8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
9 Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts,
10 nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food.
11 “Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out.
12 And when you go into a household, greet it.
13 If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.
14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.
15 Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!
two (v.10) — refers to tunics, sandals and staffs — They were to go as they were with no spare provisions.
a worker is worthy of his food (v.10) — They were to be fed by those to whom they ministered. — (A similar principle is in effect in this age for leaders in the church — 1 Timothy 5:18.)
peace (v.13) = a harmonious relationship between God and man and the sense of rest and contentment that results (Vine)
shake off the dust (v.14) — a symbolic act of rejection
assuredly (v.15) = truly, amen
These instructions (when not restated elsewhere as seen above in the case of paying church leaders) were specifically for the twelve apostles at this specific time in Christ’s ministry when the Kingdom was being offered to Israel. Later, when the Kingdom had been rejected and He was about to be arrested, He gave these same men different instructions. And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?” So they said, “Nothing.” Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end” (Luke 22:35-37).
The general meaning in all three Gospels is the same: “Make no elaborate preparations, but go as you are.” They are not to be like persons travelling for trade or pleasure, but are to go about in all simplicity. It is not that they are purposely to augment the hardships of the journey, but that they are not to be anxious about equipment. Freedom from care rather than from comfort is the aim. Their care is to be for their work, not for their personal wants.
When they entered a village, they were to seek out one who had a good reputation and request hospitality there. If they were entertained in the home of a disreputable person, it could injure their testimony and jeopardize their ministry. Once they found a suitable home, they were to stay there even though another might offer then greater convenience or comfort. — Pentecost, page 194.