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2007-03-11_Like The Master_Matthew 10.24-42_SL

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Like The Master

Matthew 10:24-42   |   Shaun LePage   |   March 11, 2007

I.       Introduction

A.    I love to read about missionaries. Real men and women answering the call of Christ. Raymond Lull (born in 1232; From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya, Ruth Tucker, p.54-55—stop at “ship left port without him.” The fear of persecution has left many standing on the dock holding their bags. It’s a very real possibility—one that Jesus did not keep secret. He was persecuted. He made it clear that His followers would be too. But, His words at the end of Matthew 10 provide great encouragement.

B.    Matthew 1-10—Jesus presenting Himself to Israel as King.

C.    Review of Chapter 10:

1.     1-15—temporary mission for the 12; only to Israel; don’t take extra money, clothes, etc.

2.     16-23—beyond the temporary mission; full mission of Jesus followers—from the 12 to 2nd Coming; focused on the difficulty of the task

3.     24-42—Principles of discipleship for every generation!

II.     Body—Matthew 10:24-42—6 Promises for Disciples of Jesus

A.    You will be maligned if you become like Jesus (24-26).

1.     24—“Disciple” (beyond “apostles” (v.2)); Common sense statements leading to v.25

2.     25—Primary purpose: Be like Christ (Luke 6:40). If so—what happens? Treated like Jesus. “Beelzebul” (“lord of the house” (play on words) Satan to Jews) 9:34; 12:24; John 15:18-21

3.     26—“Do not fear” main point after persecution promised in 10:16-23. “Revealed” refers to final judgment—Don’t be concerned with what people say now, but with what God says then

B.    You will be abused if you speak for Jesus (27-28a)

1.     27—“Apostles” proclaimed what the Holy Spirit gave them (2 Pt 1.21; 1 Thess 2:13), we are to “Speak / proclaim” too—darkness/whispered (devotions, small group, sermons); gather to listen, scatter to proclaim. Be bold! Our message is not from men, but from God!

2.     28a—“Do not fear” (repeat!) “those who kill the body” (10:21; Rev 2:8-11) How can we not “fear”? Eternal perspective! “unable to kill the soul”; Martin Luther (A Mighty Fortess) “Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also; The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still; His kingdom is forever.” 2 Cor 4:16-18—v.15 The message !

3.     2 Promises we can’t get so excited about—four that we can.

C.    You will be cared for by Your Father if you honor Jesus (28b-31)

1.     “Do not fear” people—don’t let people intimidate you. “Rather, fear” God—honor, reverence (Jesus! Rev 19:11-16). If we don’t speak, God will throw us into hell? No—not a threat, but a reminder of God’s power/control over this life and next—deserves our honor, reverential fear (Heb 12:28-29); also should give us compassion for unbelievers—greater danger than physical death if we remain silent (remember the lead-in; end of chapter 9, esp. v.36).

2.     “Sparrows” very inexpensive, sold for food; not one dies without the Father’s notice; argument from lesser to greater—bird to man. | “Hairs numbered”—if God keeps track of every hair, will He not keep track of your entire body and soul? Not a promise of no suffering/death. A promise that you will not suffer the smallest loss (hair) unless it is God’s will, for His glory! | “more valuable than many sparrows” Do not fear—God is omniscience and sovereign-details.

D.    You will be honored by Jesus if you confess Jesus (32-33)

1.     This entire passage (through v.39) is often greatly misunderstood. Many teach that being a “Disciple” (vs.1,24) and being a Christian is the same thing. Some tell us that if we don’t “confess” Jesus, we will lose our salvation. Others tell us that if we “deny” Jesus, we prove that we never were really saved. But this misinterpretation of passages like this leads to a theology of legalism that makes assurance of salvation impossible. The gospel is free (Ro 6:23) and one is saved by faith alone (Jn 5:24). But, to be a disciple, we must pay a high cost! Dr. Joseph Dillow—writing about this passage and Lk 14—writes: “Now if being a disciple and being a Christian are the same thing, as some…maintain, then are they not introducing a serious heresy into the gospel? In order to become a Christian, one must not only believe on Christ, but he must also (1) hate his father, mother, wife, children and his own life; (2) carry his cross; (3) be willing to follow Jesus around Palestine; and (4) give up everything. Can any amount of theological sophistry equate these four conditions with the simple offer of a free gift on the basis of believing? Being a disciple and being a Christian cannot be the same thing!” (Reign of the Servant Kings, p. 154)

2.     What does it mean to be “denied” before the Father then? To “not be worthy”? A loss of eternal rewards. 2 Cor 5:10—every act will be evaluated. Deny Him? Lose reward. Refuse to put Christ above all others including ourselves? Loss of honor in eternity—Rev. 3:11,12 | So, to have Christ “confess” you before the Father is to honor you as an “overcomer”! Mt 25:21,23

E.     You will be given real life if you choose Jesus (34-39)

1.     34—From “heaven” (v.33) to “earth” (v.34). Purpose statement! Not “peace” (Who is Jesus?) “Sword”—division between believers/unbelievers; those who “confess/deny”. Is 9:6 “Prince of Peace”—first time a sword, next time He will be the Prince of Peace.

2.     35-36—reminder of v.21 and Messianic expectation (Micah 7:6); Jesus honestly and unashamedly says, “Choose Me over all others.” How many have refused to serve Christ, accept a mission or turn from a dead religious way of life because of family?

3.     37—“Love” for Jesus should eclipse all other loves. (J. Hudson Taylor, Tucker, p.174)

4.     38-39—first mention of “cross” in NT. Such great commitment—willing to die for Christ! The call is to lose your life for Christ. Exciting thing: lose it, you find it! Either investing in this life or investing in the next. 6:19-21; Col 3:2—“you must choose your world!”

F.     You will be rewarded if you receive Jesus (40-42)

1.     10 “he whos” or “whoevers” in vs.37-42. A list of choices!

2.     Remember the context: discipleship. Jesus is telling the 12 (you, prophet, righteous man, little ones)—after several difficult promises—that some will receive them as messengers of Christ. Many will reject them and persecute them, but others will receive them.

3.     “Reward” tells us choosing to follow Christ is worth it! Matt 6:10-12.

4.     Does “He who receives” include you? Have you “received” the message of the 12? Their message is Jesus (v.40). Receive salvation in Christ. Answer the call to be His disciple.

III.   Closing:

A.    Who is Jesus? Matthew tells us what Jesus Himself said. He is the Teacher and Master who brought a sword to divide humanity into two camps: Those who trust Him for salvation and those who don’t. He insists upon absolute allegiance. Question: What will you do with Jesus?

B.    The story of Raymond Lull did not end where I finished reading (Finish reading Tucker, p.55).

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