Friday, February 18, 2005
Matthew 10:28 – “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.” - Jesus has just assured His disciples that persecution will come. In the rest of chapter 10 He tells them they will be flogged, thrown in jail, and family will kill family, they will have to flee from town to town. It is astonishing to realize that this is the charge He gave them before He sent the 12 out for the first time. I don’t hear many motivational speeches like this. Can you imgagine... "Alright team, this project ahead of you is going to be awful. You will be beaten, hated by family, won't be able to settle down, and there is a good chance of a violent death. Okay, go out there and get em." And then here in verse 28 He “encourages” them by saying not to be afraid of those who can kill the body. Jesus doesn’t say, I will be with you and make sure the persecution doesn't get out of hand. He acknowledges that they may be killed. But they shouldn’t be afraid of that he says. Their primary concern should not be preserving their own life, instead it should be staying faithful to Christ and proclaiming His truth boldly. In verses 32-33 Jesus tells them that whoever acknowledge Him before men, Jesus will stand with them before the Father. But if we deny Him, He will deny us before the Father. That should be what we are truly afraid of. So when the gun is pointed at my head, or the prison sentence stares me in the face, or when people I respect may find me weird or uncomfortable, I should not be afraid of that. Instead, I should fear denying my Lord, and having to stand before the judgment seat of Almighty God without Christ as my advocate. This section is summed up by Matthew 10:22, “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” May we become a people who desire to be with Christ, more than the approval of man. Lord, please help us to endure.