I have to be honest, this whole chapter 10 really bothered me trying to go to sleep on it. I think the part that bothers me is the part where it says
“brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.”
This has happened in history. Most predominantly in our century was during the Cultural Revolution that happened in Asia. . Many of the youth turned against their parents and had them put to death. Though it wasn’t exactly for being followers of Jesus Christ. There have been other examples such as what happens in parts of Eastern Africa with child soldiers. Or in countries that expressly forbids Christianity.
But I think what disturbs me the most is that I see more and more in television how parents are portrayed as dumb and stupid, basically as idiots, and how the children are portrayed as really knowing what they’re talking about. I also see a different climate in the attitude towards Christians rising at a much faster rate than I’m comfortable with. All in all, I foresee this Scripture as possibly being fulfilled in my own country sometime in the future. And that is haunting.
Also what disturbs me in this section is the extent of the discipleship that Jesus call us to:
“he who disowns me before my father in heaven, I will also disown him before my father in heaven,” “anyone who loves his father or more than me is not worthy of me, anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me, and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” Strong words.
Yet at the same time the Father reaffirms His deep value for his children. He tells them three times not to be afraid of those who can only kill the body but not the soul. He affirms His children by saying,
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of the will fall to the ground apart from the will of your father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid, you are worthy more than many sparrows” (emphasis mine).
And he goes on to talk about those who would dare insult the apple of his eye: “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the judgment day than for that town.”
And his fierce loyalty to those who bless his children, “and if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, he will certainly not lose his reward.”
So all in all, the times are tough, the discipleship to follow Jesus tougher, and God’s love and protection towards us the fiercest of all. I’m encouraged and I’m trembling in my shoes.
Matthew 10:24-42 (January 13)