In Matthew 10, Jesus calls the twelve apostles, whom we often refer to as His disciples. Peter, Andrew, James, John, Phillip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (the son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon (the Zealot), and Judas. He sent them out to the people of Israel, giving the power to cast out demons, and heal people.
Jesus told them to “announce that the Kingdom of Heaven is near”. They were to live off the gifts of the people they ministered to. Jesus warned them, that not everyone would love and accept them. They needed to be careful and wise while loving people as they are. Jesus told them that they would experience persecution like being whipped and dying for Him. They would be hated and betrayed, even by family.
Jesus told them not to be afraid – because even though someone can threaten your life – they can’t touch your soul that is secure because of the cross. He reminded them that God loves them – they are valuable to Him and He will take care of them.
They must remember to stand firm for Jesus and not deny Him even when times get tough. Being on His team means that people will reject you. But you must love Him more than anything or anyone. Being a disciple means taking up your cross and following Him. This may involve giving your life for Him.
When you read this chapter, and realize how Jesus describes your life as a Christ-follower. You begin to understand that it is nothing like we live our lives. We want a comfortable, easy life full of fun and safey – and Jesus describes it as one full of hate, persecution, and even death.
Why do you think the comparisons are so different? Could it be that we are not living like Jesus called us to? Not taking up our cross? Not standing up for Him? What needs to change for you and I to accept the call to be Jesus’ disciple?
- As you think today about Jesus’ clear call to be His disciple, how does that compare to your life?
- Is it different today than it was then?
- What do you think is reasonable for Jesus to ask? (be honest now)
- What are you willing to do to follow Him?
By: Tim Parsons