Matthew, Chapter 10
Matt. 10:32 "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I
confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall
deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in
There are many ways that we can confess the Lord before men. One way is
to make a public confession that the Lord is our Savior and to be
baptized in water to show forth the death, burial, and resurrection of
our Lord. Another way is to walk as a disciple of the Lord and to live
our lives as His disciple. A third way is to defend the teaching of his
word. A fourth way is to confess his name when others are denying him. A
fifth way is to worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth and to frequent
the assembling of the saints to worship service. A sixth way is to
refrain from worldly living and worldly, ungodly conversation. A seventh
way is to refrain from knowingly engaging in false worship and false
religious practices. When we are confessing the Lord in one or more of
the above, then the Father is confessing that we are pleasing him
saying, "Well done thou good and faithful servant."
In addition, we can deny the Lord before men several ways. One is to do
like Peter when asked if he was one of Jesus' disciples said, "I know
him not." Another example of denying the Lord is found in Matt. 15:8,
"This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me
with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do
worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." A third
example is found in Tit. 1:16, "They profess that they know God; but in
works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every
good work reprobate." A fourth way to deny the Lord is to deny his
teachings. This is illustrated in Lk. 20:27, "Then came to him certain
of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection." When we
deny the Lord in one of these ways, then he denies us of many blessings
and fellowship with him, so long as we are denying him.
Matt. 10:34 "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not
to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance
against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the
daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be
they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than
me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me
is not worthy of me."
This passage speaks of the warfare that often takes place in the home of
the disciple. Holding to the truth and living according to God's word
and putting the service and worship of God first in our lives, will
often put us at conflict with other family members. When a father wants
to lie, cheat, and steal to become wealthy and the son wants to live by
God's word, which means being honest, living honestly, and giving to the
needs of others, rather than stealing, then they will be at conflict.
Similarly, if a daughter wants to go out and flirt and cajole with men,
and the mother believes she should be chaste and modest in her behavior,
there will be a conflict.
There are many things that a disciple will be at conflict with his/her
family members about. One may want to go to a family reunion on Sunday,
while the disciple wants to go worship God. One may want to spend money
on worldly entertainment, while the disciple wants to spend money on
helping a needy person. The behavior of the disciple will conflict with
the behavior of those who are not disciples. Even when both are
disciples, there are often conflicts as one will be more dedicated to
worship and serve the Lord than the other. Beliefs systems of the two
will often conflict.
"He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and
he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." The
Lord requires that we love him more than we love our own family members
if we are to be his disciples. If we love our own family members more
than we love the Lord, then we are not worthy of being his disciple.
This does not teach that we do not love our family members, because we
are to love them. It does teach that the Lord teaches us that we are to
love him more.
Matt. 10:38 "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me,
is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he
that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."
The cross is an instrument of capital punishment. To take up a cross is
to put something to death. That which we are to put to death are the
deeds of the flesh: Col. 3:5 "Mortify therefore your members which are
upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil
concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry." Also we read in
Rom. 8:13, "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye
through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."
Thus to take up ones cross is to mortify the deeds of the flesh and to
live after the Spirit.
When we walk by faith and not by sight and live according to the word of
God we are following after Jesus. If, however, we do not mortify the
deeds of the flesh and do not live according to the word of God then we
are not following after Jesus and we are unworthy in our walk to be
called the disciple of Jesus.
There are two possible lives a child of God can live. He can live after
the flesh and seek after the world. He can live after the Spirit and
seek after the Lord. He can live a life in this world, or he can live
his life in the kingdom of heaven. One is to enter the strait gate and
walk the narrow way of discipleship. The other is to enter the wide
(unrestricted) gate and walk the broad way of the world. The strait gate
and narrow way leads to the life in the kingdom of heaven. This life is
full of joy, peace, comfort, rest, and sweet fellowship with God. For a
child of God to enter the wide gate and walk the broad way leads to
personal destruction in his life.
If we find our life in the flesh and in the ways of the world, we are
going to lose the joy, peace, comfort, rest and sweet fellowship with
God in the church. But to lose our life in the flesh, by mortifying the
deeds of the flesh, for Christ's sake, we find the joy, peace, comfort,
rest, and sweet fellowship with God.
Matt. 10:40 "He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth
me receiveth him that sent me. 41 He that receiveth a prophet in the
name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that
receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a
righteous man's reward. 42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of
these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple,
verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward."
When we receive the work and labor of the apostles and prophets, we
receive the teachings of Jesus Christ. When we follow after the
teachings of Jesus we are receiving the instructions of God.
Receiving a prophet is more than just believing they are a prophet. It
includes believing and acting upon the words of that prophet. If we do
not believe and act upon the words of that prophet even though we
believe him to be a prophet, then we are not receiving that prophet. To
receive the apostles is also more than just believing they were
apostles. It is believing the words of the apostles and acting upon the
teachings of the apostles. In this way we receive the apostles, and
therefore receive the teachings of the Lord.
How many times have we heard someone say, "Isaiah said…" This is
receiving a prophet in the name of a prophet. When we believe what he
said and act upon it, we receive the reward of obedience to God. We
receive the blessings of obedience. Likewise, when we receive the word
of a righteous man and give credit to the righteous man for having said
it, we receive the blessings of obedience to the word of God.
"And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup
of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he
shall in no wise lose his reward." The gospel is refreshing to the weary
sinner much like cold water is refreshing to the weary laborer. When we
preach the gospel and in our discourse quote from one of the disciples
and say, "Paul said…" we are giving a cup of cold gospel water to a
weary sinner in the name of Paul. In doing so, we receive the blessing
of obedience to the command of God to preach the gospel.