³⁴Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. ³⁵For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; ³⁶and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.
³⁷He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. ³⁸And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
³⁹He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.
The Reward of Service
⁴⁰He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. ⁴¹He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. ⁴²And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”
The decision to follow Jesus unconditionally, brings unpleasant consequences in life.
Of course everyone prefers to live undisturbed and peacefully and to keep peace with all people. But that is simply not possible in this sinful world. We must never deny our Savior “for the sake of peace” (Matthew 10:32,33; 2 Timothy 2:12).
He who stands on His side in everything, will get people against him.
That can be painful, especially when it comes to your own family (Matthew 10:34-36; cf. Luke 12:51-53). But we will have to, and be able to accept that, for Jesus’ sake.
If He is on our side, we are strong (cf. Romans 8:35-39; Philippians 4:11-13).
So we must always be well aware that Jesus did not come to confirm us above all in our own chosen life purpose, that we want to achieve as much as possible by choosing the path of least resistance.
That is a deceitful peace that will not last.
It is very dangerous to be at peace with a state of affairs that is contrary to God’s will, and to be at peace with your own selfish nature.
No, Jesus calls us to fight against all this (cf. 1 Timothy 6:11,12).
He has come to lead us in this.
To bite the bullet ourselves and give us the strength to do it.
It is a matter of love, the fulfillment of the great commandment: to love the LORD above all else (Matthew 22:37) or to always put Him first (cf. Matthew 10:37).
We must then subordinate our self-love to the love of Him, and above all deny our egoism.
That is exactly what Jesus came for, to bear and atone for our sins, and to make love for God possible again.
To participate in this, we must take up the cross of Jesus: this is the suffering for Jesus’ sake (Matthew 10:38,39; Cf. Luke 9:23).
Whoever shares in His suffering may also share in His glory.
Furthermore, there are also positive consequences of the choice for the Lord Jesus: the reward of grace (Matthew 10:40-42).
What a blessing it is to meet fellow believers and to give, or receive from them, support, encouragement, comfort and help!
- What task do we have concerning believers who seem to be on their own? (Compare Galatians 6:10.)
- Thank God that He makes it possible for you to follow Him with joy, even though it goes through suffering.
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