In today's study from Matthew 10:34-39, our Lord continues to encourage the disciples that they were to take up their crosses because theirs would be a message that will cause division and come at a personal cost.
Christ Brings Division
vv.34-37 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (35) For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (36) And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. (37) He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
This quote came from the Old Testament. Mic 7:6 “For son dishonors father, Daughter rises against her mother, Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; A man's enemies are the men of his own household.” This verse does not mean that Jesus purposely came to bring about discord and contention, but that the message of the gospel would cause it. Jesus told the Jews in Mat 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. The message that Jesus brought was divisive.
It still is. You can talk about Buddha, Allah, or anyone else, but say the name of Jesus and watch them coil up. Why do you think? Because Jesus, unlike the others, declared that he was the way, the truth, and the life, and no one gets to the Father but through him! When you mention the name “Jesus”, you have drawn a proverbial line in the sand that the world hates.
Personally, my greatest fear is not the world. Wolves are wolves. It is the ones wearing the sheep skin that bother me. Jesus warned us in Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. In my opinion, the world is not the biggest enemy of the church, it is the enemy within. Paul told the church in Acts, For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears (Acts 20:29-31).
No doubt, sometimes they obvious like John mentioned in 1Jn 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. Unfortunately, though many times they are not. My encouragement to you is simple, it you are involved in a church that is not teaching the Bible, get out now! If a man will twist the Scriptures in one place, he will twist them in another place. Get out!
Take Up the Cross
vv.38-39 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. (39) He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
Bear in mind, that our Lord is still sending them out to preach the gospel fo the Kingdom. He is still asking them to count the cost. He would become the perfect example of this in his own death. Jesus could have saved Himself from the cross anytime that He wanted to. However, He knew the cross was the only way to bring salvation to you and me. Paul said in Php 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
In the same way, the disciples needed to understand that their cross was just as necessary. Mat 20:22-23 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. 23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
So, we too according to Gal 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” The bottom line is that the Christian life is a life of daily dying to oneself.