Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Discipleship 101?

One thing i love about reading the Gospel's slowly is that i'm picking up on (really obvious) stuff i would have missed otherwise. The middle bit of Matthew 10 is a good example of this.

Jesus is sending out the twelve on their first, maybe the first, short term mission. He's told them where to go and what to focus on, he's told them to beware persecutions, both long and short term, and now, in verses 24-31, he'll tell them how to react. How to live, how to be a Christian in a hostile Devil ruled environment. How to sing the songs of Zion in Babylon.

1) Don't be surprised (24-25)
If people hated Jesus, they're bound to hate those who serve Him. And probably much more. They hate the master, they'll hate the servants, they hate the teacher, they'll hate the pupils. This shouldn't surprise us. We shouldn't be put off by it. In fact it's means we get to be like Jesus! We get to know, in a small, small measure what He went through. Their hatred of the twelve, and us will be different, but it will be the same in type. Don't be surprised. Don't be discouraged.

2) The truth will be known (26-28)
Don't fear them, says Jesus. Nothing that is not known now will be hidden forever. All we be uncovered all righteousness will be made known. Their evil and your good, revealed for all to see. So don't fear them. The truth will be known. What have you got to fear. And since this truth will be known, make it known. What Christ has told you in the dark, tell in the light, what you have had whispered to you, shout from the rooftops. What you see in the Bible in study and under preaching, make known to all. Cut with the flow of Divinely appointed history, and preach the Gospel.

3) Do not fear (29-31)
And as you do this, don't be afraid. People will hate you for it, but don't be afraid. Why not? Well not only because all righteousness will one day be revealed, but there is a much greater reason than Jesus gives here. That reason is Himself. Man can kill us, man could kill all twelve of the disciples, and, with the obvious exception, eventually did, as far as we know. But that's all man can do. Jesus can destroy you forever in Hell. So fear Him. I mean, even when man kills you you're just being sent to enjoy eternal pleasure and fullness of joy. You will go to God, your exceeding joy. So don't fear man who can kill, but Jesus who can destroy. Why else shouldn't we fear man? Because we are of more value than many sparrows. Jesus illustration moves from the minor to the major. If the Father knows intimately the movements of sparrows, how can he not know about you? Indeed, He loves you, and knows the hairs on your head.

So preach the Gospel, get hated for it...even get killed for it, because the body they may kill, His truth abideth still.

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