I will be very honest with you. I was not sure if I should make this one possibly lengthy post or break it down into two different posts. And as I write, I am still not sure so I will just flow, as usual, and we will see how the Spirit leads our conversation...
The first thing I want to say is that leaders of any group of people have influence. The influence that leaders have over a group can determine if, how, and when the group reaches their goal or completes their assigned task. I believe that JESUS is the greatest leader that has ever lived and that His influence has been felt for centuries as evidenced in the lives of so many who claim to be disciples of Jesus Christ. I believe that he continues to lead, guide, and direct those who follow Him [His teachings] toward the goal of expanding the Kingdom of God on earth and by giving them/us the energy and infusing our passion to complete the task in very specific ways.
Thus, it is no surprise that Jesus would make mention of the kind of student-teacher, servant-master relationship in his instructions to the disciples as he sends them forth. In Matthew 10, He acknowledges the order of these kinds of relationships...
24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master.
I think we can all respectfully agree on that statement regardless of the myriad of ways it can be observed and experienced in our present lives. Yet, Jesus continues to nuance the consequences of such relationships as He highlights that the response of some people to the ways in which Jesus is sending them forth to lead will not be devoid of criticism. He continues...
25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!
In other words, Jesus says, I am sending you forth as the leaders and teachers that you are. I am sending you forth with a very specific message and you can expect to hear the same insults, critiques, negative speech against you. Jesus is identifying with the disciples in letting them know that if their teacher has experienced all of this and if He is now sending them forth with the same message, then they as students turned teachers in this instance will likely hear the same. But Jesus does not stop there. He gives them some advice for how to handle these discouraging and even disparaging encounters...
26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Friends, DO NOT BE AFRAID!
DO NOT BE AFRAID because you will not be caught off guard! You do not have to worry about not knowing what to say or how to respond or being left out of anything necessary for ministry. Just follow the Lord's instructions and keep your ear tuned in for His voice. When it is time to speak, stick to the script that He has given to you.
DO NOT BE AFRAID because none of your "enemies" can touch your soul! In other words, there is a limit to the impact their attacks can have on you and the part of you that matters the most in eternity, has already been saved and is forever protected. Your soul is untouchable by anyone who tries to bring you down!
DO NOT BE AFRAID because if the Lord will take care of the sparrow/birds of the air so that they do not fall out of the care of our heavenly Father and if your Creator cares enough to know the number of hairs on your head, you can rest assured knowing you are already in the Father's care because you are worth more than those sparrows!
BlogFam, keep moving forward! YES, you will be insulted and attacked and threatened BUT GOD has already given you the grace to endure it all just as Jesus did. DO NOT BE AFRAID! We have been forewarned of some of the ugly consequences for speaking about the Kingdom of God. DO NOT BE AFRAID! The good and the bad is part of the journey and if Jesus had to endure it all, what makes you think that you won't as a follower of Him?
DO NOT BE AFRAID!
GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
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