Thursday, December 30, 2021
17-20 “Don’t be naive. Some people will question your motives, others will smear your reputation—just because you believe in me. So don’t be upset when they haul you before the civil authorities. Without knowing it, they’ve done you—and me—a favor, given you a platform for preaching the kingdom news! And don’t worry about what you’ll say or how you’ll say it. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words.
21-23 “When people realize it is the living God you are presenting and not some idol that makes them feel good, they are going to turn on you, even people in your own family. There is a great irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate! But don’t quit. Don’t cave in. It is all well worth it in the end. It is not success you are after in such times but survival. Be survivors! Before you’ve run out of options, the Son of Man will have arrived.
-Matthew 10:17-23 The Message
Verse 17: But be on guard against people, for they will hand you over to the courts and flog you in their synagogues;
Verse 18: And you will even be brought before governors and kings on My account, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.
Verses 17-18 studies: The disciples did experience hardships (Acts 5:40; 12:1-3), not just from the government and courts, but personal as well, friends and family (10:21). Following God does bring persecution, but that brings an opportunity to tell the Good News of salvation. Be confident during the persecution, be confident because Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33). Those who endure to the end will be saved (10:22).
Verse 19: But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given you in that hour.
Verse 20: For it is not you who are speaking, but it is the Spirit of your Father who is speaking in you.
Verses 19-20 studies: It was a matter of when the disciples were arrested for preaching the gospel; Jesus told them not to worry about what they will say in their defense. God’s Spirit will speak through them. For a case in point, Acts 4:8-14 is recorded of this promise. Something to remember is that most people make the mistake of thinking that God will take care of everything by not preparing to present the gospel. On the contrary, Scripture teaches us to prepare ourselves thoroughly, meaning carefully thought out statements (Colossians 4:6). To sum it up, Jesus is telling us to stop worrying and stay prepared.
Verse 21: “Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.
Verse 22: And you will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.
Verse 22 study: The evidence behind being saved is a person’s commitment to Jesus and not by endurance to the end. Earn salvation is not by persistence; it is by a truly devoted life.
Verse 23: “But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.
Verse 23 study: Christ warned the disciples against premature martyrdom. They were to leave before the persecution got too great. There is plenty of work that needs to be done before Christ’s return, plenty of people to reach out to. After his return, the world will realize his true identity (24:14, Romans 14:9-12).
Luke 12:11; Acts 5:40; 22:19, 26:11
Mark 13:11-13; Luke 21:12-17; Matthew 6:25
Luke 12:12; Acts 4:8; 13:9; 2 Corinthians 13:3
Mark 13:12; Micah 7:6
Luke 21:17; John 15:18; Matthew 24:13
Father, being prepared is what we train our whole lives to do. Work, personal lives, and through you. It is as essential now as ever. Let us be prepared, open-minded to share the gospel through your words, not our own. In Jesus’ name. Amen.