Monday, May 08, 2006

May 8-13 Matthew 10 Dangerous Discipleship

This is an amazing chapter of Scripture for all of us asking the question: What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus. A disciple is radically different than an institution or religious system. Christianity as an institutional religion has many faults and deserves the criticism it gets. Disciples of Jesus are a whole different story. Being a disciple in Matthew Chapter 10 sounds like this to me:

A messenger of the Kingdom of God, sent by Jesus with power, warned about persecution, warned about loyalty to anyone but Jesus, and promised a great reward.

This sounds like an invitation not everyone under Christian religion has taken. It might be good to walk through this passage to see if we have fully accepted this invitation to be a disciple.

A messenger of the Kingdom.

I believe Matthew's Gospel is consumed with Jesus being the bearer of God's Kingdom. The Sermon on the Mount in the message of the Kingdom.

  1. It is open to all through Jesus
  2. ordinary people are the salt and light of the Kingdom
  3. It is a change of the heart and then actions
  4. It is hindered by a focus on Image and money
  5. It requires complete obedience to Jesus to join in the Kingdom and see its powerful reality

What words or actions tell people about the Kingdom (Verses telling people about a self serving religion of sin management)?

Sent with power (healing and spiritual authority)

Disciples of Jesus are seeing peoples lives healed physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. When someone is filled with the loving and restoring spirit of Jesus people around them will get changed. People will be thirst for the new life that a disciple posses.
Institutions are afraid of anything that makes them look foolish or radical. Loving those who do not expect it is something radical. When I helped my new neighbors move into their house they thought I was a little crazy. They kept wondering what I wanted from them or was trying to sell them something. Those with the spirit of God inside of them do not always realize how self absorbed a person is without Christ. To give ourselves out for others will bring Christ to their front door.
I believe we lack spiritual authority because we are on our own missions and not those commissioned by Christ. If Jesus sets the agenda for your day you can be sure that he is going to clear the way for you to accomplish what he has for you. We always offer prayer for people at Emmaus, but there are nights when God has been telling me all day that I better be ready to pray for someone (because he wants to reach out and tough them through me) and I need to be ready and confident in God's activity.

Warned about Persecution

There is great persecution happening in the world at this very minute. I think it is important to be mindful of those being persecuted and recognize our responsibility to pray for them. is a great place to hear the stories.

What does persecution look like in your life, Job, family?

Allegiance to Jesus alone

It was important for me to remember this week that I will never be the Husband, son and Father I should be if Jesus is not my first love and lord. I will not know the true depth of love a sacrifice for my wife without having the change of heart Jesus offers. I will not be able to be the Father God calls me to be without knowing Him as the ultimate example of a loving Father.

To put others before Jesus is not to love those around us more, but to love them less and less completely. When anyone distracts us from our relationship with Jesus the whole world is loosing out on the blessing of a true Kingdom servant.

What are the biggest distractions to your relationship with Jesus?

We are promised a great reward

I find it heard to speak with confidence and authority when it comes to rewards. I always feel like I am slipping into a merit based or manipulative system. I think this is just the baggage associated with humans using rewards to get what they want from other people.

Last Thursday I went to the Salem Leadership Foundation banquet. Many awards where given at the banquet and in a way it redeemed some of my misconceptions about awards. The awards were for faith leader, city leader, and faith institution of the year. The reality was no one was trying to earn these rewards they were simply an acknowledgement and honoring of the great service and character that had been exhibited in the last year.

How do you feel about rewards for simply doing and being what we were created to do and be?


At 6:39 AM, Blogger jules said...

I keep going through this chapter this week and there is so much to filter and process. I have had vs 37 and 38 highlighted for so long as this has always been a convicting chunk of scripture, but what boggles my mind is everything that comes before it in 34 to 36. i can't really grasp what i think this is supposed to be saying. is it just that there are no limitations to where the dividing line can be of who will choose to follow Christ and He uses families as examples as they're commonly viewed as our most tightly knit grouping of peoples? i'm not sure...

At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matthew 10 and its parallel in Luke 14 are puzzling portions of scripture.

I have found that when I look to apply the words of Jesus, I have to find the correct context. More times than not just discovering who it is that Jesus is talking to helps out the most.

In Matthew 10 Jesus is talking to his 12 chosen disciples. From my perspective, I believe that any literal application was meant only for the 12 disciples. This may seem obvious, however I repeatedly come across people that will feel shamed by verses 34-38, yet readily understand that verses 5-10 can only be understood in context. My position is that Matt 10, as a whole can only be understood in context. It is a set of instruction meant for the 12 disciples, it was not meant for literal application to present day "disciples".

However, I do believe that plenty of application resides in this passage, but little of it for me is literal.

I would encourage everyone to check of the book How to Read the Bible for ALL Its Worth by Fee and Stuart published by Zondervan. There is a section on Matt 10 and Luke 14.

At 4:37 PM, Blogger DJ said...


I would like to agree and disagree with your post. I would also like to compliment your choice of reference books (Fee is an amazing scholar).

I agree that the instructions in Chapter 10 are specifically directed at the 12 disciples. I would disagree with the conclusion that the whole chapter offer nothing more then a look into their sending that doesn't apply anymore.

The message of the Kingdom is still the sending message in Matthew 28 "teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you" (also found at the end of the sermon on the Mount (chapter 7:21-24 those who obey my teachings will enter the Kingdom of heaven)

Also Verses 37-42 (that you mentioned) seem to have a broader application than just this one missionary journey (take up our cross and follow) as well as (he who receives me receives the one who sent me).

I do agree with you that the sending of the disciples to the Jews is a specific Mission. I also agree that traveling evangelism was a specific mission. On these points we have to ask Jesus where he is sending us and how we should be going about our journey.

Thanks for entering into discussion.


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