Faithlife Sermons

Christ's Call to a Suffering Life

Matthew's Gospel  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view

Persecution is to be expected where there is faithfulness in gospel ministry (and Christian life by extension)

Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Background

Greek Text: Ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἀποστέλλω ὑμᾶς ὡς πρόβατα ἐν μέσῳ λύκων· γίνεσθε οὖν φρόνιμοι ὡς οἱ ὄφεις καὶ ἀκέραιοι ὡς αἱ περιστεραί. 17 προσέχετε δὲ ἀπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων· παραδώσουσιν γὰρ ὑμᾶς εἰς συνέδρια, καὶ ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν μαστιγώσουσιν ὑμᾶς· 18 καὶ ἐπὶ ἡγεμόνας δὲ καὶ βασιλεῖς ἀχθήσεσθε ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ, εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς καὶ τοῖς ἔθνεσιν. 19 ὅταν δὲ παραδῶσιν ὑμᾶς, μὴ μεριμνήσητε πῶς ἢ τί λαλήσητε· δοθήσεται γὰρ ὑμῖν ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ τί λαλήσητε· 20 οὐ γὰρ ὑμεῖς ἐστὲ οἱ λαλοῦντες, ἀλλὰ τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ πατρὸς ὑμῶν τὸ λαλοῦν ἐν ὑμῖν. 21 παραδώσει δὲ ἀδελφὸς ἀδελφὸν εἰς θάνατον καὶ πατὴρ τέκνον, καὶ ἐπαναστήσονται τέκνα ἐπὶ γονεῖς καὶ θανατώσουσιν αὐτούς. 22 καὶ ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι ὑπὸ πάντων διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου· ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος, οὗτος σωθήσεται. 23 ὅταν δὲ διώκωσιν ὑμᾶς ἐν τῇ πόλει ταύτῃ, φεύγετε εἰς τὴν ἑτέραν· ἀμὴν γὰρ λέγω ὑμῖν, οὐ μὴ τελέσητε τὰς πόλεις τοῦ Ἰσραήλ ἕως ἂν ἔλθῃ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.
English Text: : [16] Behold, I am sending all of you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise people as serpents and innocent as doves. [17] But watch out for men because they will deliver you up to Sanhedrin, and flog you before synagogues. [18] And you will be brought before governors and kings on account of me as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. [19] And when you are delivered up do not be anxious about how or what to speak. Because it will be given in that hour what to speak. [20] Because it is not you the ones speaking, but the Spirit of your heavenly Father speaking in you. [21] But brother will deliver brother to death and a father a child, and children rise against parents and put them to death. [22] And you will be hated by everyone on account of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be delivered. [23] But when they persecute you in this city, escape to another. For truly I say to you, you will not have passed through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
See DA
Exegetical Main Point: The disciples are to expect persecution, and are comforted by the reality that the Triune God is with them.
Pastoral Main Point: When we suffer for the sake of the gospel, we can be sure that we are safe in the hands of our Saviour and will provide the necessary wisdom and way of escape.
Cross References:
10:16:
Discourse; Sermon 10:5–11:1
Saying, Discipleship 10:5–16
Longacre Genre
Primary: Behavioral: Hortatory
Jesus sends out the apostles Event
Adoption, Blasphemy, Commitment, Conflict, Death and Dying, Discipleship, Education, Evangelism, Family, Fear, God: Father, God: Providence, Holy Spirit, Jesus: Humanity, Mission, Persecution, Perseverance, Purity, Salvation, Service, Wisdom
o ; []
Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.
As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
p
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
q (Gk.); ; []
For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.
that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.
10:17
“But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them.
And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.
And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say,
for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
s See ch. 23:34
Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,
10:18
