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. But [rather] go to the lost sheep of the people of Israel. And preach as you go, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' read more.
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. Do not take [any] gold, silver or copper [coinage] in your money belts, 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. 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. 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]. 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]. 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] 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. For it will not be you who speaks, but [rather] the Holy Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you. [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. 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]. 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]. A disciple is not more important than his teacher, nor a slave more important than his master. 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! 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]. 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. 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]. 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]. God even knows the number of hairs on your head [Note: The average full head of hair has approximately 25,000 hairs]. So, do not be afraid, for you are [much] more valuable than many sparrows. 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. 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. 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]. 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. [In fact] a person's enemies will be members of his own family [i.e., in some cases]. 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]. 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. 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] The person who welcomes you [into his home] welcomes me. And the person who welcomes me [into his life] welcomes God, who sent me. 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. 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."
And the people from whatever place that does not welcome you or listen to you, when you leave there, shake the dust off from under your shoes as evidence against them." [Note: This was a Jewish custom showing disdain and intended to suggest their unworthiness].
Now after these things [happened] the Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples [Note: Some ancient manuscripts say "seventy." This group would have been in addition to the twelve. See Luke 9:1], and sent them two by two on ahead of Him into every town and locality that He planned to visit. And He said to them, "There is certainly plenty to harvest, but there are [too] few people to do the work. You should pray to the Lord of the harvest to send [more] workers out into the field to gather His crop. [So], go on; See, I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. read more.
Do not carry a money belt, or a traveling bag [for personal belongings] or shoes; and do not extend [elaborate] greetings to anyone along the way. And whatever house you enter, first say, 'Let peace be upon this household.' And if a son of peace is there [i.e., a peace-loving person], your [request for] peace will rest upon him. But if he is not [a peace-loving person], your [blessing of] peace will return to [rest on] you. And you should remain in that same house [i.e., the peace-loving one], eating and drinking whatever they serve you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move from house to house [i.e., wasting time]. And into whatever town you enter and are welcomed, eat whatever is placed in front of you, and heal the sick people who live there. Say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.' But whatever town you enter that does not welcome you, go out into its streets and say [to them], We are wiping off even the dust of your city that has stuck to our feet [in protest] against you. Yet you should know this, that the kingdom of God has come near [to you].' I tell you, the people of Sodom will be shown more leniency on that day [i.e., the day of judgment] than that town will receive. "It is too bad for you, Chorazin! It is too bad for you, Bethsaida! For if the powerful miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which were performed in your presence, they would have repented long ago by sitting in ashes and wearing sackcloth. [Note: This sackcloth was a coarse cloth made of goat hair and indicated deep remorse or mourning]. But Tyre and Sidon will be shown more leniency in the judgment [day] than you will. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up [as high] as heaven? [Certainly not], you will be brought down to the unseen place of departed spirits [i.e., you will become obscure or obliterated as a city]. The person who listens to you, [actually] listens to me. And the person who rejects you, [actually] rejects me. And the person who rejects me, [actually] rejects Him who sent me [i.e., God]."
I give you this instruction, my son Timothy, in keeping with the previously spoken prophecies [i.e., predictions] about you, so that by [following] them you will fight the good battle, holding on to [your] faith and a good conscience. Some people have rejected these things, resulting in the "shipwreck" of their faith [i.e., their spiritual life was ruined]. Among these people are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered over to Satan [Note: This probably refers to withdrawing fellowship from them. See I Cor. 5:1-5], so that they would learn not to speak against God [anymore].
Do not rebuke an older man, but appeal to him as [you would to] your father. [Appeal to] the younger men as [you would to] your brothers; [to] older women as [you would to] mothers; [to] the younger women as [you would to] your sisters, in a [morally] pure way. Show consideration for true widows [i.e., those destitute of family members to care for them]. read more.
