All of us face the question: What am I going to believe so much that it changes the way I think, respond and make choices? We make those decisions based on what or who we fear most. Jesus says the wisest choice is to fear God.
Matthew 10 contains the instructions Jesus gave the Twelve before sending them out to minister on his behalf. This journey represents an important first step in Jesus passing his ministry over to his apostles. He sends them into Jewish territory and gives them the authority to heal and teach as he has been doing. This journey will not be a victory tour where they gather support to overthrow Rome. Instead, they will be hated, rejected and persecuted.
24“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.” – Matthew 10:24-25
- The Twelve are about to experience persecution because of their relationship to Jesus. Jesus explains that relationship two ways: students-teacher and master-servant.
- The point of being a student/disciple was to learn how your teacher thinks and acts and emulate him. Teachers taught their disciples a way of living, thinking and acting.
- Likewise, servants or slaves represented their masters. A good steward did what his master told him to and acted the way his master wanted him to act.
- It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher and the servant to be like his master. This is the intended goal and the way the relationship is supposed to work.
- They might be tempted to think they can avoid the rejection Jesus received, but the Twelve should not hope to be treated any better than Jesus was treated.
- The only way to be treated better than your teacher is to stop being his disciple.
- Compare with John 15:18-21.
- To the extent that we become like Jesus, we have the opportunity to experience this same kind of rejection and persecution.
26“So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 10:26-33
- Fear is a motivating emotion. The thing that you fear is the thing that has the most power to influence you for better or worse. It is the factor that you pay the most attention to when making your decisions.
- Jesus makes four related points:
- Matthew 10:26-27 – 1) You might fear that your opponents will keep you from proclaiming your message. God won’t let that happen.
- Matthew 10:28 – 2) You might try to appease your opponent for fear they will kill you. But they cannot take your hope of eternal life. Instead, fear the one who can grant or deny you eternal life.
- Matthew 10:29-31 – 3) Don’t fear what your opponents might do to you. God is in control and God is on your side.
- Matthew 10:32 – 4) In this world, it is dangerous to be associated with Jesus. But when it comes to your eternal destiny, it is dangerous NOT to be associated with Jesus.
Please listen to the podcast for more detail and explanation.
Podcast season 20, episode 15