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MATTHEW 10 (ESV)
5 These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. 9 Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. 11 And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. ……
16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. ……
26 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 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. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
- There is no greater challenge than to live our lives as disciples of Jesus, the Servant-King. The marks of Jesus’ disciples according to this passage include: acknowledging Jesus before men (v32), placing loyalty to Christ above even the bonds of family (vv34-35), taking up his cross and following Jesus by subjecting one’s will to God even as Jesus chose to subject Himself to the cross (v38), surrendering all for the sake of his Lord (v37).
- In a culture that values family highly, is it possible that you can be blinded by familial loyalty to the truth of the Gospel?
- What does “take his cross and follow Jesus” mean to you? How are you sharing Christ’ suffering in discipleship?
- What does the paradox “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (v39) mean to you? How can you lose yourself for Christ this week?
Prayer & Journaling:
On your prayer journal, as you listen to God, write down a few thoughts, questions, words, names, drawings, or anything that has come to your mind during this time.