Summary: Jesus had revealed much about the difficulty and opposition the disciples would face as they sought to serve Him. Finally, He revealed their service would also require personal sacrifice - it would come at a cost.
The Cost to Serve
Matthew 10: 34-39
Jesus had revealed much to the disciples regarding what they could expect as they answered the call to proclaim the Good News. He warned that the task would not be easy, many would reject them, and they would face opposition along the way. However, in the midst of their adversity, they were expected to remain committed to the task at hand.
As Jesus begins to conclude His instruction for the disciples, He shares what they likely considered the most difficult aspect of their commission. Not only would they face opposition and adversity, their service unto the Lord would require personal sacrifice – it would come at a cost.
I am thankful for the free gift of God’s grace that brings salvation. Were it not offered freely to those who are underserving, none would have the opportunity for salvation. With our salvation comes an abundance of blessing from the Lord, both in this life and the one to come. However, little is said today about the sacrifice required to serve the Lord. Like the disciples, we must learn that serving the Lord comes at a cost. We must be willing to seek His will, desiring to fulfill the calling we have received, above all else. Our loyalty must be to Christ alone if we are to be all He desires of us.
As we finish the series on “The Disciples Directive,” I want to examine the realities of service Jesus revealed in these verses. Let’s consider: The Cost to Serve.
I. Conflict with the World (34-36) – As He had previously done, Jesus was very straight-forward with the disciples, revealing exactly what they could expect as they served Him. Here Jesus warned of conflict with the world. We too might as well prepare to deal with conflict as we strive to serve the Lord in the midst of a fallen, sinful world. Notice:
A. The Reality (34) – Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. These are words the disciples likely had not expected to hear based on the ministry of Jesus they had witnessed up to this point. He was a man of great compassion and love, healing the sick, caring for the poor and disadvantaged, coming as Savior and Redeemer of the world. Yet Jesus proclaimed He had not come for peace, but to bring a sword. There will be perfect peace when the Lord comes again, establishing His kingdom, but even then, He will rule and reign with a rod of iron.
This does not imply that Jesus advocated unnecessary violence or wickedness on the part of men, but that He well understood the condition of the world. Since the fall of Adam, the world has been under the curse of sin; Satan and those who follow him have stood in opposition to all that was pure and holy. Jesus was aware of the conflict between good and evil that had existed on earth for thousands of years. He would never condone or approve of the sinful acts of mankind for the sake of peace. He had come to offer Himself the atoning sacrifice for sin, to rise triumphant in victory over Satan and all that sin had lost. He had come to wage war with the forces of evil, committed to defeating sin and the eternal consequence it has on men.
B. The Resistance (35-36) – For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. Jesus reveals that those who commit to follow Him will face rejection, often by those closest to them. Some would be rejected by their own families, but even then, they were obligated to continue to follow the Lord.
I am not one who enjoys conflict or division. I like for things to run smoothly and everyone to be happy. However, I realize such an environment is not always possible. At the end of the day, we as individuals must have peace with the Lord. We must be confident that we have followed the Lord to the best of our ability. Sadly, for that to be a reality, we may have to face division from some whom we once enjoyed fellowship.
I am in no encouraging discord or seeking to create problems. I merely want us to see that we can’t agree with everything the world presents and please the Lord. We can’t go along with everything others approve or practice for the sake of cooperation.
I have no problem fellowshipping with anyone who stands for truth. We may not agree on everything, but as long as they stand upon the Word, the fundamentals of the faith, I will stand with them. I do refuse though to embrace error, turning a deaf ear and blind eye to those who purposely ignore the truth.