Today’s Reading: Matthew 10:16-25
If someone told you that if you followed him that you would be made fun of, beaten, out-casted, bullied, thrown in jail for false accusations, or killed… would you still follow? What if the person promised that if you did these and endured he would reward you? You would probably base your decision on what that reward is wouldn’t you?
What if that person was Jesus?
Jesus told his disciples at he was sending them out into hostile territory. He says that the tasks that is before them is an impossible task should they choose to accept it (cue Mission Impossible music) was NOT going to be easy. In the book “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs” by John Foxe illustrates and records that the words Jesus spoke were correct. They were beaten, fed to lions, crucified, and hated.
Today we do not hear about the same type of persecutions BUT they still happen. You see the world is an enemy of God. If we live like the world, talk like the world, then we will NOT experience the blessings of God and we become an “enemy” of God. However, if we live for God, follow Him, obey Him, we become the enemy of the World. Jesus says that because of Him we will experience persecutions such as the aforementioned. I have heard it said that if you are not being persecuted you are not portraying Christ. Does this mean that you are constantly going to experience trials? NO! Not at all but Jesus did promise that “those that ENDURE to the end will be delivered.” I think that Jesus means that we go through persecutions so that we may SEE God’s work more clearly.
Think about this! There was once a man who was so hated that he was constantly on the move for fear of his life. He was “with far more labors,many more imprisonments, far worse beatings, near death many times. Five times I received 39 lashes from Jews. Three times I was beaten with rods by the Romans.Once I was stoned by my enemies. Three times I was shipwrecked I have spent a night and a day in the open sea. On frequent journeys, I faced dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own people, dangers from the Gentiles,dangers in the city,dangers in the open country,dangers on the sea,and dangers among false brothers; labor and hardship,many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, often without food, cold, and lacking clothing.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-27
Yet he still served God and NEVER waivered. How much more should we?
As you go through your day today, think about how many times you “follow” Jesus and how many times you notice that the “world” is against you.