God’s Life-Giving Word of Discipleship
Matthew 10:32-42: Amid persecution, Jesus encourages the disciples to remain courageous and faithful. He warns his followers that his message will create conflict and divisiveness within families, but that those who remain faithful to the gospel will receive their reward.
[Jesus said:] “Those who try to gain their own life will lose it; but those who lose their life for my sake will gain it.”
Confessing and Rejecting Christ
32“Those who declare publicly that they belong to me, I will do the same for them before my Father in heaven. 33 But those who reject me publicly, I will reject before my Father in heaven.
Not Peace, but a Sword
(Luke 12.51-53; 14.26,27)
34“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the world. No, I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 I came to set sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law; 36your worst enemies will be the members of your own family.
37“Those who love their father or mother more than me are not fit to be my disciples; those who love their son or daughter more than me are not fit to be my disciples. 38 Those who do not take up their cross and follow in my steps are not fit to be my disciples. 39 Those who try to gain their own life will lose it; but those who lose their life for my sake will gain it.
40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41Whoever welcomes God's messenger because he is God's messenger, will share in his reward. And whoever welcomes a good man because he is good, will share in his reward. 42You can be sure that whoever gives even a drink of cold water to one of the least of these my followers because he is my follower, will certainly receive a reward.”
Yesterday we read about the challenges that face those who follow Jesus (Matthew 10:16-31). Based on today’s reading, what are the rewards of discipleship? Reread verse 38. What does it mean to you to “take up your cross” and follow Jesus?
Lord Jesus, I boldly confess that I choose to follow you. You are the Lord of my life. Empower me with your Holy Spirit to serve you faithfully always. Amen.
All who publicly confess to being a follower of Jesus
Matthew 11:1-19: Messengers from John the Baptist question Jesus.