be \ˈbē\ verb past 1st & 3d singular was \ˈwəz, ˈwäz\; 2d singular were \ˈwər\; plural were; past subjunctive were; past part been \ˈbin, ˈben, chiefly British ˈbēn\; presentparticiple be•ing \ˈbē(-i)ŋ\; present 1st singular am \əm, ˈam\; 2d singular are \ˈär, ər\; 3d singular is \ˈiz, əz\; plural are; present subjunctive be [Middle English, from Old English bēon; akin to Old High German bim am, Latin fui I have been, futurus about to be, fieri to become, be done, Greek phynai to be born, be by nature, phyein to produce] verb intransitive before 12th century 1 a: to equal in meaning: have the same connotation as: SYMBOLIZE 〈God is love〉 〈January is the first month〉 〈let xbe 10〉 b: to have identity with 〈the first person I met was my brother〉 c: to constitute the same class as d: to have a specified qualification or characterization 〈the leaves are green〉 e: to belong to the class of 〈the fish is a trout〉—used regularly in senses 1a through 1e as the copula of simple predication 2 …
MW Collegiate Dict. (11th Ed.)
72 ἄγω (agō): vb. [see ἄγε (age), between 35–36]; ≡ Str 71 & 33—1. LN 15.165 bring, direct movement of an object (); 2. LN 15.210 carry, or bring people or animals (; .r.); 3. LN 15.34 go away, depart (; .r.); 4. LN 36.1 guide, lead (); 5. LN 42.1 function, be operative, actively perform a function (); 6. LN 67.64 occur, take place (), for another interp, see next; 7. LN 67.79 spend time, be with one for a duration of time (), for another interp, see prior
DBL Greek
71. ἄγω agō; a prim. vb.; to lead, bring, carry:—arrest(1), bring(11), bringing(3), brought(26), go(5), going(2), lead(1), leads(1), led(12), led away(1), session(1), taking(1), took away(1).
NASB Dictionaries
you will be brought NKJV, NIV, LEB
you will be dragged ESV, NRSV, RSV
ye shall be brought KJV 1900, AV 1873
you will ... be brought NASB95
You will stand trial NLT
Text Comparison
ἀχθήσεσθε achthēsesthe
ἄγω agōlead; bring
αγω agō lead; bring
VFPI2P verb, future, passive, indicative, second person, plural
G71 Greek Strong’s
LN 15.165 Louw-Nida
to be brought to judgment verb
t See ch. 8:4
And Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”
r [See ver. 17 above]
Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues,
10:19
When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, 22 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. 13 This will be your opportunity to bear witness. 14 Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. 17 You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.
At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them!
But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
w ; []; See
I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.
And the LORD put a word in Balaam’s mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak.”
Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”
10:20
x ; ; ; ; ; ; [ver. 40; ; ]
for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders,
But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.
But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
since you seek proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you.
“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.
And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,
y []
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.
10:21
For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.
10:22
10:22
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.
b ch. 24:13; ; [, ; ; ]; See
But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days.
But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”
Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.
10:23
c ch. 23:34
Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,
d [ch. 12:15; ; , ; ; , ]
Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all
And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket.
And when the brothers learned this, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country,
The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue.
Then the brothers immediately sent Paul off on his way to the sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there.
e ch. 16:28
Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
f ; ; ; []
A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.
Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
6 Or bondservant; also verse 25
It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.

