Heal The Sick, Raise The Dead, Cleanse Lepers, Cast Out Demons. Freely You Received, Freely Give.
Raise the dead. The words are omitted by the best MSS., and their absence is more in accordance with the facts of the Gospel history, which records no instance of that highest form of miracle as wrought by the disciples during our Lord’s ministry. That was reserved for His own immediate act. The insertion of the words was probably due to a wish to make the command cover such instances of power as that shown in the instances of Dorcas (Acts 9:40) and Eutychus (Acts 20:9-12).
Freely ye have received.–The English hardly suggests more than giving liberally. The Greek is much stronger, “Give as a free gift–give gratis” They had paid Him nothing. They were not in this their first mission to require payment from others. When the kingdom had been established, the necessities of the case might require the application of the principle that “the labourer is worthy of his hire” in an organised system of stipend and the like (1Timothy 5:18); but the principle of “giving freely” in this sense is always applicable in proportion as the work of the ministers of Christ has the character of a mission. They must proclaim the kingdom till the sense of the blessing it has brought shows itself in the thank-offerings of gratitude. The like principle of gratuitous teaching had been asserted before by some of the nobler of the Jewish Rabbis.
Verse 8. – We have here the details of the orders summarized in ver. 1. The details are not given in Luke 9:1, 2 or Luke 10:9. Heal the sick, etc. According to the true order of these commands, solely physical ills are mentioned first in their partial (sick) and in their final effect (dead); then physical and ceremonial pollution (lepers), which forms a transition to the mention of ills primarily spiritual, even though they ultimately affect the body (devils). On the good that might be expected from their performing these miracles, cf. Thomas Scott (in Ford), “Men will never believe that we really intend the good of their souls, if they do not find that we endeavour to do them good, disinterestedly, in temporal things (John 4:15).” Freely (vide infra) ye have (omit “have,” with Revised Version) received. Blessings of the kingdom, but especially authority and power for this work (ver. 1). Freely give. All that is needed to carry that authority into effect – whatever toil and energy in soul and body the occasion may demand. The clause comes in Matthew only, but comp. Acts 20:35. Observe, Christ’s recognition of the tendency of human nature to traffic in the holiest things. Did Judas take the warning at all to heart? (For the thought, cf. Wisd. 7:13; Leviticus 25:37, 38.) Freely. Gratuitously (δωρεάν); comp. Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:17; Romans 3:24 (on God’s side); 2 Corinthians 11:7; 2 Thessalonians 3:8 (on man’s side).
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