When Jesus sent out His disciples in Matthew, Chapter 10, He had very specific instructions, warnings and words of wisdom. The disciples were given “authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.” (vs. 1) I feel sure that sounded pretty awesome. However, they were also informed in vs. 17 and 18 about imprisonment and floggings. Jesus said in vs 16, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.” Not sounding quite so awesome…right?! Let’s dig a bit deeper into the chapter.
As a child I remember being particularly disturbed by vs. 37-38 which says, “Anyone who loves his father or mother more that me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” At seven years old my dad did his best to explain this to me. I wanted to be worthy of Jesus, but I loved my family so much. How could I ever choose one over the other?
This verse is definitely one that requires more Christian maturity and understanding than the mind of a seven-year old. Yet years later at 57, I ask myself would I decidedly choose Jesus over my family, my friendships, my own life ? In truth, we want to believe these are choices we would never have to make, but this scripture is quite clear. Current events bear truth to this as we witness people choose Jesus, standing firm in their faith, and losing life on earth to gain eternity in Heaven. It can and does happen.
“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge before my Father in Heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will also disown before my Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)
When my devotional time led me to this scripture, I was reminded of the cost of following Christ. I was reminded I need to live my life more intentionally, sending down deep roots in my relationship with Him because we never know what tomorrow will bring. Not that we are to worry, but we should be prepared to stand for our Lord, making Him and His will for our lives first choice.
People need to see the light of Jesus shining through us no matter what the cost. Untangle yourself from anything forcing Jesus off the throne of your life. Seek first The One who is most important, not the things, the people and approval this world offers instead. Your family members are dear to your heart, but you minister to them the best when you are led by God to bear witness to them.
Please take time to read the entirety of Matthew 10 to hear more of Jesus’ words to the disciples. Take note, be encouraged, live with purpose. Walk in grace, in trust and in faith, knowing Jesus will never leave your side. This world needs disciples. WE are those disciples, and two thousand years later, this scripture holds true for us. Prepare a way for The Lord! To God Be the Glory!