Matt. 10:34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 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. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.40 “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. 41 The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”
Why does Jesus include this in a list of instructions as his disciples are going out to evangelize the cities of Israel?
- If he came to save his people from their sins (1:21) and make disciples of all nations (28:19-20), then his defining what a disciple is or what a disciple looks like and what a disciple is not like is crucial in the task of making disciples.
- It is important so that people don’t deceive themselves in thinking they are disciples when they really are not.
- The true disciple, as described in this text is the type of disciple that abounds with joy in hard times and carries out the Great Commission with faithfulness and confidence in Christ. Disciples who try to make others disciples, while valuing other things above Christ do not bear witness to Christ’s true worth, but in reality belittle it.
- Regarding verse 40-42, Christ gives this portion so that when rejected (or received), they realize that they are not the ones ultimately rejected (or received), but Christ and God the Father are the ones who are ultimately rejected (or received). This gives the disciples more incentive to be bold because the risk of them being ultimately rejected is not the case.