Sitting at the feet of yeshua. Matthew Chapter 10. Overview of Chapter 10.
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We have seen Yeshua speaking in “sermon” form in chapters five through seven. Now in chapter ten, we find the second of Yeshua’s sermons. It is commonly called the “Apostolic Discourse”, because it was where Yeshua commission His talmidim/disciples to go and teach in His Name. The role of a talmid/disciple is an important concept that we must understand to continue any further in our study
Familiarity with the term ‘disciple’ has diminished its actual First Century meaning, and thus made some of the elements of discipleship in the Apostolic Scriptures unclear to come. We must recognize that the principles of the discipleship are introduced in the Hebrew Scriptures first. We see numerous examples in the Prophetic books of the use of disciples in many ways, the Biblical model of talmid/disciple is that of a son.
The meaning of the word “talmid (plural “talmidim”) carries much of the purpose and role of the disciple ‘Talmid” (pronounced tawl-meed) comes from the root verb lamad (pronounced law-mawd) which is an sheperd’s term and refers to the shepherds staff, it both protects, and guides the flock.
Deut. 6:6-7a “and these words I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them (these words) diligently to your children”
A talmid was to be taught the Torah, just as a son was taught. Torah is the very words of YHVW. The common mistranslation of the word “Torah” to mean “Law” in both Greek and English has introduced much confusion in the minds of YHVH’s people. The word “Torah” we have seen is best translated “instruction” or “teaching”, Torah comes from the root verb yarah, which is an archer’s term meaning “to aim”
The normal English usage of the word ‘law’ is best seen in the Hebrew word ‘daf’ which is a loan word from Persian. Dat, is a word that expresses cold finality-and is a word never used in the TaNaKh for YHVH’s commands.
Likewise the English word “disciple” brings with it confusing and contradictory meanings. First, to be one of the “Twelve Disciples” is seen as being a “leader”. Although the 12 did become leaders among the followers of Yeshua, that is not what is being conveyed in Scriptural usage of the word “disciples? Next, the word “disciple” reminds us of the word “discipline”-which in itself is something form which many recoil.
If we trace the word “talmidim” (pronounced tawl-mee-deem) back to it’s source, we learn the reason for having talmidim (disciples). It si all about teaching YHVW’s Word.
The Mishnah begins with this”
“Moses received the Torah from Sinai and transmitted it to Joshua, Joshua to the elders’ the elders to the prophets; and the prophets hand it down to the men of the Great Assembly. They said three things; Be deliberate in judgment, raise up many talmidim and make a fence for the Torah”
Judaism is rich with the principles of discipleship. There are many passages in extra-Biblical Jewish sources that deal with talmidim-illustrating their purpose, role and practice. From them we can learn much regarding the First Century talmidim of Yeshua.
In the First Century, there were four things a talmid must do:
Memorize the teacher’s words. The tradition was for a great teacher’s words to be transmitted orally. Thus a talmid must first be tanna/repeater. The plural for “tanna” is “tannaim”. This oral tradition was something that was remarkable effective, and is evidenced by the volumes of quotes of Sages recorded hundreds of years after their deaths. Through constant repetition, the talmidim memorized the words of the teacher verbatim.
Learn the teacher’s traditions and interpretations. Since Scripture often did not explain “the how” of a command. It was important to learn how something was to be obeyed from the teacher. An example is to learn how and when a teacher prayed. It was also important to know how a teacher udnerstood various Scripture passages.
Learn to imitate the teacher it was important for a talmid to perfectly reflect his master in speech, action and mannerism.
When fully trained, to raise up talmidim of his own. Seeing the model for talmidim in the picture of father and son shows the importance of this. The “V’ahavta” was constantly on the lips of the First Century Jews with the command, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” This principle is seen in talmidim- always, to pass Torah onto the next generation. Once trained, a talmid was given authority to speak on behalf of the teacher, and the phrase “in the name of” was used to reflect that the talmid was not acting on his own.
Matthew 10:2 is where the Twelve were first called “apostles”. This English word is a tranliteration of the Greek word “apostolos”, which simply means “messenger’ or ‘sent one’. The Hebrew word used would have been “shaliach” which comes from the root verb “shalach” (send). There is a common misconception about ‘apostles’- namely that they are those who have been given miraculous powers, or those who have been given a special position etc. The Biblical usage, however, simply means “someone sent out to perform a task”
“Also I heard the voice of HaShem, saying: ‘Whom shall I send [shalach], and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send [shalach] me.’ And He said, ‘Go, and tell this people: “Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.” Isaiah 6:8-9
For the past few weeks, we have been seeing looking at the miracles of Yeshua and how they related to His mission. We have seen that they were tied to His mission, and His message.
We saw that His miracles also served in some measure as signs – pointing to His “Messiahship” – so much that He told some not to tell anyone Who He was (????).
Chapter 10 is the second of five “sermons” of Yeshua in Matthew. This is commonly called the “Apostolic Discourse”. This is where Yeshua sends out His talmidim on a very important mission. A mission to present the “Kingdom Offer” to the cities around Galilee. We have seen this “Kingdom offer” before. It is the Kingdom message, the “Gospel” – “Repent, the Kingdom of G-d is at Hand!”
“Repent”. The Gospel message that they were sent with is the same as John (3:2); and Yeshua (4:17, 4:23, 9:35); and was the same message they would be sent out later with in 28:18-20 (24:14).
The way had been prepared by John the Baptizer, with the call to “repent” ( “return” re: Mal 3:1-9). King Messiah was here – it was time to decide, would they return the throne of David to G-d – or would they continue to reject G-d’s ways and His authority?
If the “offer” was accepted by individuals, shalom would be upon them.
Some have taken the events surrounding the “Kingdom offer” and made them say something they do not. They have used it as a polemic against the people of Israel – a way to promote a dangerous heresy called “Replacement Theology.”
This “Kingdom offer” is an important step in the process of redeeming mankind – but in ways that may not yet be readily apparent. We will see this again as we move through Matthew.
We must always remember the Master’s own words,
“A talmid is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.” Matthew 10:24