Matthew 10:16-23 NASB
¹⁶Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.
¹⁷But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues; ¹⁸and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.
¹⁹But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. ²⁰For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
²¹Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. ²²You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. ²³But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.
It is a privilege to be used by Jesus in the transmission of the Gospel, although this work will be accompanied by great obstacles.
The Gospel is “not according to the ideas of man” (Galatians 1:11).
For I would have you know, brethren,
that the gospel which was preached by me
is not according to man.
Be willing to make sacrifices.
Great resistance must be overcome before the hearers surrender to what God says.
- Jesus is so merciful to prepare us for this.
- If we count on a good job, we will be disappointed.
- So our dedication is really put to the test.
- We can only sustain this work if we rely on our client.
For we belong to ‘the sheep that are among wolves’ (Matthew 10:16), and are in a dangerous and difficult position!
Where does the enmity against the Gospel, which is the message of peace and salvation, come from?
It is an offense to the ideas of the natural, unregenerate man!
The Gospel is misunderstood as an attack on his supposed freedom, and a humiliation of his sense of self.
- Because it goes against the pride, of the one who thinks he does not need God’s grace.
- Because it goes against those, who try to get by with life, and with God, in their own strength .
That’s why they have the tendency to keep those troublesome messengers away from them, or silence them. They also call on the authorities, and on judges to be able to effectively oppose the Gospel (Matthew 10:17,18).
We should not let this discourage us.
After all, God assists us, and through his Spirit, He gives us what to say in such circumstances (Matthew 10:19,20).
Modification of the Good News by silencing or denying its core is of the devil.
In the opposition we may also see proof that we are on the right path: the way after Jesus (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:22-25). After all, he was also persecuted and hated (John 15:18-21). So go about your work calmly, and be resourceful to take advantage of all the opportunities the LORD gives you (Matthew 10:23).
A warned man counts for two!
Christ says that we have to take into account that family members, friends or the whole public opinion can also turn against us.
Then keep looking at the end result (Matthew 10:21,22; Matthew 5:11,12)!
- Which love should always come first? (Compare Matthew 10:37-39.)
- Ask the Lord to give you boldness to stand up for His name and keep it up.
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