But if any widow has children or grandchildren, these should first learn [how] to show respectful consideration for their own family members, and [thus] to repay their parents [i.e., for bringing them up and caring for their material needs], for this is pleasing in the sight of God. Now the woman who is a true widow, and living all alone, has placed her hope in God and continues [to offer] special requests and prayers [for help ?] night and day. But the widow who devotes herself to unrestrained pleasure is [spiritually] dead, even while still living. Command these things also, so that they [i.e., the widows and their families] can live above reproach. But if anyone does not provide for [the needs of] his own [relatives], and especially for his own [immediate] family, he has denied the faith [i.e., the fundamental beliefs of Christianity], and is worse than an unbeliever. [But] do not put a widow on the list [i.e., of people being helped by the church. See Acts 6:1] who is under sixty years old. [And she must] have been the wife of one man, having a reputation for doing good deeds, [such as] bringing up children, showing hospitality to strangers, washing the feet of the saints [i.e., God's holy people], assisting people in trouble and devoting herself to doing all [other] kinds of good deeds. But refuse [to put] younger widows [on the list. See verse 9], because when they become restless for sensual pleasure, contrary to [their commitment to] Christ, they want to get married [again]. Thus, they bring the judgment [for being untrustworthy] on themselves because they have broken their previous pledge. [Note: This probably refers to younger widows who pledged themselves to fulfill some important church activity and then quit suddenly to get married. But some suggest it refers to them leaving the faith and marrying a non-Christian]. And on top of that, they learn to be idle, going around from house to house; and not only idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things they should not be. Therefore, I want the younger widows to get married, have children and manage their homes, so that they do not give the enemy [i.e., non-Christians] an opportunity for speaking against [the church]. For some [young widows] have already turned away [from their commitment to God] to serve Satan. [So], if any woman believer has widows [in her family], she should take care of them and not require the church to be burdened, so that it can take care of the true widows [i.e., destitute ones]. The elders who lead [the church] well should be considered deserving of double honor [Note: This probably refers to financial support in addition to the honor of the office], especially those who work hard at [preaching] the word and at teaching it. For the Scripture says [Deut. 25:4], "You should not put a muzzle on the ox while it tramples over the grain." And [Luke 10:7], "The worker deserves his wages." Do not listen to an accusation against an elder unless it comes from two or three witnesses. You should rebuke in front of everyone [in the church] those elders who continue to sin, so that the rest [of the congregation] will be afraid [of sinning]. I solemnly urge you, in the presence of God, and Christ Jesus and the elect [i.e, chosen] angels, that you obey these instructions without showing prejudice [toward anyone], or doing anything out of partiality. Do not be in a hurry to lay hands on anyone [i.e., to appoint them to office. See 4:14], and do not participate in the sins of other people. [Note: If Timothy failed to carefully determine the qualifications of a prospective elder before appointing him, it would make him partially responsible for any wrongdoing by that elder]. Keep yourself pure [i.e., of involvement in anyone's sins].
The reason I am reminding you [of these things] is so that you will rekindle the gift from God, which is in your life through the laying on my hands. [Note: This "gift" was probably his ordination to serve as an evangelist (See 4:1-5), and in addition, may have included a supernatural "spiritual gift" bestowed by the apostle Paul]. For God did not give us a spirit [i.e., a disposition] that makes us cowards but one that gives us power and love and self-control. So, do not be ashamed to testify for our Lord, or ashamed of [being associated with] me, His prisoner, but [be willing to] suffer hardship with me for the sake of the Gospel, relying on God's power [to sustain you]. read more.
[It is] God who saved us and called us to live holy lives [or, "to be dedicated people"], not as a result of our [good] deeds, but in harmony with His own purpose and unearned favor. [This was] given to us through [the atoning work of] Christ Jesus, before the beginning of time. [Note: Salvation through Christ was planned before time began. See Titus 1:2; Rom. 16:25; Eph. 1:4]. But, it has [only] now been made known to us by the appearance of our Savior Christ Jesus, who has put an end to death and brought [never ending] life and incorruption [i.e., immortality] to light through the Gospel [message], of which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. For I am suffering these things [See verse 8] for this reason [i.e., because of being a Gospel preacher]. Yet I am not ashamed because I know whom I have believed in [i.e., Jesus], and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him [i.e., Paul's spiritual well-being] until that day [i.e., the day of judgment]. You should hold on firmly to the pattern of sound teaching that you have heard from me, while [maintaining your] faith and love in [harmony with] Christ Jesus.
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge [both] those still alive and those who have already died, and in view of His appearing [i.e., at His second coming] and His kingdom [i.e., when it is revealed in its eternal splendor], I solemnly urge you: Preach the [Gospel] message; be prepared [to do it both] when it is convenient and when it is inconvenient; reprove [i.e., convince people of their wrongdoing], rebuke [i.e., convict people of their sin], and exhort [i.e., urge people to act], with great patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound teaching, but will assemble to themselves teachers who will satisfy what their "itching ears" want to hear. read more.
They will refuse to listen to the truth and will turn their attention to myths. But you should be sober-minded about everything, [willing to] endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being "poured out like a drink offering," and the time for me to leave has come. [Note: Paul here likens the prospect of shedding his blood for the work of Christ to the pouring of wine and oil on an Old Testament sacrifice]. I have fought the good battle; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith [i.e., I have been true to my commitment]. So, now there is a crown of righteousness reserved for me, which the Lord, who is a just Judge, will award me on that day [i.e., the judgment day], and not to me only, but also to everyone who has loved [the prospect of] His appearing.
For I am already being "poured out like a drink offering," and the time for me to leave has come. [Note: Paul here likens the prospect of shedding his blood for the work of Christ to the pouring of wine and oil on an Old Testament sacrifice]. I have fought the good battle; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith [i.e., I have been true to my commitment]. So, now there is a crown of righteousness reserved for me, which the Lord, who is a just Judge, will award me on that day [i.e., the judgment day], and not to me only, but also to everyone who has loved [the prospect of] His appearing.
Instead, He gave up what He had and took on the form [i.e., the nature] of a slave, becoming like a man, [and even] His appearance was found to be like a man's.
For I am already being "poured out like a drink offering," and the time for me to leave has come. [Note: Paul here likens the prospect of shedding his blood for the work of Christ to the pouring of wine and oil on an Old Testament sacrifice].