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Commentary » Matthew 10:16-Matthew 10:33 » Family-Times.net
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Religious Oppostion to Christ’s Followers

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“There is a great difference between your religion and mine,” said a Christian to his neighbor.             “Indeed!” was the reply. “What is that?"         … More

Religion

Jesus spelled out that living for Him would not be easy and that it would be like sheep living among wolves (v. 16). The words of the Lord had application in His own lifetime and was certainly demonstrated in the lives of the Apostles after Jesus had ascended into heaven. However, it seems that the period described in this section closely parallels the time of tribulation that He describes in Matthew 24-25.

The Tribulation Period will be a time of opposition. This opposition will come from organized religion (v. 17), government (v. 18) and even from family members (v. 21).  Church history reveals that “organized religion” has often opposed those who have dared to witness boldly for the Lord.  The prophetic Scriptures teach that, in the last days, government and religion will work together to control the world. Then he says that one of the marks of the end times will be the lack of family love and loyalty (I Timothy 3:3). The three institutions which God established on this earth, in the last days, will oppose the truth of His word.

Jesus reminded the apostles that He was not asking them to do something that He Himself had not already experienced. Since men persecuted Jesus while He was on earth, why should we expect anything different (vv. 24-25)? He told them that they did not need to fear the religious leaders. All that men can do is kill the body but God is able to destroy both body and soul. He will never condemn one of His own children (Roman 8:1).

Application

How has Christ’s teaching united my family? Divided them? Have I ever received any persecution from religious leaders, government officials or family members?

Matthew 10:16-33 (English Standard Version)

"Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 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. "So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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