Matthew 10:7-8, And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Matthew 10:16-25, Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. 21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. 24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
While reading Matthew 10 this morning, among other things, three thoughts really grabbed my attention and were a source of pondering:
- The command to GO is a command to proclaim the Gospel to a lost and dying world, AND to bring help, healing, and hope to the helpless, the hurting, and the hopeless!
- While Jesus has sent us into a dangerous world filled with wolves, He has sent us as sheep, and expects us to serve in the spirit and nature of a lamb, in fact, in the spirit and nature of THE LAMB — the Lord Jesus Himself!
- If the world hates us, let’s be sure they hate us for HIS “NAME’S SAKE,” and not simply for our lack of conviction, compassion, our callousness toward the hurting and the helpless, our critical and condemning spirit, or our lack of Christlikeness.
Unfortunately, I am afraid we are often hated for all the wrong reasons!
As the people of God, we should be reflecting the light, life, and love of Christ. The question we have to ask ourselves is this: “Are we properly portraying the life, love, and light of Christ in a dark world?”
“My life helps to paint my neighbor’s picture of God.” —John Goetsch
As the author of The Calvary Road noted:
Then further, He (Jesus) was the silent Lamb. “As a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.” Facing the calumnies of men, we read, “He answered nothing.” He never defended Himself, nor explained Himself. But we have been anything but silent when others have said unkind or untrue things about us. Our voices have been loud in self-defence and self-vindication, and there has been anger in our voices. We have excused ourselves, when we should have admitted frankly our wrong. On every such occasion the Dove had to take His flight, and withdraw His peace and blessing from our hearts, because we were not willing to be the silent lamb.
This is biblical Christianity!
O Lord, as You send us among the wolves, help us to continue to walk and work in the spirit and nature of a lamb, and above all, the nature and spirit of THE LAMB OF GOD—holy, harmless, and helpful to a hurting, helpless, and hopeless world!