Read Matthew 10
Thank God for today's message from Jesus who said: Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven (Matt. 10:32). John the Baptist is about to be beheaded, but he made the right choice (10:28). Jesus praised him as His messenger (11:1-15). Unbeliever's actions and judgement (11:16-24). Life's greatest invitation: Come unto Me (11:28-30).
When He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous (plentiful), but the labourers are few; Pray . . . the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest (Matt. 9:36-38). In answer to this need, Jesus chose just 12 ordinary men whom He taught, saying: I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be . . . wise as serpents, and harmless as doves (10:16). Christian persecution, often in the form of pressure to compromise, tests our sincerity. Times of peace often cause the sheep to be indifferent but, during persecution and temptation, the sheep discover they must depend on the Shepherd. Wolves are the natural enemy of sheep. Although wolves (false prophets) in human form often appear to be sheep (7:15), their indifference to His Word becomes apparent. Like Satan (4:5-6), they only quote the few verses that support their agenda.
The Christian is given a "sheep-like" nature, symbolic of innocence and dependence, not of cowardice. Sheep, by their very nature, are in need of a shepherd or they will wander off and easily become prey to many enemies. Still worse, if one wanders, the entire flock may aimlessly follow. There is never safety in numbers for sheep; a shepherd is always necessary. All we like sheep have gone astray (Is. 53:6) and need the (Holy) Spirit . . . He will guide you into all Truth each day (John 16:13).
With Christ (His Word), the Christian can stand boldly in the face of the fiercest enemy. He assures us: 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 (Matt. 10:28). The Christian has every reason not to expect kindness from a hostile world. Jesus said to His followers: Because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. . . . they will also persecute you (John 15:19-20).
Thought for Today:
Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in Thee (Ps. 33:22).
10:25 Beelzebub prince of evil; 10:29 a farthing small coin of little value; 10:35 variance division, disagreement; 11:20 upbraid rebuke.
For Matt. 10:11, 35-36: See Mic. 7:6. Matt. 11:5: See Is. 35:5; 61:1. Matt. 11:10: See Mal. 3:1. Matt. 11:23: See Ezek. 26:20; 31:14; 32:18,24. Matt. 11:29: See Jer. 6:16.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Casmir A. Zuranski • Staff: Beth Carlton • Country: China, Mainland (1.242 billion) in eastern Asia • Major languages: Standard Chinese (Putonghua) or Mandarin (based on the Beijing dialect) • Renewed persecution of the Church • 16% Asian (including Fulun Gong); 8% Buddhist; 3% Muslim; number of Christians unknown but growing; 10% Atheist • Prayer Suggestion: Confess any sins in your life so that your prayers can be heard (Ps. 66:18-19).
Memory Verse for the Week: James 5:10