Matthew 10:26-31 (The Cost of True Discipleship: Do Not Fear)

Mat 10:26-31 What admonition does Jesus give His disciples three times in these verses?  See Mat 10:26, 28, 31.  For what reason does Jesus say in Mat 10:26 they should not fear the opposition they will encounter?  Need they fear the hidden plots or secret snares of men?  Cf. Act 9:23-24, 29-30, 14:5-6, 20:3, 23:12-16, 25:2-3.  Need they fear that their own true nature and innocence which were maligned by men would remain hidden and not become known because of all their slander (Mat 10:24-25)?  Need they fear to proclaim publicly the “whole counsel of God”, even those hard things they were taught privately that were likely to give offense?  See Mat 10:27 and note “proclaim” is the same word used in Mat 10:7 for preach or herald.  What teachings that are whispered in the ear because they give offense is the church of today guilty of not proclaiming from the rooftops?  Think role of women, homosexuality, love of money, love for the world, repentance, etc…  Is it possible that the church is so ineffective today and has ceased to be salt and light because in its fear of men it has concealed the very truths that can save them?  For what reason does Jesus say in Mat 10:28 that His disciples ought not to fear men?  Whom ought we to fear, and why?  What does this verse teach us about the reality of hell as a place of punishment after physical death?  Cf. Mat 5:22, 29-30, 18:9, 23:33.  Does “destroy” in Mat 10:28 mean annihilate in the sense of cease to exist, or ruin in the sense of a complete, final and irreparable loss?  See Mat 25:46, Mar 9:47-48, Luk 16:22-26, 2Pe 2:4-9, Rev 14: 9-11, 20:10-15.  For what reason does Jesus say in Mat 10:29-31 that His disciples ought not to fear the opposition they will face?  What do these verses teach us about God’s sovereign care for all of His creation, including us?  Do they mean that unlike a sparrow we will not “fall to the ground”, or, that even more so than a sparrow we will not fall to the ground apart from the sovereign will and care and concern and oversight of our Heavenly Father?  Is it possible that in our service for God as His bond slaves who have been bought with a price and are no longer our own (1Co 6:19-20), that we may be called upon to lay down our physical lives, to “fall to the ground” and die accomplishing His purposes?  Cf. Joh 12:24-26, 2Ti 2:3-4.  If we cannot or will not lay down our lives in the spiritual sense of mortifying our carnal flesh nature, is it likely we would be able to do so in a literal sense?  If we are willing to lay down our lives in a literal sense, why is it easier to do so in a spiritual sense?  Have we such faith in God who numbers the very hairs on our heads to trust that as we serve Him unreservedly and hold nothing back in proclaiming the kingdom message calling men to repentance, that there is nothing that can happen to us apart from His will, and that there is nothing men can do to us apart from His sovereign purposes that always work toward the good for those who love Him?  Have we the faith to trust Him to care and provide for our children and those loved ones we might be called upon to leave behind?  Have we considered that perhaps the greatest witness to those we love that will bind their hearts to the Savior in truth and ensure our eternal fellowship with them in heaven in the presence of God is the demonstration that our faith is real, even unto death?  Cf. Mat 16:25.  Again, in light of the increasing opposition to the gospel and persecution by so many of the Jews especially as it went forth to the Gentiles, what apologetic value would Mat 10:26-31 have had for Jewish believers at the time Matthew was writing in regard to their witness to their fellow Jews?

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