The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 63

Yeshua Sends Out His Emissaries ~ Part 3

In our last post, we continued to examine the topic of Yeshua Sends Out His Emissaries. In this post, we learned that Yeshua Warns Them.

Yeshua Warns His Emissaries

Yeshua Himself will face persecution; so too will His talmidim. Here, He warns them of their fate and assures them that the Ruach will give them the appropriate words in times of trial.

16 “Pay attention! I am sending you out like sheep among wolves, so be as prudent as snakes and as harmless as doves. (In the biblical world, serpents were associated with wisdom and cleverness.)

 17 Be on guard, for there will be people who will hand you over to the local Sanhedrins and flog you in their synagogues. 18 On My account, you will be brought before governors and kings as a testimony to them and to the Goyim.

Compare verse 18 with Psalm 119:46, “I will also speak of your testimonies before kings, and I will not be put to shame.”

19 But when they bring you to trial, do not worry about what to say or how to say it; when the time comes, you will be given what you should say. 20 For it will not be just you speaking, but the Ruach of your heavenly Father speaking through you.

Yeshua promises that the Ruach will give them the appropriate words to speak. Mattityahu has mentioned the Ruach in connection with Yeshua’s ministry (Matt. 1:18, 20; 3:11, 16; 4:1), and here the Ruach is extended to the ministry of the talmidim.

21 “A brother will betray his brother to death, and a father his child; children will turn against their parents and have them put to death. 22 Everyone will hate you because of me, but whoever holds out till the end will be preserved from harm (will be saved). 23 When you are persecuted in one town, run away to another. Yes indeed, I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Isra’el before the Son of Man comes.

Before the Son of Man comes. There are at least five plausible options for understanding this reference:

  1. Yeshua’s coming to His talmidim upon their return from this mission (vv. 6–15);
  2. Yeshua’s resurrection,
  3. The coming of the Ruach at Shavuot (Pentecost),
  4. The destruction of Yerushalayim in 70CE, and
  5. The second coming of Yeshua at the end of the age.

The overall passage is difficult to interpret, but it looks ahead to final judgment. Yeshua probably means that, at His second coming, there will still be people left in the towns of Isra’el who have not accepted Him.[1]

24 “A talmid is not greater than his rabbi; a slave is not greater than his master. 25 It is enough for a talmid that he becomes like his rabbi and a slave like his master. Now, if people have called the head of the house Ba’al-Zibbul (Beelzebul), how much more will they malign the members of his household! 26 So do not fear them; for there is nothing covered that will not be uncovered or hidden that will not be known.

Despite the hardships they will face, Yeshua commands the talmidim not to fear; instead, they should be bold witnesses to Yeshua’s message and faithfully carry out their tasks.

27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim on the housetops.

The housetops were flat roofs where people gathered when the weather was pleasant. Since houses were close together, people could shout from their housetops and proclaim to an impromptu audience.

28 “Do not fear those who kill the body but are powerless to kill the soul. Rather, fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in Gei-Hinnom.

People should have a healthy fear of God – treating Him with reverence.

 29 Aren’t sparrows sold for next to nothing, two for an assarion? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s consent. 30 As for you, every hair on your head has been counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

If God watches over sparrows, He indeed cares for His people. Yeshua uses a lesser-to-greater argument (common in Rabbinic teaching) to assure His talmidim of their value to God.

32 “Whoever acknowledges me in the presence of others, I will also acknowledge in the presence of my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.~ Mattityahu 10:16-33

In our next post, we will continue to examine He Sends Out His Emissaries in Mattityahu 10:34.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible.