Saturday, January 1, 2022
32-33 “Stand up for me against world opinion and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven. If you turn tail and run, do you think I’ll cover for you?
34-37 “Don’t think I’ve come to make life cozy. I’ve come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don’t deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don’t deserve me.
38-39 “If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.
-Matthew 10:32-39 The Message
Verse 32: “Therefore, everyone who confesses Me before people, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.
Verse 33: But whoever denies Me before people, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
Verse 34 study: Jesus didn’t come to bring peace based on profound differences just for superficial harmony. There will always be conflict and disagreements between those who follow Christ and those who don’t. We can’t look forward to the day when all disputes will be resolved (Isaiah 9:6, Matthew 5:9, John 14:27).
Verse 34: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
Verse 35: For I came to turn a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
Verse 36: A person’s enemies will be the members of his household.
Verse 37: “The one who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; the one who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
Verse 37: There is more to life than comfort and serenity. Christ calls us to a higher mission. Love for family is the law of God, but love can be self-serving and used as an excuse not to serve God or do his work.
Verse 38: And the one who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
Verse 38 study: Taking our cross and following Jesus is willing to be publicly identified with him, experience opposition, and commit to facing suffering and death for his sake.
Verse 39: The one who has found his life will lose it, and the one who has lost his life on My account will find it.
Verses 34-39 studies: We may witness this within our own social circle, but being a committed Christian may separate friends and loved ones. Jesus does not encourage disobedience to parents or get involved in conflicts at home. He is showing that his presence requires a decision. Because some will and won’t follow Christ, the conflict will continue to rise. Take our cross and follow him as our different values, morals, goals, and purposes will set us apart from others. But don’t neglect your family; let your commitments to God be more important than your family. God should always be your first priority.
Verse 39 study: This verse has a positive and a negative statement of the same truth. Clinging on to life may cause us to forfeit the best from Christ in this world and in the next. The more we love the rewards of leisure, power, financial security, the more we discover the emptiness of life. The honest, best way to enjoy life is to loosen up the greedy grasp of these earthly rewards so we can be free to follow Christ. The result is to inherit eternal life and begin to experience the benefits of following Christ.
Luke 12:8; Revelations 3:5
Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; 2 Timothy 2:12
Micah 7:6; Luke 12:53
Micah 7:6; Matthew 10:21
Deuteronomy 33:9; Luke 14:26
Luke 9:23; 14:27
Matthew 16:25; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24, 17:33; John 12:25
Father, commitment is authentic. Sticking it out with you through thick and thin is precisely what is needed. The thickness of skin to handle challenging situations and the thinness to let go of things that are not important. I pray that the thick and the thin is more than having the thick skin to handle things but thick and thin as in staying with you when the going gets rough, and the good is there. Let us be in the hearts of others today to continue to remain dedicated to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Have a safe and Happy New Year!