may those blessings remain on you [instead]. 14 And whoever does not welcome you or listen to what you have to say, shake the dust off of your shoes as you leave that house or town. [Note: This was a Jewish custom showing disdain and intended to suggest unworthiness] 15 It is true when I say to you, the districts around Sodom and Gomorrah [i.e., despite their gross sins] will be shown more leniency than that town on the day of judgment.
16 Here is how it will be: I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; therefore you should be as crafty [Note: The Greek word here is "sensible"] as snakes, yet as harmless [Note: The Greek word is "sincere"] as doves. 17 But, watch out for people, for they will turn you over to the [Jewish] councils [for judgment] and will have you flogged in their synagogues. 18 Yes, you will [even] be brought in front of governors and kings for being loyal to me. [This will give you an opportunity] for witnessing to them [as well] as to the [unconverted] Gentiles. 19 But when they turn you over [to them], do not worry about how to speak or what you should say. For you will be told [i.e., by God] what to say at the right time. 20 For it will not be you who speaks, but [rather] the Holy Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you.
21 [At that time] a person will turn his brother over to be killed, and the father [will do the same to] his child. And children will rebel against their parents and turn them over to be killed. 22 And you will be hated by everyone for being loyal to me. But the person who endures [this persecution by remaining faithful] to the end [of his life] is the one who will be saved [i.e., from spiritual and physical destruction]. 23 When they persecute you in one town, run to the next one, for it is true when I tell you, you will not have traveled through [all] the towns of the Israelites until the Son of man comes [i.e., in His kingdom]. 24 A disciple is not more important than his teacher, nor a slave more important than his master. 25 A disciple is doing well if he can be [as good] as his teacher, and the slave [as good] as his master. If they have called the master of the house [i.e., Jesus] Beelzebub [i.e., the chief of evil spirits. See Mark 3:22], how much more [likely] will they call members of his household [i.e., the disciples] the same thing!
26 Therefore, do not be afraid [of these persecutors], for there is nothing [they do that will remain] covered up; it will [all] be exposed. And there is nothing they will do secretly that will not be made known [openly]. 27 What I am telling you in the darkness [i.e., in obscurity], you tell it in the light [i.e., openly]. And what you hear [whispered] in your ear [you should] declare it from the housetops. 28 And do not be afraid of those who can kill your body but not your soul. Instead, fear Him [i.e., God] who is able to destroy both your soul and body in hell. [See note on 5:29]. 29 Are not two sparrows sold [in the market for food] for a small coin [Note: The coin mentioned here was worth about a half hour's worth of a farm laborer's pay, or about $3 in 1994]? And not a [single] one of them can fall to the ground without your Father [knowing about it]. 30 God even knows the number of hairs on your head [Note: The average full head of hair has approximately 25,000 hairs]. 31 So, do not be afraid, for you are [much] more valuable than many sparrows.
32 Therefore, every person who acknowledges me in front of people [i.e., to be their Lord and Christ], I will acknowledge him [i.e., to be my disciple] in front of my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me in front of people [i.e., denies that I am the Christ, or that he is a disciple. See John 18:15-17, 25-27], I will disown him in front of my Father in heaven. 34 Do not think that I came to bring [only] peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace [only] but [also] a sword [of division. See Luke 12:51]. 35 For I came to set a person at odds against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 [In fact] a person's enemies will be members of his own family [i.e., in some cases].
37 The person who loves his father and mother more than me does not deserve me [i.e., to be my disciple]. And the person who loves his son or daughter more than me does not deserve me [i.e., to be my disciple]. 38 And the person who does not accept his cross [i.e., his responsibilities with all their difficulties] and become my follower does not deserve me. 39 The person who finds [everything to satisfy him in] this life [here on earth] will lose [never ending life]. But the person who [is willing to] lose [the comforts and security of] this life [here on earth] for my sake [i.e., in loyal service to me] will find it [i.e., never ending life]. [See Mark 10:29-30]
40 The person who welcomes you [into his home] welcomes me. And the person who welcomes me [into his life] welcomes God, who sent me. 41 The person who welcomes a prophet because he is a prophet will receive the [same] reward the prophet gets. And the person who welcomes a good man because he is good will receive the [same] reward the good man gets. 42 Truly I tell you, whoever gives a mere drink of cold water to one of these least significant [disciples of mine] because he is a disciple, will certainly not lose his [temporal or eternal] reward."