[Originally delivered on Saturday, October 10, 2010 at Worship Jam.]
Some of you know that I lost my job due to the downturn of the economy a year and a half ago. I worried about it for around five or six hours feeling sorry for myself.
I prayed and asked God to take all the worry away from me. I knew God loves and cares for me, and so He did!
I really knew deep inside that God would take care of everything I needed. Notice that I said Need and not want!
I then did something that was really scary: I committed to dedicate my life to serving God and his Son, Jesus.
Over a year and a half later, here I am.
You see, God loves and cares for us.
I now have a little review of the section in Matthew where Jesus first sends out his disciples to spread the Gospel just among the Jews while avoiding the Gentiles and the Samaritans.
Remember, the twelve disciples do not have much experience in teaching at this point. They would have to learn on-the-job.
Look at them as Jesus’ farm team on where they can gain the proper experience before graduating to the major leagues.
Jesus warned them that the world would be turned upside down where families would be split apart and children would have their parents put to death and parents would put their children to death – all because of the fact that Jesus is the Messiah that the Jews had been waiting for.
Jesus told them to be careful out there and move on to the next town if they were persecuted.
Jesus also told them they would not even be able to finish teaching all the Jews before Jesus would show the entire world inexplicable proof that He indeed was the Son of God.
Matthew 10:24-31 (NIV)
24 “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.
25 It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!
26 “So do not be afraid of them. 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 apart from the will of your Father.
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.
Jesus tells his disciples that they will not get a break from the people that are against the Messiah just because they are disciples or students. They are going to experience the full force of those who are opposed to Jesus.
The Eckronites had a god named Beelzebub, also called Beelzebul. Beelzebub means “lord of the flies” as he supposedly protected the Eckronites from flies. Now we all know that flies are attracted to filth, more aptly called “poo”.
The Jewish leaders were calling Jesus Beelzebub. They thought of Jesus as filth.
Now, the disciples should expect c more. In fact, the whole family of Christians would be called names and even be accused of being of the devil.
Jesus told them not to fear those people, as God would protect them. Throughout His teachings, Jesus encourages His disciples to be strong because God himself will help and protect them.
You can see that God loves and cares for us.
It is interesting that throughout the Bible, God is telling people “Do not be afraid.” When Angles announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds, their first words were “do not be afraid.”
Why don’t we need to fear? Because God loves and cares for us.
God does not want us to be afraid and He definitely keeps letting us know!
Jesus then tells them a Jewish proverb: There is nothing concealed that won’t be revealed.
Many of the people the disciples will teach the Good News to will not accept the fact that Jesus is the Messiah. The truth will eventually be revealed to the entire world and God will prove them right.
They have to maintain their composure, principals and righteousness so people will be able to see by their actions that they are telling the truth. What would you think of a person who is full of fear, waivers from their principals and lives a highly sinful life?
Now what would you think of their words if they told you something nearly unbelievable? On the other hand, if you met a person who was confident and practiced what they preached, your believability index would be on the high side.
Jesus cares for his disciples, so he is telling us how we should present ourselves.
Jesus taught them and revealed facts that were previously secret and often whispered and shared in private. Jesus wanted to make sure the disciples were as prepared to as there was time to make them.
Jesus now tells the disciples to shout the words from the rooftops in daylight for the whole world to hear! They are to share what they have been taught and act as emissaries for Jesus.
Now was the time to send the disciples on their way and Jesus delivers those final words of preparation and encouragement.
Jesus tells them not to be afraid of those people who can kill them. Jesus tells them not to be afraid of dying.
They should not be worried about losing their bodies, which are temporary vessels for our souls. Besides, we now know all of us will be getting new bodies when Jesus returns.
The only thing they needed to fear was God, as He alone has the ability to destroy both their bodies and their souls in the damnable fires of hell for eternity.
Jesus tells his disciples that even sparrows, the least expensive bird used for food will not fall to the ground unless our Father, God deems for it to happen. The disciples are told that God will direct their paths and care for them. If God cares about sparrows, He surely will care for us.
God loves us. God cares for us.
Imagine the amazing attention God pays to detail. He even numbers and knows all the hairs on our head. If God cares about the exact number of hairs on our heads, how much more will he care about us and our souls?
Are you beginning to see how much God loves you? So do not be afraid, as God values us much more than his sparrows.
Now here comes a real important part: We need to publicly acknowledge Jesus as our Lord and savior. We can do this in several ways:
- First is to accept Jesus as our only Lord and savior.
- Next we can acknowledge Jesus at church.
- We can acknowledge Jesus when we meet and interact with people every day.
- We can follow the scriptures in every aspect of our lives.
I ask you: Why do you need to do this? It is to show you love and care for God and Jesus!
God and Jesus love and care for us. The least we can do is show our love for them.
Now, on the other hand, if we deny Jesus here, Jesus will disown us before God our Father.