Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:21-33 are forceful, to say the least. Maybe they are even frightening. His disciples will be driven from one town to another. There will be hatred and abuse lodged against them. This will be more or less continual. What hope is there?
Rather than fearing the people who would persecute Christians, we are to fear God. He is the one who “can destroy both soul and body in hell” (v. 28b ESV). What comfort is that? It is much comfort in every way. God, the judge of all, is the one who will care for his people. He is the one who not only defines but also condemns evil. He is the one who will bring just judgment on the world. Those who are acknowledging Jesus will find him speaking favorably of them to the Father. Those who deny Jesus and would persecute his people will be condemned in eternity.
Our mission, then, is urgent. We do not want others to suffer the anger of God. Therefore we go, we care, we proclaim Jesus as the one who has redeemed us from the curse of the law. We look to Jesus as the resurrection and the life. And we try to persuade others of that glorious reality. This is how God gives his gifts of eternal life to our world.
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