Matthew, Chapter 10
Matt. 10:23 "But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into
another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the
cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come."
The enemies of the Lord's church, of His ministers, and of the true
gospel think to destroy the church and the spread of the gospel through
persecution. However, it has just the opposite effect. Persecution is
one of the greatest causes of the spread of the gospel. The following
passages show this effect:
1. Acts 8:1 "And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time
there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem;
and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and
Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men carried Stephen to his
burial, and made great lamentation over him. 3 As for Saul, he made
havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and
women committed them to prison. 4 Therefore they that were scattered
abroad went every where preaching the word." Persecutions drove the
disciples from Jerusalem to all the regions of Judaea and Samaria. Being
scattered by persecutions they went every where preaching the word.
2. Acts 11:19 "Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution
that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and
Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. 20 And some
of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to
Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the
hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned
unto the Lord." Again, persecutions scattered the disciples and they
went every where preaching the gospel.
3. Acts 13:50 "But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women,
and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and
Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. 51 But they shook off
the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium." This is one
of many examples where Paul was persecuted in one city and then went to
another to preach the gospel.
"Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man
be come." I believe this is speaking about the Son of man coming in
judgment at 70 A. D. to destroy the nation of the Jews because of their
unbelief and slaughter of the prophets and apostles.
Matt. 10:24 "The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above
his lord. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and
the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house
Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? 26 Fear
them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be
revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. 27 What I tell you in
darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that
preach ye upon the housetops. 28 And fear not them which kill the body,
but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to
destroy both soul and body in hell."
The Lord was ridiculed, persecuted, derided, chided, and killed. None of
these things were done unto him because of all the good things that he
did, but because he shined a light on their evil works and exposed them
for what they really are. They were also envious of him. If they did
these things to the Master, then it makes sense they will do it unto his
household. If they have persecuted the Master, it makes sense they will
persecute His ministry and His church. If they have called Jesus,
Beelzebub, then how much more will they call us the "children of
"There is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that
shall not be known." The Lord knows all things. He brings to light the
hidden things and exposes the evil deeds of men. He gives understanding
and knowledge to his people and withholds understanding to their
persecutors. When people do evil, they also attempt to cover it up. Yet
God brings it to light and exposes it. Adam and Eve tried to hide
amongst the trees of the Garden, yet their efforts were in vain, because
God knows all things.
"What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear
in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops." Sometimes in the very
darkness of night, God reveals to us an understanding of a portion of
his word. Sometimes in the very darkness of our soul the Lord reveals
things to us that enlighten us as to his precious truths. Those things
that God has revealed to us in darkness we are to preach in light. When
God has given us understanding, we are not to withhold that
understanding when we preach to God's people in the fullness of the
Spirit of God. While I have never been on a literal housetop to preach,
yet sometimes I feel to be lifted up to preach the word of the Lord in
Spirit and in truth.
"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the
soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in
hell." The most that men may do to us in persecution is to kill the
body. The spirit and the soul of God's children goes immediately into
the presence of God at the death of the body. The body sleeps in the
dust and awaits the great resurrection morning, when the body will be
conformed to the image of Christ and will be reunited with the soul and
The bodies of the non-elect also go back to the dust to await the
resurrection and to be cast into the lake of fire of God's judgment. The
soul of the non-elect goes immediately into hell at death to suffer an
eternal judgment for sin.
Based on the above, it makes sense that we should fear God and not man.
Matt. 10:29 "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them
shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 30 But the very hairs
of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more
value than many sparrows."
One of the least valued birds is the sparrow. In the United States, they
are probably the most numerous of birds. They are not good for food.
They are not a pretty bird to look at. They are not useful for insect
control. That two are sold for a farthing shows how little valued they
are at any time. Even though men place such a small value upon the lowly
sparrow, yet God takes notice of them and one of them does not fall upon
the ground without our heavenly Father taking notice. This is not about
the value of the sparrow, but about God's great knowledge of his people.
God notices the sparrow when he falls to the ground. How much more does
he notice the condition and circumstances of His people?
There are but very few people, if any, that have lived on earth, which
knew how many hairs were on his head at any time. Yet God knows the
exact number of the hairs on every ones head at any time. Again, this is
not about the number of hairs on a persons head, but about God's great
notice of things and especially about God's taking notice of the
condition and circumstances of His people. When his people are suffering
persecutions, it is easy for them to think no one notices. They even
wonder at times if God takes notice of their circumstances. We need not
fear for God does take notice and he does care for us. He values us for
more than he values the sparrow.