Warren Carter (235) holds that the disciples are told to receive no payment both to ensure the access of the poor to their mission and in order that they might embrace the margins of poverty and powerlessness. Jesus instructs them to travel light so as to be inconspicuous, to minimize the expected opposition from political and religious elites (cf. 10:16-17). Not carrying bags and staffs serves to minimize signs they are on a journey and increase their safety on an already perilous endeavor.
W.D. Davies and Dale Allison Jr. (170-174) hold that they are not to receive payment for healing acts because God freely gave them the power to heal. The travel prohibitions they are given demonstrate that ‘they have unloosed their ties to the present age.” By going without possessions they “put themselves beyond suspicion” and “become examples of trust in God’s providential care.” The lack of a staff can be interpreted as a sign of pacifism, as they were often used to ward off attackers.
Although I am quite sympathetic to Carter’s concerns and overall project, I think Davies and Allison are correct that these prohibitions ultimately serve more to dramatize than minimize the difference between Jesus’ disciples and ‘the world.’ Neither of the commentators, though, note an interesting connection between the