Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part XIV: Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Authority, Matthew 8:1-11:1
L. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Ministry Unto God's Afflicted Flock, Matthew 10:1-11:1
4. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Encouragement To His Laborers
(Matthew 10:24-11:1)
  1. Introduction
    1. Matthew's Gospel reveals Jesus is God's Messiah to Israel though He did not establish His Messianic Kingdom at His first coming because Israel rejected Him. (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, p. 1337, "Introduction to the Gospel According to Matthew"; Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 16)
    2. Thus, as Christ sent out His disciples to minister as His representatives, they faced the rejection He faced, and we Christians who represent our Lord today face the same challenge, and we need encouraging insight on the matter, encouragement provided to the twelve and in principle to us in Matthew 10:24-11:1:
  2. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Encouragement To His Laborers, Matthew 10:24-11:1.
    1. First, Christ encouraged His disciples not to be shocked in being belittled by men, for if men had called their Master, Jesus the derogatory term, "Beelzebub," a "name for Satan" (Ibid., Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 42), how much more should they as Christ's subjects expect to be called by such terms, Matt. 10:24-25.
    2. Second, Christ encouraged His disciples that there was nothing covered that would not eventually become revealed and thus handled by God, so they were to proclaim God's truth without fear, Matthew 10:26-27.
    3. Third, Christ encouraged His disciples not to fear their hearers who could only destroy their bodies, but to revere God above fearing them as God could destroy both soul and body in hell, Matthew 10:28.
    4. Fourth, Christ encouraged His disciples regarding the welfare of their bodies to handle God's calling before foes, noting that God has great knowledge and care about their bodies: (1) though two sparrows are considered so cheap that both are sold for one assarion, a Greek copper coin worth about 1/16 of a Roman denarius, a day's wages (Ibid., p. 43), not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without God's will, Matthew 10:29 NIV. (2) Also, God has numbered the very hairs of our head (Matthew 10:30), so Christ's servants must let God be concerned for the costs of ministry rejection to their bodies, Matthew 10:31.
    5. Fifth, Christ encouraged His disciples to minister the truth for blessing, to go ahead and in faith confess literally "in" Him before men that He might confess literally "in" them as His servants before the Father, but know that failure to confess the Lord before men would mean His refusal to confess them before the Father, Matthew 10:32-33; G. Campbell Morgan, The Gospel According To Matthew, 1929, p. 110. These expressions in the Greek New Testament reveal that when we confess the truth to men, we stand "hidden and secure" in Christ, but that if we do not present His truth out of fear of man, we stand apart from His blessing, apart from His spiritual security, Ibid. Thus, Jesus called His disciples to be sure they expressed God's truth in their ministries to enjoy His spiritual protection amid ministry conflict issues.
    6. Sixth, Christ encouraged His disciples to pay great relationship prices in serving Him, Matthew 10:34-38:
      1. His disciples had to realize that Jesus' ministry was not designed to bring unity and peace, but divisive unrest as people would be polarized either to accept or to reject Christ by their works, Matt. 10:34-36.
      2. Hence, Christ's servants must be willing to put their love for Him and thus do His will above all family ties even if those ties are negatively affected by family members' rejections of Christ, Matthew 10:37.
      3. Indeed, they had to be willing to take up their cross and follow Jesus even to the death, Matthew 10:38.
    7. Seventh, Christ encouraged His disciples to serve Him for the great rewards involved, Matthew 10:39-42:
      1. Those disciples who found their lives in the sense of not obeying Christ for selfish concerns would lose them by way of a loss of blessing where those who gave up their lives up by paying the price to heed Christ would be blessed in being greatly fulfilled in their ministry experiences, Matthew 10:39.
      2. Those who received the disciples as they did Jesus' will were receiving Christ, Matthew 10:40-41, and even the smallest supportive deed done to Christ's disciples would be rewarded by God, Matt. 10:42.
    8. Jesus then departed to teach and to preach of the Kingdom in Israel's cities, Matthew 11:1.
Lesson: Christ encouraged His disciples to face difficulties in serving Him for His great reward.

Application: To be greatly blessed, may we heed God's call to serve Him regardless of the personal cost.