So many times in our lives we look to God’s word to hear “what we want to hear”. Matthew 10 verse 16 isn’t a scripture in the Bible we talk about often because it’s uncomfortable for us.
Jesus starts off by telling us that He is sending us out “as sheep in the midst of wolves.” Not comfortable. He then warns us in verse 17 to “Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues.” Definitely not comfortable.
In verse 18 He says “you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles.” We’re now hitting an extreme level of uncomfortable.
Jesus assures us persecution will come. He makes it very clear that His followers will have or experience persecution. His description of this persecution is enough to make anyone gulp and break out in a cold sweat. It also might be the worst marketing strategy ever.
No company would ever say “Following us will get you beaten or killed. Join us. It will be fun!” However, this is what Jesus says, and we follow. Why?
Because it’s all worth it, and it’s not all bad news.
He doesn’t just leave us with a warning of persecution, but he offers instruction and even comfort in His words. Verses 19-20 say “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.”
Jesus not only tells us not to be anxious, but to have no fear. He mentions this several times throughout verses 26-31. And then, He tells us how valuable we are to Him.
We can trust Him when He says we are worth more to Him than many sparrows. We can trust him even when faced with persecution because there are worse things than death. Because He is the only way for us to get to heaven, and the world desperately needs to hear the message of Jesus.
Because Heaven awaits.