Read: Matthew 10
Matthew Ten contains two main sections. The first (10:15) is a continuation of the remarks made by the Savior in 9:35-38. In that section, we note how Jesus calls his disciples to himself and then sends them out to do the work of the ministry. The list of the disciples is included in this section, beginning with the three men (Note: Andrew is included as he is related to Peter) who served in the inner circle of the Savior. A few things to note: first, these men were all very different. Peter was married. Matthew was a tax collector. James and John are brothers. Many of them were fishermen, and most had mediocre education. Yet, the Savior called all of them to serve him as those he sent. Second, it is essential to note that the Lord sent them. They did not run ahead, devising their plans for “doing ministry.” They were called by the Lord and then sent by him. In the church today, many run ahead, thinking they are called to serve in the work of the ministry when, in fact, they may not be. They do not submit themselves to training or service, first in the local church and then by elders who properly examine them. Instead, they act on independent desires and zeal. The model of the New Testament strikes against that notion. Men are called, and then men are sent. Men do not call themselves to serve in the ministry. Men like that should be considered with a great deal of caution.
The following significant sections contain the bulk of the Savior’s teaching, mainly to the disciples he sends out into the world. In this section, we take note of the Lord’s teaching on persecution, fear, peace, and rewards. Consider it the disciple’s first seminary class as the Lord seeks to guide them and protect them from the dangers and difficulties of ministerial life. It is a lesson they will learn slowly, but they will eventually learn it.
- Beware men who run ahead and have never been sent to pastor or shepherd the church. Those men are typically independent thinkers who lack submission to the church. There may be exceptions, but the exceptions do not make the rule. The model of the New Testament is: “called, trained, sent.”
- All Christians will suffer for the name of Christ. Persecution is part of living faithful, godly lives.
- It is impossible to have two masters. Serving Christ may put you at odds with relatives and friends. Choose Christ! It is better to die without friends and inherit the glories of heaven than to die popular with a myriad of friends and lose your soul.