10:2-4 This is the only time in Matthew that the Twelve are designated as 'apostles.' Apostle means "one who is sent." Prior to this, they were disciples. And later others will be sent as disciples. But these 12 are apostles, with special designation from Jesus.
10:2 'James, the son of Zebedee,' called James the greater, was put to death by Herod. He was brother to John the Evangelist. The other James was called the less, also James of Alpheus, and the brother of the Lord, bishop of Jerusalem, martyred there about the year 61. (Haydock)
10:3 Thaddaeus is mentioned only twice in Scripture, here and in Mk 3:18, both lists of the apostles. In the other two lists of the apostles (Lk 6:16 and Ac 1:13), only 11 are listed. (Gordon-Conwell).
10:4 'Simon the Cananean': Cananean means "zealot" but the meaning of the designation is unclear. Could simply reference his religious zeal -or- his official membership in the party of the Zealots.
10:5 See Bible study for this section on more explanation of why Jesus' instructions here excluded preaching to the Gentiles.
10:14 'Shake the dust from your feet': this gesture indications a complete disassociation from such unbelievers. The early church took the instructions given directly by Jesus here (and in Mark 6:6b-13) as a checklist/rules for missionaries and how to act with "those whose hospitality they sought" (Brown et al., p.609).
10:17 Jesus begins to speak of the persecutions that the apostles will undergo following his death & resurrection.
10:20 "the spirit of your father: In contrast to the Lucan parallel, Matt stresses that the holy Spirit is the spirit of God the Father" (Brown et al., p.651).
10:22 When Matthew refers to "the end" here, he is most likely referring to the end of that particular individual's life rather than the End of Times.
10:23 It is difficult to decipher how the disciples took the term "before the Son of Man comes." Obviously at this point the death and resurrection had not taken place.
10:25 'Beelzebul' means "prince of demons." As in the last chapter, this is a foreshadowing the charges that will be brought against Jesus.
10:34 'the sword' refers not an "uprising but as a regrettable side effect of tension and division resulting from the uncompromising proclamation of the kingdom" (Brown et al., p.652).
10:38 The first mention of the cross in Matthew, explicitly that of the disciple, but implicitly that of Jesus (and follow after me). During this time period, crucifixion was a form of capital punishment used by the Romans for offenders who were not Roman citizens (Catholic Book Publishing, fn).
10:39 One who denies Jesus in order to save one's earthly life will be condemned to everlasting destruction; loss of eathly life for Jesus' sake will be rewarded by everlasting life in the kingdom.
10:40-42 Those who receive the disciples of Jesus also receive Jesus.