Matthew 10:10 MEANING

Matthew 10:10
(10) Scrip.--The practical obsoleteness of the word in modern English makes it necessary to remind readers of the New Testament that the "scrip" or wallet was a small basket carried on the back, or by a strap hanging from one shoulder, containing the food of the traveller. So David carried in his scrip the five smooth stones from the brook (1 Samuel 17:40). Such a basket was looked on as the necessary equipment even of the poorest traveller, yet the apostles were to go without it. St. Mark adds, what was implied in this, "no bread."

Neither two coats.--Commonly, the poorer Eastern traveller carried with him the flowing plaid-like outer garment (the modern abba), with one "coat" or tunic next the skin, and one clean one as a change. That simplest of all the comforts of life they were in this work of theirs to dispense with.

Neither shoes, nor yet staves.--The apparent contradiction between these words and St. Mark's "nothing except a staff only," "be shod with sandals," is explained by what has been said above. They were to have none of the reserved comforts of common travellers, no second staff in case the first should break, no second pair of shoes in which to rest the worn and weary feet. The "sandals" were the shoes of the peasant class.

Experience (and, we may add, the Spirit that teaches by experience) has led the Christian Church at large to look on these commands as binding only during the mission on which the Twelve were actually sent. It is impossible not to admire the noble enthusiasm of poverty which showed itself in the literal adoption of such rules by the followers of Francis of Assisi, and, to some extent, by those of Wiclif; but the history of the Mendicant Orders, and other like fraternities, forms part of that teaching of history which has led men to feel that in the long-run the beggar's life will bring the beggar's vices. Yet here, as in the case of the precepts of the Sermon on the Mount, the spirit is binding still, though the letter has passed away. The mission work of the Church has ever prospered in proportion as that spirit has pervaded it.

For the workman is worthy of his meat.--It is a singular instance of the varied application of the same truth, that these words--which our Lord makes the ground of His command that men should make no provision for the future and commit themselves to their Father's care--are quoted by St. Paul (1 Timothy 5:18) as a plea for an organised system for the maintenance of the ministers of the Church. The same law fulfils itself in many ways--now by helping to pay the hire of the labourer, now by the full confidence that the payment may be left to God, and to the grateful hearts of men.

10:5-15 The Gentiles must not have the gospel brought them, till the Jews have refused it. This restraint on the apostles was only in their first mission. Wherever they went they must proclaim, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. They preached, to establish the faith; the kingdom, to animate the hope; of heaven, to inspire the love of heavenly things, and the contempt of earthly; which is at hand, that men may prepare for it without delay. Christ gave power to work miracles for the confirming of their doctrine. This is not necessary now that the kingdom of God is come. It showed that the intent of the doctrine they preached, was to heal sick souls, and to raise those that were dead in sin. In proclaiming the gospel of free grace for the healing and saving of men's souls, we must above all avoid the appearance of the spirit of an hireling. They are directed what to do in strange towns and cities. The servant of Christ is the ambassador of peace to whatever place he is sent. His message is even to the vilest sinners, yet it behoves him to find out the best persons in every place. It becomes us to pray heartily for all, and to conduct ourselves courteously to all. They are directed how to act as to those that refused them. The whole counsel of God must be declared, and those who will not attend to the gracious message, must be shown that their state is dangerous. This should be seriously laid to heart by all that hear the gospel, lest their privileges only serve to increase their condemnation.Nor scrip for your journey,.... This the Jews call "tarmil": and which their commentators (n) say, is a large leathern bag, in which shepherds and travellers put their food, and other things, and carried with them, hanging it about their necks; so that the disciples were neither to carry money with them, nor any provisions for their journey:

neither two coats; one to travel in, and another to put on, when they came to their quarters: they were not allowed change of raiment; either because superfluous, or too magnificent to appear in, or too troublesome to carry:

nor shoes, only sandals, as Mark says; for there was a difference between shoes and sandals, as appears from the case of the plucking off the shoe, when a man refused his brother's wife (o): if the "shoe" was plucked off it was regarded; but if the "sandal", it was not minded: this was the old tradition, though custom went against it. Sandals were made of harder leather than shoes (p), and sometimes of wood covered with leather, and stuck with nails, to make them more durable (q); though sometimes of bulrushes, and bark of palm trees, and of cork (r), which were light to walk with.

"Says R. Bar bar Chanah (s), I saw R. Eleazar of Nineveh go out on a fast day of the congregation, , "with a sandal of cork".''

Of what sort these were, the disciples were allowed to travel with, is not certain:

nor yet with staves: that is, with more than one staff, which was sufficient to assist them, and lean upon in journeying: for, according to Mark, one was allowed; as though they might take a travelling staff, yet not staves for defence, or to fight with; see Matthew 26:55. Now these several things were forbidden them, partly because they would be burdensome to them in travelling; and partly because they were not to be out any long time, but were quickly to return again; and chiefly to teach them to live and depend upon divine providence. Now, since they were to take neither money, nor provisions with them, and were also to preach the Gospel freely, they might reasonably ask how they should be provided for, and supported: when our Lord suggests, that they should not be anxiously concerned about that, he would take care that they had a suitable supply; and would so influence and dispose the minds of such, to whom they should minister, as that they should have all necessary provisions made for them, without any care or expense of their's:

for the workman is worthy of his meat; which seems to be a proverbial expression, and by which Christ intimates, that they were workmen, or labourers in his vineyard, and they, discharging their duty aright, were entitled to food and raiment, and all the necessaries of life: this to have, was their due; and it was but a piece of justice to give it to them, and on which they might depend. So that this whole context is so far from militating against a minister's maintenance by the people, that it most strongly establishes it; for if the apostles were not to take any money or provisions with them, to support themselves with, it clearly follows, that it was the will of Christ, that they should live by the Gospel, upon those to whom they preached, as the following words show: and though they were not to make gain of the Gospel, or preach it for filthy lucre's sake; yet they might expect a comfortable subsistence, at the charge of the people, to whom they ministered, and which was their duty to provide for them.

(n) Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Sheviith, c. 2. sect. 8. & in Celim. c. 16. 4. & 24. 11. & Negaim. c. 11. sect. 11. (o) T. Hieros. Yebamot, fol. 12. 3. T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 102. 1. & Menachot, fol. 32. 1.((p) Gloss. in T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 101. 1. & Bartenora in Misn. Yebamot, c. 12. sect. 1.((q) Misn. Yebamot, c. 12. sect. 2. Maimon. Bartenora in Sabbat, c. 6. sect. 2. & Edayot, c. 2. sect. 8. (r) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 78. 2. Gloss. in ib. Maimon. Hilch. Shebitat. Ashur, c. 3. sect. 7. (s) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 78. 2. Juchasin, fol. 81. 1.

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