Matthew 10:24-39

Matthew 10:24-39
Ordinary A30


24 “A discipleA is not above the teacher,B nor a slaveC above the master;D 

Notes on verse 24

A “disciple” = mathetes. From matheteuo (to make a disciple of); from manthano (to learn key facts, gain knowledge from experience; generally implies reflection as part of the learning process); from math– (thinking things through). This is a disciple, learner, or student. It is where we get “mathematics” from.
B “teacher” = didaskalos. From didasko (to teach, direct, instruct, or impart knowledge; in the New Testament, almost always used for teaching scripture); from dao (to learn). This is teacher or master.
C “slave” = doulos. Perhaps from deo (to tie, bind, fasten, impel, compel; to declare something against the law or prohibited). This is used for a servant or for a slave, enslaved. It refers to someone who belongs to someone else. But, it could be voluntary (choosing to be enslaved to pay off debt) or involuntary (captured in war and enslaved). It is used as a metaphor for serving Christ. Slavery was not inherited (i.e. the children of slaves were not assumed to be slaves) and slaves could buy their way to freedom. Slavery was generally on a contractual basis (that is for the duration of how long it took you to pay your debt and/or save up enough money to buy your freedom).
D “master” = kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.

25 it is enoughE for the disciple to beF like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have calledG the master of the houseH Beelzebul,I how much more will they malign those of his household!J

Notes on verse 25

E “enough” = arketos. 3x in NT – same word as “today’s trouble is enough for today” from Matthew 6:34. From arkeo (to assist, be satisfied or sufficient; properly, to ward off, by extension being satisfactory). This is enough or satisfactory.
F “be” = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.
G “called” = epikaleo. From epi (on, upon, among, what is fitting) + kaleo (to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud); {related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on)}. This is to call on, appeal to, worship, invoke for help.
H “master of the house” = oikodespotes. Perhaps related to “slave” in v24. 12x in NT. From oikos (house – the building, the household, the family, descendants; the temple) + despotes (lord, prince, ruler, despot – someone with jurisdiction and unqualified power); {perhaps from deo (see note C above)} + posis (husband). This is literally “house despot” – head of house or family, householder, master of a house.
I “Beelzebul” = beelzeboul. 7x in NT. From Hebrew baal zebub (Baal Zebub, meaning “Baal of flies,” a god of the Phoenicians); {from Baal (Baal); {from the same as baal (owner, master, husband); from baal (to marry, have dominion over, to master)}} + zebub (a fly, particularly one that stings; root may mean to flit). This is Beelzebul – literally “lord of the flies.”
J “household” = oikiakos. Related to “master of the house” in v25. 2x in NT. From oikia (house, household, goods, property, family, or means); from oikos (see note H above). This is part of a house or household (i.e. part of the family). It can include family, relatives, children, and servants in the household.

26 “So have no fearK of them; for nothing is covered upL that will not be uncovered,M and nothing secretN that will not become known.O 

Notes on verse 26

K “have…fear” = phobeo. From phobos (panic flight, fear, fear being caused, terror, alarm, that which causes fear, reverence, respect); from phebomai (to flee, withdraw, be put to flight). This is also to put to flight, terrify, frighten, dread, reverence, to withdraw or avoid. It is sometimes used in a positive sense to mean the fear of the Lord, echoing Old Testament language. More commonly, it is fear of following God’s path. This is where the word phobia comes from.
L “covered up” = kalupto. 8x in NT. Related to kalube (hut, cabin). This is to cover, hide, veil, or conceal. Figuratively, it can mean to keep hidden or secret
M “uncovered” = apokalupto. Related to “covered up” in v26. From apo (from, away from) + kalupto (see note L above). This is properly to uncover so it means revealing something that was hidden or obstructed. It particularly refers to revealing the essence of something. This is to make plain or manifest. This is the root verb that “apocalypse” comes from.
N “secret” = kruptos. 19x in NT. From krupto (to hide by covering, secret, hidden things). This is something concealed, hidden, secret, or private. It can also refer to the inner nature. This is the root of the word “cryptography.”
O “become known” = ginosko. This is to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn. It is knowledge gained through personal experience

