Monday, March 18

Opposition

Scripture: Deuteronomy 1-2, Matthew 10

Matthew 10:24–25 A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.

Observation

In Matthew 10, Jesus sent out His disciples on mission. They were to announce the coming Kingdom of God to the towns of Israel, healing the sick and casting out demons. Most of the chapter (16-39) is a warning that they will face stiff opposition coming from the highest quarters (the synagogue and governor) to the nearest (their own families). 

V. 24-25 sit in the midst of this warning. Essentially, Jesus said, “They oppose Me; they will oppose you. Don’t expect anything different.” It is enough for a disciple to be like his teacher. That’s our goal—to be like Jesus. But realize that goal includes facing opposition. The message of Jesus will be welcomed by some, and despised by others. So, don’t be surprised when you face opposition for Jesus. Opposition is a sign you’re on mission!

1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

1 John 3:13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.

One last thing: after warning them of certain opposition, Jesus told them not to be afraid (v. 26-31). “So have no fear of them…” (v. 26). “And do fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul…” (v. 28). “Fear not, therefore…” (v. 31). 

Don’t be surprised; don’t be afraid. 

Application

These verses always make me reflect on how much opposition I’m facing for Jesus’ sake. Usually…it’s not much. I’m wondering if that is a reflection of how much I’m sharing the gospel (or not). The opposition Jesus promised was the direct result of their proclaiming the gospel and doing the mission. The more we do that, the more opposition we can expect. And if I face no opposition, it’s probably because I’m not on mission, not sharing the gospel. Sigh…

So these verses challenge me to be on mission, to tell others the good news of God’s Kingdom in Jesus. Get on with it! Fearlessly!

Prayer: Lord, give me opportunities to tell others the good news. Help me to do it in a loving, winsome way—make me effective. And remind me if I face opposition to not be surprised or afraid, but to rejoice that I’m being more like Jesus.