Reflection from my reading in Matthew 10:21-42 in the One Year Bible New Testament.
Jesus, specifically in vs. 26-33, is telling the apostles not to fear people who persecute them for their faith. We would be wise to take these principles to heart.
1. Be Bold
“So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.” Matthew 10:26–27
Everything that is done will be found out! Jesus instrustructed his disciples to not keep what he told them a secret but shout it from the rooftops!
2. Don’t Fear People, Fear God
“And 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.” Matthew 10:28
We should fear God alone! God is the only one who has the power to save your soul. The worst people can do to you is kill your body and send you to heaven!
3. Trust in God’s Protection
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29–31
God loves you way more than a stupid little bird! He knows you individually! He knows more about you than you know about yourself! How many of you know the number of hairs on your head? Just as God takes care of the sparrows he promises to take care of those who serve him.
4. Don’t Be Ashamed of Jesus
“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32–33
This verse doesn’t mean that if you don’t go upfront during the altar call that you are not saved. I am sad that this verse has been misused in that way. What it means is that if Jesus is your Lord then you won’t be ashamed to identify with him. This is a challenge: in your classrooms when your professor is talking down on Christianity, identify with Jesus; when your co-workers are talking about “Christians,” identify with Jesus; when your friends are talking about their faith, don’t be ashamed to talk about yours!
It’s time for Christians to boldly take risks for Jesus, even if it means facing some persecution!
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