Apostles Sent

Jesus called 12 apostles and sent them out to preach and heal and deliver. In a sense it's a rehearsal for the Great Commission given at the end of Matthew. That might explain why the numbers point at the book of Matthew.

Matthew 10

FA 1He called 12 of his disciples and gave them power over unclean spirits to cast them out and to heal every kind of disease and sickness. Matthew 10:12These are the names of the 12 apostles: 1|12 The 1st is Simeon, 1|12 who is called Peter, 2|12 and Andrew, his brother, 3|12 and Jacob, son of Zebedee, 4|12 and John, his brother, 5|12 3and Philip, 6|12 and Bartholomew, 7|12 and Thomas, 8|12 and Matthew, the tax collector, 9|12 and Jacob, son of Alphaeus, 10|12 and Lebbaeus, 10|12 surnamed Thaddaeus, 11|12 4and Simeon, the zealot, 12|12 and Jude Iscariot, who betrayed him. Matthew 10:2-45These 12 Joshua sent and commanded them and said, Keep away from pagan practices and do not enter a Samaritan city. 6Above all go to the sheep which are lost from the house of Israel. 7As you go preach and say, The kingdom of the skies is near. 8Heal the sick and cleanse the lepers and cast out demons. You have freely received freely give. 9Do not accumulate gold nor silver nor brass in your purses 10nor a bag for the journey nor 2 shirts nor shoes nor a staff, for a laborer is worthy of his provisions. Q 1 Timothy 5:18 Matthew 10:5-1011Whatever city or town you enter ask who is trustworthy in it and remain there until you leave. 12When you enter into the house salute the family. 13If the family is trustworthy your salutation of peace will come on it, but if it is not trustworthy your salutation will return to you. 14Whoever will not welcome you and will not listen to your words, when you leave the house or the village wipe off the sand from your feet. 15Truly I say to you that it will be easier for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that city. Matthew 10:11-1516I am sending you like lambs among the wolves therefore be wise as serpents and pure as doves. 17Beware of men for they will deliver you to the courts and they will scourge you in their synagogues. 18They will bring you before governors and kings for my sake as a testimony to them and to the peoples. Matthew 10:16-1819When they deliver you do not worry about how or what you will speak for what you are to speak will be given to you in that very hour. 20For it is not you who speak but the spirit of your father which speaks through you. Matthew 10:19-2021Brother will deliver his brother to death and father his son and sons will rise up against their fathers and put them to death. 22You will be hated by everybody because of my name but he who endures until the end will live. Matthew 10:21-2223Whenever they persecute you in this city escape to another for truly I say to you that you will not finish all the cities of the house of Israel until the son of man returns. Matthew 10:2324No disciple is more important than his rabbi and no servant than his master. 25It is enough for a disciple to be like his rabbi and for a servant to be like his master. If then they have called the master of the house, Lord Zebub, how much more those of his house. Matthew 10:24-2526Therefore do not be afraid of them for there is nothing covered that will not be uncovered and hidden that will not be known. 27What I tell you in the dark tell it in the daylight and what you hear with your ears preach on the housetops. Matthew 10:26-2728Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but who cannot kill the soul but above all be afraid of him who can destroy both the soul and the body in hell. Matthew 10:2829Are not 2 sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not 1 of them will fall on the ground without your father's will. 30As far as you are concerned even all the hairs of your head are numbered. 31Therefore do not fear, you are much more important than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-3132Therefore everyone who will acknowledge me before men I will also acknowledge him before my father in the skies. 33Whoever will deny me before men I will also deny him before my father in the skies. Matthew 10:32-3334Do not expect that I have come to bring peace on land. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to set a man against his father and a daughter against her mother and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36A man's enemies will be the members of his own house. Q Micah 7:6 Matthew 10:34-3637Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38Whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39He who is concerned about his life will lose it and he who loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:37-3940Whoever receives you receives me and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. Matthew 10:4041He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward and whoever receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. Matthew 10:4142Anyone who gives a drink to one of these little ones, if only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, truly I say to you he will never lose his reward. Matthew 10:42 (Matthew 10:1-42 BRB)


12+12+12+2+2+1 = 41 = Matthew


Each Gospel has some unique material. The unique material is also what's usually the memorable material. Arguably, the most memorable passage in Matthew is the Great Commission.

16The 11 disciples went to Galilee FA to the mountain where Joshua had appointed them. 17When they saw him they bowed to him, but some of them were doubtful. Matthew 28:16-1718Joshua came up and spoke with them and said to them, All power in the skies and on land has been given to me. Just as my father has sent me I am sending you also. 19Therefore go and disciple all peoples and baptize them in the name of the father and the son and the spirit of the holy. 20Teach them to obey everything that I have commanded you. I am with you all the days to the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:18-20 (Matthew 28:16-20 BRB)

In this commission Jesus sends his remaining 11 disciples into the world much in the same way he sent all 12 earlier in Matthew. The first trip, in fact, is likely an exercise, or on the job training, for the eventual role the 11 would play after Jesus left.

With the numbers in the first story pointing to the book of Matthew as a whole, and with the Great Commission one of the more memorable passages in Matthew, it's likely that this theme of sending is somehow unique to Matthew as a Gospel.