27 What I say to you in the dark,P tell in the light;Q and what you hear whispered,R proclaimS from the housetops.T 

Notes on verse 27

P “dark” = skotia. 16x in NT. From skotos (darkness literal or figurative – as moral or spiritual darkness, sin and what comes from it; obscurity); from skia (shadow, thick darkness, outline; figurative for a spiritual situation that is good or bad). This is darkness or dimness. Figuratively, it can be a spiritual darkness. This is obscurity in a literal or figurative sense.
Q “light” = phos. From phao (to shine or make visible, especially with rays of light); from the same as phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear). This is light, a source of light, fire, or radiance. This is light with specific reference to what it reveals. It is luminousness whether natural or artificial, abstract or concrete, literal or figurative.
R “hear whispered” = eis + ho + ous + akouo. Literally “into the ear you hear.” Akouo is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.
S “proclaim” = kerusso. This is to proclaim, preach, publish. Properly, it is to act as a herald – announcing something publicly with confidence and/or to persuade.
T “housetops” = doma. 7x in NT. From demo (to build). This is housetop or roof – a flat roof. Properly, it is more generally a building, but used specifically for roofs.

28 Do not fear those who killU the bodyV but cannotW kill the soul;X rather fear him who can destroyY both soul and body in hell.Z 

Notes on verse 28

U “kill” = apokteino. From apo (from, away from) + kteino (to kill). To put to death, kill, slay. Figuratively, this word can mean abolish, destroy, or extinguish.
V “body” = soma. Perhaps from sozo (to save, heal, rescue); from sos (safe, well, rescued). This is body or flesh. It can be body in a literal or figurative sense (as the body of Christ). This is where the word “somatic” comes from.
W “cannot” = me + dunamai. Dunamai is to be able, or something that is possible. It can also be empowered or being powerful. The Greek word for “miracle” (dunamis) comes from this root.
X “soul” = psuche. From psucho (to breathe, blow). This is breath, the breath of life, the self, individual, soul. This is the word for that which makes a person unique – their identity, will, personality, affections. This isn’t the soul as the immortal part of us, but as our individuality. It is also not life as a general concept, but specific to people. This is where the words psyche and psychology come from.
Y “destroy” = apollumi. From apo (from, away from) + ollumi (to destroy or ruin; the loss that comes from a major ruination). This is to destroy, cut off, to perish – perhaps violently. It can also mean to cancel or remove.
Z “hell” = geenna. 12x in NT. From Hebrew Gehinnom (valley of Hinnom); from gay (valley; a gorge that is not a winter torrent) + Hinnom (most likely of foreign origin, perhaps from the Jebusites). This is Gehenna or hell, referring to a valley outside of Jerusalem and used figuratively for hell.

29 Are not two sparrowsAA sold for a penny?BB Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 And even the hairs of your headCC are all counted.DD 31 So do not be afraid; you are of more valueEE than many sparrows.

Notes on verses 29-31

AA “sparrows” = strouthion. 4x in NT. From strouthos (sparrow). This is a diminutive of sparrow – so it is little sparrow or small bird.
BB “penny” = assarion. 2x in NT. From Latin assarius (relating to the coin called “as”); from as (Roman coin made of bronze). This is an assarion or a cent – it is a small value coin. So, it is akin to us saying “small change.” See &
CC “head” = kephale. This is head or chief. It can be a literal head or, figuratively, a ruler or lord. It can also refer to a cornerstone. This is where the word “cephalic” comes from.
DD “counted” = arithmeo. 3x in NT. From arithmos (a number or total that has been counted to together); from airo (to raise, take up, lift, remove). This is to number of count. It shares a root with “arithmetic,” which literally means the “art of counting.” See
EE “of more value” = diaphero. 13x in NT. From dia (through, because of, across, thoroughly) + phero (to bear, bring, lead, make known publicly; to carry in a literal or figurative sense). This is to carry through as in all the way to the end. It is differing or fully distinguishing – separating by comparison. Literally, it means transport – figuratively it can mean report or surpass.

32 “Everyone therefore who acknowledgesFF me before others,GG I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven;HH 33 but whoever deniesII me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

Notes on verses 32-33

FF “acknowledges” = homologeo. from homologos (of one mind); {from homos (the same) + lego (to say, speak, tell)}. This is to agree, speak the same, declare, promise, praise, celebrate. It can mean to align with, express the same conclusion, endorse.
GG “others” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
HH “heaven” = ouranos. May be related to oros (mountain, hill) with the notion of height. This is the air, the sky, the atmosphere, and heaven. It is the sky that is visible and the spiritual heaven where God dwells. Heaven implies happiness, power, and eternity.
II “denies” = arneomai.  From a (not) + rheo (say, speak of). This is to deny, disown, refuse, repudiate someone or a previously held belief, to contradict.