Introduction

Opening Illustration: Before every battle, the commander of the army stands before his soldiers and gives them a charge. This charge includes what the mission is, the reality of the dangers, but why the goal of it all makes it worth it. J.R.R. Tolkien’s Return of the King, Aragorn says. “I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!”
We see something of this charge in chapter 10. Jesus has appointed twelve disciples to preach the gospel. Here we have Jesus stating the mission: Preach the gospel starting from Israel and eventually to the Gentile world as well (which only begins to happen after Jesus pours out his Spirit at Pentecost). The dangers that lie ahead in this mission: 16-25; 34-39. Comfort in the midst of challenges: 26-33. And the reason why it’s all worth it: 40-42. This whole chapter is a part of Jesus’s charge to his disciples to prepare for the suffering that they are about to face on account of preaching the gospel. And in today’s passage, I want to point out four things that Jesus says will happen to his followers, particularly to those who preach the gospel.

The Reality of Suffering (10:16-18, 23)

v.16:
Sheep: Stupid and defenseless.
Wolves: Attack the defenseless sheep.
Cunning as serpents: Exercise the best of wisdom. Like Paul, sometimes it means to flee and sometimes it means to stay.
Innocent as doves: While being faultless and blameless in everything they do.
v.17-18:
Persecution will be by both Jews and Gentiles - wherever Christians are in this world.
The reason why they will be persecuted is for Christ’s sake.
Illustration: Stories from the early church.
Paul was beheaded by Emperor Nero in 66.
Around the same time, Peter, at his request, was crucified upside down since he felt he was not worthy to die like his Lord.
Andrew is said to have been crucified in Greece.
Thomas is said to have been killed by men with spears.
Philip was killed cruelly by a government official for converting his wife in North Africa.
Matthew is said to have been killed in Ethiopia.
Bartholomew died as a martyr for Christ.
James was stoned and beaten to death probably in Syria.
Simon, the zealot, was killed in Persia for refusing to sacrifice to the sun god.
Matthias, the one who replaced Judas, was killed by burning.
In the first century, Emperor Nero would get Christians dressed like animals and wild dogs would tear them to pieces or they were crucified or used as human torches at night to give light.
In the second century, in the country of Tunisia, two young women and new converts, Perpetua and Felicitas, were jailed, and then killed by the sword for not denying Christ.
In the fourth century, in the country of Armenia, 40 unnamed soldiers were killed by being stripped naked and tied to posts on ice, posed them for others for six days, burned their bodies and threw them in the river.
In the twenty-first century, just a few years ago, two brothers were burnt alive for their faith in Libya by ISIS.
In Egypt, Christians were made to kneel down by the beach while the persecutors beheaded them on video.

The Horror of Suffering (10:21-22a)

A vicious, killing hatred by betrayal of loyalty and trust to the point of death.
Illustration: Madhu’s story. Ismail’s story.

The Challenge in Suffering (10:22b)

A continuance in the commitment to follow Christ all the way to the end.
Application: Will your faith withstand such suffering because of your faith?
James Hannington, an Anglican Missionary to Uganda: “Go tell your master that I have purchased the road to Uganda with my blood.”
Illustration: : I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
James Hannington, an Anglican Missionary to Uganda: “Go tell your master that I have purchased the road to Uganda with my blood.”

The Comfort in Suffering (10:19-20)

The Divine Godhead is present in their suffering for the honour of Christ and in preaching the gospel to a lost people.
Jesus says that his Father is their father too. And he will help them in time of need by giving them the Holy Spirit.
The comfort is not that your faith will hold you up, but the God himself will hold you up.
Illustration:
John Knox (c. 1510 – 24 November 1572): “Live in Christ, and the flesh need not fear death.”
Polycarp (ca. 69 – ca. 155) Second century bishop of Smyrna. According to the Martyrdom of Polycarp, he died a martyr when he was stabbed: “Leave me as I am, the one who gives me strength to endure the fire will also give me strength to stay quite still on the pyre., even without the precaution of your nails…. For eighty and six years I have been his servant, and he has done me no wrong, and how can I blaspheme my King who saved me?”
Application: If you are afraid you might not endure, remember that the Holy Spirit has been promised to give you words and strength to speak in the hour of need. You are promised by your Saviour to be received by himself when you die. So should such a time come to you, suffer well and die with confidence. Peter’s example reinforces this idea.

Applications

Go:
Are you willing to give your life for the sake of the gospel?
A call to parents.
Send:
Give sacrificially to local church missions
Set up a separate missions fund.
Find other missionaries to support.
3. Pray:
Children, how can you study so that you can give more when you start earning?
Pray:
For more labourers in the harvest field: ;
For sustaining power for those in the field, particularly those who are in hard places: : For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ
For opportunities to talk about Jesus yourself.
If you are afraid you might not endure, remember that the Holy Spirit has been promised to give you words and strength to speak in the hour of need.
For
Related Media
Related Sermons