Okay, we are going back to Matthew. We want to look at just a few scriptures.
Now, how we read the Word is important. This New Testament, the Gospels that we are reading from here, took place when Jesus ministered this a little over 2,000 years ago. We don’t want to fall into the trap of reading the Scriptures and relating to it as then. We don’t want to see it as history - this is what Jesus did, this is what Jesus said. If we are relating to Jesus the Nazarene, the man, then we are missing the Lord. Jesus now is spirit and to emphasize that I call Him “the Lord of Glory” because that’s what He is. He is the Lord of Glory. We have to know Him in that way. If we put ourselves into the Scriptures in such a way that we are relating to it as history, we have just missed it. Lord, help us relate to this Word in such a way that it can be life to us.
The Scriptures should be taken out of the past and brought into the now, into this present time of your life and my life and I’m not talking about just the Gospels. The whole Bible – Old Testament, New Testament, everything. You must learn how to take the Word and pull it out of the history, out of the past, and relate to it in the right now. The problem that too many Christians have is they relate to the Scriptures in the past and in the future, but they tend to not relate to them as they are for right now. Everything that God said, what He said through Moses, Samuel, Isaiah, and all those people in the Old Testament, everything He said through them is for us right now, but we have to learn how to take it out of the history and relate to it in terms of right now. For example, in one of the scriptures we will read it talks about the synagogue. When you read about the synagogue don’t think about the synagogue back then, think of the church right now. This is what we are relating to.
The scripture we referred to this morning was in Matthew 10:24-25. We’re going to use these two verses as a springboard into something more. We may stay right here in this one chapter and not go anywhere else, but I won’t promise you that. I expect this to be rather short and quick but listen carefully to what we are saying and what the Lord is speaking.
Matthew 10:24 The disciple is not above his master …
Neither is any other Christian. No matter how much you grow spiritually you will never be above our master. Who is our Master? Jesus Christ.
Matthew 10:24 …nor the servant above his lord.
If He is your Master, you won’t be above Him. If He’s your lord, you won’t be above Him. Impossible. But verse 25 is the important one.
Matthew 10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant to be as his lord.
Let’s look at that in today’s English and probably the way it is in the Greek: It is enough for the disciple to become as his master. Not “to be” but to become as his master. And the servant to become as his lord. But the disciple is not to remain just a disciple. The word “disciple” means learner. We are to get past the learning and become as the Master. The servant is to become as his lord.
I remember years ago I was in a particular church and there was a man who was a senior citizen. I don’t know whether he was thinking about the end of his days or what, but he stood up and gave a testimony, “I am saved and I’m ready to go to heaven.” I thought about how sad that is that a person would feel that he just gets forgiven of his sins and he’s ready to go to heaven. Now, if you understand the scripture I just read to you, we should all become disciples and servants. But if you are a disciple, then it is your responsibility to become as your Master. If you are a servant of the Lord, then it’s your responsibility to become as the Lord, as He is, the same nature.
We talk about sons of God. Sons of God is a term that is used a lot among the churches. The problem is that most Christians think as soon as they become a Christian, they are sons of God. That is not true scripture-wise. A son is one who has a like nature as His father and he has received his inheritance. In other words, he has become an adult who has become as his father. That is the reason when Jesus was 30 years old and He went to the River Jordan and was baptized by John the Baptist, a voice from heaven said, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” What was Jesus before? “Oh, He had been a son all along.” No, He wasn’t. He had been a young man – a technon and a technion. He was an adolescent at one time, and He became a young man, but the term “son” or “sonship” was reserved for those who had come into a maturity. In other words, a disciple who has become as his Master would be a son. The servant who had become as his lord would be a son.
Now, look at verse 22 and we’ll relate that to what we were just speaking about on the disciples and servants.
Matthew 10:22 And you shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake …
What does that mean? You shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake. In other words, because you are a disciple becoming as your Master or a servant becoming as your Lord, people are going to hate you. Man will hate you. We have talked about when you make progress in the Lord, when you walk with Him you are going to find opposition. Now, don’t just look at this as other men will hate you, but the things of your own self, your man-nature will hate you. You begin to make progress and becoming as the Lord is, taking on His nature and everything, you are going to experience the same persecutions that He experienced. A lot of those persecutions are going to come from your man-nature – your carnal mind, your soul life, your flesh in other words.
Matthew 10:22 And you shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved.
But he that endures – continues on – to the end …. That’s not the end of time. It’s not the end of your life. It’s the beginning of His life in you. In other words, in my Bible I have a little circle around “end” and a line goes to the margin where I have “Christ” written. But he that endures to the end, or he that endures to Christ, when he becomes a part of Christ. That is another thing the church world needs to understand. The Body of Christ or sons of God are those who have grown up spiritually; they are mature. They are in the process at least of becoming as He is. They are moving with the Lord. They have become enough of the Lord and emptied out of self that the Lord can function through them. That is the Body of Christ. Every person who is a Christian doesn’t make them a member of the Body of Christ. It makes them a potential member, but the Body of Christ is made up of those who have emptied themselves enough so that the Lord Jesus Christ can move through them and accomplish His will. We must understand that is the Body of Christ. The body is the hands, the feet and Jesus is the head, and the body is the functioning members. That should be easily understood. But he that endures to the end shall be saved.
Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you …
Here again, all Christians aren’t sent, but the moment that you set your heart to walk with the Lord, to know Him, to become as He is you are going to find the Lord sending you. Do you remember what Isaiah said? In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. … Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips. Isaiah 6:1,5. Just like everybody else. The angel took the tongs from the altar and took a hot burning coal and said, “Now you are clean.” What was the next thing that happened? “Who will go for Me?” The Lord said, “Who is going to go for Us?” Isaiah immediately spoke, “Send me, Lord.” When there is some cleansing, some purging that takes place, you’re on your way, you are walking with the Lord, you’re learning how to become as He is, the next thing you know the Lord sends you. What about this?
Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves …
That doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. Have you felt like a sheep in the midst of wolves? If you haven’t, you need to check to see if you have been sent because this is where the Lord sends you.
“I’m a sheep. How did I get around all these wolves? What are they going to do to me?” Well, you have to speak a Word, speak a Word to these wolves.
“But I’m just a lamb.” Yes, but you are a sent lamb. I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Come on, folks, this is what we are to experience.
“I don’t know if I want to experience that.” Well, pray about it until you get to the place where you do want to experience this because this is what it means to walk with God. This is what it means to be a real Christian. This is what it means to have a real relationship with the Lord, to become as He is, to find His life coming forth in you and you are going to hear a word, “I’m sending you forth as a sheep in the midst of wolves.” Accept that. My gosh, we’ve been in that situation for a long time now. We find opposition on every hand. Why? We’re walking with God. I tell you what, when you find this happening – resistance here, resistance there, opposition everywhere, wolves around you wanting to attack you – get happy! The Lord sent you! You are walking with Him!
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Now let’s look at the last part.
Matthew 10:16 …be therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Don’t be a serpent, be wise as serpents, be wise – cunning wisdom. This is the wisdom of God. You’re going to have the wisdom of serpents but harmless as doves. The Greek word for “harmless” means unmixed. The dove God sends is unmixed – pure dove all the way through. The bulk of Christianity is like the Tree of Life; it is a mixture of good and evil. Why is the church world of today a mixture of good and evil? Because they are still carrying their sinful adamic nature and their soul-life or flesh-life has not been overcome by the Lord. Part of the walking with God is the elimination of your self-life. The two work together.
Matthew 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
Jesus is called the Prince of Peace, but here He says, “Don’t think that I have come to send peace on your earth, but a sword.” Now what is that sword that the Lord comes to send to us? It is that living Word that is a sharp, two-edged sword that divides between soul and spirit. It even gets down between the joints and the marrow. It gets right down to the very framework of what you are, and it begins to cut away the things of your human life that are opposing you and resisting. You know what? That doesn’t sound like it feels very good. It doesn’t feel very good. It is like all those wolves.
“Oh, I get the picture now. All those wolves are in me, aren’t they?”
You could say that. The Christ in you is like a sheep in the midst of all your wolf nature.
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. Now the world will tell you you must be at peace with yourself. The moment you do you are dead in the water. You don’t want to be at peace with yourself. You want to overcome the things of your self that are holding you back and keeping you from walking with God.
In Psalm 51 David said, “In sin did my mother conceive me.” He wasn’t blaming his mother for what he was. He was saying that we are all born in this earth with a sinful nature – a wolf nature. The Lord didn’t come to send peace. In other words, He didn’t come so that you could make peace with these things. These are things that He wants to get rid of, so He brings you a sword, a two-edged sword.
Matthew 10:35 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.
Here again, we tend to look at these things in the natural. This is Word. What is your father? We’re not talking about the man who married your mother. Your father is everything that is responsible for what you are in your flesh – all the things that have influenced you, your education, the location where you were raised, the things you were taught, all of the problems you were born with – all of these, this is your father. Jesus has come to set a man against his father. The Lord is bringing His two-edged sword to strike down all of these things that are responsible for making you that wicked and corrupt creature that you are. The same thing for the mother.
Matthew 10:36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
In I Corinthians 15 Paul talks about this house, speaking of us, this house will be done away with and we will take on a new house. We are like a household and a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. Now, I have no doubt that some Christians will have problems with their actual mother or father, brother or sister, whatever, at some time but this is mostly true when you think of yourself as a house and all the different aspects of what you are in your nature is your household. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
Matthew 10:37 He that loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of Me.
If you love those things that are responsible for what you are in your sinful nature, if you love those more than you love the Lord, you are not worthy of Him. But what about all the things that you have produced by your human nature, all the things done by your own human energy? If you love sons and daughters more than you love the Lord, you are not worthy of Him.
Matthew 10:38 He that takes not his cross, and follows after Me, is not worthy of me.
What is that cross? That’s the cross that is going to bring to an end all of those things in you. “I’m not so sure I want to walk with God if that’s what it means.” I was ministering something like this one time at a house meeting and one of the ladies there said, “Man, that’s rude that God would do something like that.” You might think it’s rude; you might think it’s cruel but nevertheless it is the only way you are going to come into true life and that’s by having your old flesh life eliminated and coming into His life.
Matthew 10:39 He that finds his life shall lose it…You just hang on to that
old flesh life and you will lose His life.
…and he that loses his life …your flesh life or your soul life…
… for My sake shall find it – real life in Him.
We bless this to your hearts.
Copyright © 2009 by Henry DuBose