34 “Do not thinkJJ that I have come to bringKK peaceLL to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.MM

Notes on verse 34

JJ “think” = nomizo. 15x in NT. From nomos (what is assigned – usage, law, custom, principle; used for the law in general or of God’s law; sometimes used to refer to the first five books of the Bible or the entire Old Testament; also used to refer to theology or the practice and tradition of interpreting and implementing the law of God); from nemo (to parcel out, assign). This is to practice, think, consider, suppose, hold by custom. This is thinking that something applies given precedent and practice – to do by law.
KK “bring” = ballo. This is to throw, cast, rush, place, or drop. It is throwing, but it could be with more or less velocity and with more or less force/violence.
LL “peace” = eirene. Perhaps from eiro (to join, tie together to form a whole). This is one, peace, quietness, rest, peace of mind, harmony. Peace was a common farewell among Jews (i.e. shalom) and this well-wishing included a blessing of health and wholeness for the individual. This word also indicates wholeness and well-being – when everything that is essential is joined together properly. This is peace literally or figuratively. By implication, it is prosperity (but not in the sense of excessive wealth. Prosperity would have meant having enough from day to day.)
MM “sword” = machaira. Perhaps from mache (fight, battle, conflict; figuratively, controversy); from machomai (to fight, strive, dispute, quarrel; to war). This is a short sword, slaughter knife, or dagger. It is a stabbing weapon. Figuratively, associated with retribution, war, or legal punishment.

35 For I have come to setNN a manOO against his father,
and a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-lawPP against her mother-in-law;QQ
36 and one’sRR foesSS will be members of one’s own household.

Notes on verses 35-36

NN “set” = dichazo. 1x in NT. From dicha (apart) OR from dis (twice, utterly, again); from duo (two, both). This is to separate or alienate. It can also be to split apart or to cause hostility.
OO “man” = anthropos. Same as “others” in v32. See note GG above.
PP “daughter-in-law” = numphe. 8x in NT. Perhaps from nupto (to put on a veil as a bride does – in Latin nupto means simple to marry); related to numphon (the room where the marriage bed is). This is bride, daughter-in-law, young wife, or young woman. This share a root with “nymph” and “nymphomaniac.”
QQ “mother-in-law” = penthera. 6x in NT. From pentheros (specifically a wife’s father). This is the wife’s mother.
RR “one’s” = anthropos. Same as “others” in v32. See note GG above.
SS “foes” = echthros. From echthos (hatred). This is an openly hostile person so an enemy, a foe, or a hated person. This speaks of irreconcilable hostility. It can also mean adversary and/or refer to Satan.

37 Whoever lovesTT father or mother more than me is not worthyUU of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and whoever does not take up the crossVV and followWW me is not worthy of me. 

Notes on verses 37-38

TT “loves” = phileo. From philos (dear, beloved, a friend, an associate; friendship with personal affection, a trusted confidante; love from personal experience with another person). This is friendship love and fondness with personal attachment.
UU “worthy” = axios. From ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide, drive, go). This is related to weight or worth – deserving, suitable, corresponding, due reward.
VV “cross” = stauros. From the same as histemi (to stand, cause to stand). This is an upright stake, cross. Literally refers to the horizontal beam of a Roman cross, generally carried by the one convicted to die.
WW “follow” = akoloutheo. From a (with, fellowship, union) + keleuthos (road, way). This is to accompany or follow someone, especially the way a disciple does.

39 Those who findXX their lifeYY will loseZZ it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.

Notes on verse 39

XX “find” = heurisko. This is to find, learn, or obtain. It is to discover something, which generally implies a period of searching for it. This is to find in a literal or figurative sense. This is where the word “heuristic” comes from.
YY “life” = psuche. Same as “soul” in v28. See note X above.
ZZ “lose” = apollumi. Same as “destroy” in v28. See note Y above.

Image credit: Mosaic house sign of sparrows by Theobald Schmönger from Vienna, 1955.

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