New Testament Journey Day 45: Matthew 10:37-42 – Jesus is talking about how much we should love Him and how we should treat each other. (I noticed it’s been 10 days since my last post on the New Testament – I started to say I hadn’t posted a bible study because it’s been a rough few days – but maybe it was a rough few days because I hadn’t been sharing the bible )
I encourage you to read all of Matthew 10 – Jesus is preparing His disciples for persecution – the same message applies to us today.
“If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me. If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will be given the same reward as the prophet. And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs. And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” – Matthew 10:37-42
Christian commitment may separate friends and loved ones. In saying this, Jesus was not encouraging disobedience to parents or conflict in the home. Rather, he was showing that his presence demands a decision. Because some will follow Christ, and some won’t, conflict will inevitably arise. (A person who has been raised in a home full of non-believers may face struggles once they make the decision to follow Christ. They can still love their parents and siblings, but they should love Christ MORE and ENOUGH to pick up their cross and follow him anyway and pray for those they love to one day find Him as well.)
As we take up our cross to follow him – our different values, morals, and goals will set us apart from others. Christ calls us to a higher mission than to find comfort and tranquility in this life. Love of family is a law of God, but even this love can be self-serving and used as an excuse not to serve God or do his work. Don’t neglect your family, but remember your commitment to God is even more important. God should be your first priority.
To take up our cross and follow Jesus means to be willing to publicly identify with him, to experience certain opposition, and to be willing to face even suffering and death for his sake. Clinging to this life may cause us to forfeit the best from Christ in this world and in the next. The more we love this life’s rewards (leisure, power, popularity, financial security) the more we will discover how empty they really are. (And how they can all disappear in the blink of an eye). THE BEST WAY to enjoy life, therefore, is to loosen our greedy grasp on earthly rewards so that we can be free to follow Christ. In doing so, we will inherit eternal life as well as beginning to experience at once, here on this earth, the benefits of following Christ.
How much we love God can be measured by how well we treat others. Jesus’ example of giving a cup of cold water to a thirsty child is a good model of unselfish service. A child usually can’t or won’t return a favor. Got notices every good deed we do or don’t do as if he were the one receiving it. Is there something unselfish you can do for someone else today? Although no one may see you – GOD will. And it will please Him.
**Much of the commentary taken from the Life Application Study Bible