Summary: Forsake the Fears, Forget the Foes, and Follow the Family of Friends that make up this special group. Link included to formatted text and PowerPoint Template.
The Few, the Proud, the Disciples
In 8th grade I joined Boy Scouts and I received a book…a manual that would guide my journey from the rank of Tenderfoot 2nd class all the way to Tenderfoot 1st class!
As a freshman I went out for the football team and just barely made it. The coach never put me in and so I eventually asked him what position I would play. He said he wanted me to play end, guard, and tackle. I said, I cannot play all 3 positions. He said, yes you can, because I want you to sit on the end of the bench, guard the Gatorade, and tackle anybody who gets close to it!
Anyway, they gave me a play book, and it was to be my manual to go by in my short career.
I went to college at a very strict school, PCC, [aka Pensacola Concentration Camp!] It was good for me…a boot camp of sorts, and there they gave me a rule book packed w/ things I needed to go by.
When people are interested in joining the church they usually get a constitution that shows what’s expected of members, from their membership commitments of faithful attendance and tithing to the doctrines and practices of the church, to the business section of how the congregation, deacons, and pastors make decisions and do business.
Anytime you join something you usually get a book that tells more about it and what is required. And Matthew 10 is a chapter we could call “The Disciple’s Instruction Manual.” It’s not easily understood in a simple reading…it’s a difficult passage. Some of the instructions Jesus gave were only for the disciples in those days, and do not apply to us today…they are kingdom teachings.
v. 5-6 Jesus told them not to share the gospel w/ the Gentiles…Jews only! But today we have a command to go to all nations.
v. 7 The kingdom was present in the form of Jesus being there with them…but you know the story, His own rejected Him and the kingdom is still not here…yet. But it will be! And we aren’t to preach the gospel of the kingdom but the gospel of grace. Salvation is by grace alone, thru faith alone, in Christ alone, by way of His shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection.
v. 8 These were sign gifts God gave these apostles for a time. [Acts 2:43, Heb. 2:3-4]. These were for the purpose of authenticating and validating their message.
v. 9-10 But later in the Lord’s ministry [Luke 22:35-36] Jesus changed this and said,
Lu 22:35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.
36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
And so, the point is, you cannot take all of this chapter and apply it doctrinally to the church.
v. 15 “Verily, I say unto you”. This is the 1st of 3 important uses of this phrase in this chapter. [also v. 23 and v. 42]
Each of these phrases unlocks a door of interpretation. The Lord is speaking to different groups of disciples in 3 different ages and contexts. The first 15 verses of this chapter apply to the original 12 apostles. Then vv. 16-23 is to disciples in the future who would face persecution. And vv. 24-42 are for all disciples in all ages, including you and me tonite.
Now, none of this is trying to say that the first 23 verses are unimportant or have no application to you and I. There’s lots of good in there for us today.
“Some verses in the Bible were not written TO everybody, but the entire Bible was written FOR everybody.”
Let’s move on.
Jesus was a straight talker…He didn’t beat around the bush. He was open, honest, and up front with everyone. And when a person was considering being a disciple, He let them know exactly what would be expected of them. He didn’t try to hook them or sneak up on them…He just laid His cards on the table. He never ‘soft-peddled’ His invitation. At the end of His great Sermon on the Mount, He gave 2 choices: a broad road and a narrow road…and He said, ok, make a choice.
I make issue of this for a reason: there is a philosophy pervading our churches today that says, highlight the positives, don’t make a big deal out of commitment, sin, and expectations…just get them into church and later on you can slowly slip it in how to start gradually becoming a disciple.