When Jesus chose his twelve disciples and sent them out to preach, he was preparing the house of Israel for their Jewish kingdom. Remember that at this time, Israel was under Roman authority and had been under continuous foreign rule since Nebuchadnezzar attacked them in 606 BC. No where in this passage do you see these disciples preaching the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:1-4). They were not preaching the gospel of salvation, they were preaching, “The kingdom of heaven.”
The similarities in this passage to the Jews leaving Egypt and establishing their nation in the land of Canaan show you that Jesus was getting them ready to set up their Jewish kingdom again. The disciples knew it, and following his resurrection, they were looking for it, Acts 1:6. Look at these facts:
Jesus chose 12 disciples [all Jews], which matches the twelve tribes of Israel, v.1 – Ex 24:4. In numerology, 12 is the number of the Jew 9think back to last week, Jairus’ daughter was 12, Mk 5:42, and the woman who touched his garment had been ill for 12 years, Mk 5:25
Jesus gave his disciples the power to heal, which is the power that was given to Moses, v.1 – God gave this power to Moses as a sign to the Jews that God was truly going to get them out of Egypt and take them into their own land, Ex 4:6-8; Jesus gave this power to the disciples as a sign that he had come to free them from bondage (Jn 8:33-36) and set them up in their own land.
Jesus called the people to whom he sent them “sheep,” v.6 – this matches what Moses called them in Num 27:16-17
Jesus restricted them from going to the Gentiles and the Samaritans, v.5 – because the Samaritans weren’t really Jews, 2 Ki 17:24; Moses commanded the Jews to remain separated from the inhabitants of Canaan, Num33:55; likewise Jesus was only dealing with the Jews in his ministry
Jesus commanded them to preach that the kingdom of heaven was at hand v.7 – when the Jews left Egypt, they left as a kingdom and a nation, Ex 19:6; Num 24:5-7; their kingdom was at hand
Note: v.8 cleansing lepers and raising the dead were done free of charge; this is not like modern healers who can’t perform these miracles and they charge for the ones they profess to perform
Jesus sent them out with just the clothes on their back; they would get what they needed from the people to whom they preached, v.9-10 – this is like the Jews leaving Egypt, Ex 12:11, 35-36
Jesus commanded them to stay where they were received peacefully and leave where they were not received, v.11-14 – when the Jews entered Canaan, they could make peace with cities that were far off, Deut 20:10-12
Jesus warned them that the cities that didn’t receive them would receive harsher judgment than Sodom & Gomorrah, v.15 – showing that rejecting the King of the Jews is worse than all the wicked sins of Sodom & Gomorrah, Eze 16:49-50.
By studying these comparisons, we see that the Jews had overwhelming evidence that the kingdom they once had was about to be restored to them.