Matthew 10:1-6
Mat 10:1 (KJB)
And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
Power - Authority
Here Jesus has called unto Himself the twelve Apostles. Just as there were twelve initial tribes of Israel, there are now twelve Apostles representing the new Israel, that is the body of believers. Just as Israel expanded to 14 tribes with the addition of Ephraim and Manasseh, the band of Apostles will expand to 14 with the addition of Paul and Barnabas. (Acts 14:14) Jesus had the disciples with Him but now He is commissioning them to go out with the Gospel and He is giving them the power over devils and all types of diseases. By Jesus doing this He is now preparing the disciples to be leaders as this is also training for them when the time comes for them to begin the task of world evangelism. Just as Jesus had been doing previously, the disciples will now do and that is to heal all manner of diseases and to cast out devils from devil possessed people. The power He gives them is the authority to perform these functions.
Mat 10:2 (KJB)
Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
Simon Peter - His original name “Simon” means “hearing or obeying.” His name was changed to Peter by the Lord which means “rock or stone.” He was a fisherman of Bethsaida and then afterwards had made his home in Capernaum. He was the unofficial spokesman for the twelve disciples. A Roman Catholic myth about Peter which must be rejected is that he was the first pope. Tradition states that he was crucified upside down not feeling worthy to be crucified like His Lord.
Andrew - His name means “manliness,” or “a stout and strong man.” He was the brother of Peter and introduced him to the Messiah. He was also a disciple of John the Baptist but then later followed the Lord Jesus Christ. He is said to have preached as far as Kiev and Novogorod in Russia. Tradition states that he was crucified in the form of an “X” because of his staunch opposition to the idolatry of Aegeas. He was martyred in the city of Patras of Achaea and the way he was crucified became known as “St. Andrew’s Cross.”
James the Son of Zebedee - His name means “supplanter” because in Hebrew his name is Jacob. He and his brother John were known as the “sons of thunder.” Zebedee was a Galilean fisherman and was partners with his son James and his other brothers. He was a man of means since he had servants and lived near to Caiaphas. He was a disciple of Jesus for 17 years when Herod Agrippa ended his life by martyrdom.
John the Son of Zebedee - His name means “Jehovah has been gracious.” He was the youngest of the disciples. He became the beloved disciple, “The Apostle of Love.” John was also a successful fisherman and was mending the nets when Jesus called him. He authored the Gospel of John, 1,2,3 John and the book of Revelation. Tradition states that he was boiled in oil and then banished to the Isle of Patmos where he penned the Book of Revelation under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is said he lived to be nearly 100 years old.
Mat 10:3 (KJB)
Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
Philip - His name means “warrior or a lover of horses.” He was a native of Bethsaida in Galilee. Tradition claims that Philip was the one who asked Jesus if he could first go and bury his father. (Matthew 8:21) The call to faith and discipleship came at one calling. Tradition states that he died a martyr in Heirapolis.
Bartholomew - The name means “a son that suspends the waters.” However, this was not his real name but a patronymic. This Apostle is identified as Nathanael. Nothing more is known of him in the Scriptures because he is only named when the twelve are named. According to tradition, he was martyred in Albanapolis in Armenia. He was flayed alive and crucified with his head downward.
Thomas - He was also called Didymus meaning “twin.” He earned the name “doubting Thomas” because he did not accept the story of the resurrection from the other Apostles. However, Thomas was a brave soul as he was willing to die with the Lord Jesus Christ if they went back to Judah. (John 11:16) It is stated that he died in 72 A.D. in India as a martyr.
Matthew - His name means “Gift of Jehovah.” His name was Levi and he lived in Galilee. He was a tax collector at the tax booth on the Sea of Galilee in Capernaum. Jesus approached Matthew and said, “Follow Me” and Matthew left everything and followed Jesus. He gave him a dinner a little later where he invited the other tax gatherers. He came to pen the Gospel of Matthew under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Tradition states that Matthew died as a martyr.
James the Son of Alphaeus - James means “supplanter” as the Hebrew name is “Jacob.” Very little is known of him apart from his name and his father’s name. His mother was one of the devoted women who stood by the cross. He had a brother named Joses who was a believer. (Mark 15:40) Tradition states that he was a tax gatherer. His death was either in Egypt or Jerusalem.
Lebbaeus - The name means “man of heart.” His surname was “Thaddeus.” He was also identified as Jude and may be the author of that Epistle. He is the least known of all the Apostles. Tradition states he died in the first century in Syria.
Mat 10:4 (KJB)
Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
Simon the Canaanite - He had a connection with Cana in Galilee. The Hebrew word “canna” means zealous and that is why he is called “Simon Zelotes.” As a Zealot, he belonged to the party of the same name. After he became a follower of Christ, he was still a zealot but this time for the things of Christ. No longer was his focus national emancipation from the Romans but now it was emancipation from sin and hell. The place of his death has been disputed among many names.
Judas Iscariot - The name “Judas” means “Praise of the Lord.” His surname was “Iscariot” which means “hireling.” In John 10:11-12, Jesus speaks about the hireling who cares nothing about the sheep. A surname which fit Judas well. Judas never became saved and remained an unbeliever who pilfered the money which was in the bag that was given by people to support their itinerant ministry. He betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver. His guilt was so great that he tried to return the money but then later hanged himself.
Mat 10:5 (KJB)
These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
At this time Jesus was sending His disciples only to the Jews and they were not to head toward the northern part, that is, Samaria and any other Gentile nations. The time was not yet for the Gospel to go forth into all the world. (Rom 1:16 KJV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. They were to go to the Jews first at this particular time, to stay in the confines of Israel.
Mat 10:6 (KJB)
But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
The time for evangelizing the Gentiles has not yet come but will come after Pentecost when the Holy Spirit is given. For now, they were to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (John 1:11 KJV) He came unto his own, and his own received him not. At the beginning of John’s ministry, he already prophesied the rejection of the Messiah. They were to evangelize as much of the nation of Israel that they could possibly do in the time the Lord had allotted them. They were to make known to Israel that their prophesied Messiah has come to them.