September 18, 2013

Scripture and Commentary, Thursday after Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity

Morning – Psalm 126, 128, 1 Kings 8:54-63, 1 Thes. 4:1-12
Evening – Psalm 121, 122, 138, Mt. 10:32-11:1

Commentary, Matthew 10:32-11:1

Confession, as used in 10:32, is much more than saying you are a Christian.  It is the entire tone and essence of your life.  As spoken to the disciples to prepare them for their mission, it means to continue their ministry, even in the face of opposition and persecution.  It means to refuse to allow opposition to silence the proclamation of the Gospel they are sent to preach.  It means to refuse to allow opposition to stop the faithful obedience to Jesus Christ.  It is to refuse to deny Christ.  Thus, it is closely tied to Mt. 10:39 which tells us losing your life for Christ’s sake is actually finding It.  It is closely tied to verse 38, “he that taketh not his cross and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.”  Jesus demands that the disciples, and all disciples, be willing to give up their lives rather than turn away from Christ.  Verses 34-37 are things a person might love above God.  But the Gospel will divide even the closest of human relationships, if one is a Christian and the other is not.

Verses 40-42 are about the blessings of those who receive the disciples’ message and support them in their mission.  To receive Christ’s messenger is to receive Christ, the same as receiving a prophet was in the Old Testament.  Those who give a cup of water, that is, support the disciples’ mission, will be blessed.