Apostles are sent to bring peace. Peace only finds a place in a home where people who are truly listening dwell. Who is worthy of peace? Who is worthy of the Gospel? The one who receives humbly whoever the Lord sends them. The attitude of a humble servant who is able to listen and learn from the messengers of God will earn him also the gift of peace. We don’t need to be overly worried or prepared ahead of time if we rely on God’s Providence. Prudence requires us to think ahead, but never so well and so far that God would only be getting in the way. Coming to rely fully on God’s Providence will increase within us the gift of sacred peace. The world cannot give this peace, because the world only produces an incomplete and superficial version. The peace of the world is the calm between storms; the peace of Christ is given in the midst of storms: His Providence will only be made more perfect by the storm.
All the power possessed by the Lord is bestowed upon the apostles! Those who were prefigured in the image and likeness of God in Adam have now received the perfect image and likeness of Christ. They have been given powers in no way different from those of the Lord. Those once earthbound now become heaven-centered. They will proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, that the image and likeness of God are now appropriated in the company of truth, so that all the holy ones who have been made heirs of heaven may reign with the Lord. Let them cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers and cast out devils. Whatever impairment Adam’s body had incurred from being goaded on by Satan, let the apostles wipe away through their sharing in the Lord’s power. And that they may fully obtain the likeness of God according to the prophecy in Genesis, they are ordered to give freely what they freely have received. Thus a gift freely bestowed should be freely dispensed.1
Lest anyone hold as unworthy of belief these rough men bereft of eloquence, unschooled and unlettered, as they promise the kingdom of heaven, Jesus empowered them to cure the sick, cleanse the lepers and cast out devils. Many signs would confirm the promises made. And because spiritual gifts are defiled if connected with rewards, Jesus adds a condemnation of avarice: “Freely you have received, freely give.” I, your Lord and Master, have given this to you without cost, and you should give, lest the grace of the gospel be corrupted.2
One who cuts off riches nearly cuts off what is necessary for life. Thus as the apostles and teachers of true religion taught that all things were governed by providence, they show they are not concerned about what tomorrow will bring.3
Leave behind any concern for worldly goods. All treasure on earth is detrimental, for where our treasure is, there our heart will be. “Nor two tunics.” The garment of Christ is all we will ever need. And, because of the depravity of our mind, we should not put on any other garment, either of a heretical sect or of the law. “Nor sandals.” Are frail humans capable of going barefoot? On holy ground covered with thorns and briars, as God said to Moses, we are urged to stand firm with bare feet and to have no other footwear for our journey than what we have received from Christ. “Nor staff in hand,” that is, the possession of external power, or unworthily holding a staff from the root of Jesse—for whatever else it may be, it will not be the staff of Christ.4
- ON MATTHEW 10.4. Simonetti, M. (Ed.). (2001). Matthew 1–13 (p. 195). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- COMMENTARY ON MATTHEW 1.10.7–8. Simonetti, M. (Ed.). (2001). Matthew 1–13 (pp. 195–196). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- COMMENTARY ON MATTHEW 1.10.8. Simonetti, M. (Ed.). (2001). Matthew 1–13 (p. 196). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- ON MATTHEW 10.5. Simonetti, M. (Ed.). (2001). Matthew 1–13 (p. 196). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Peace be with you!
And with you!