What Jesus Did! 'Warned and Supported' — Matthew 10:17-20

Thursday, May 4, 2017

"Be careful of people. They will arrest you and take you to be judged. They will whip you in their synagogues. You will be taken to stand before governors and kings. People will do this to you because of me. You will tell about me to those kings and governors and to the non-Jewish people. When you are arrested, don't worry about what to say or how you should say it. At that time you will be given the things to say. It will not really be you speaking. The Spirit of your Father will be speaking through you."
— Matthew 10:17-20
Illustration of Matthew 10:17-20 — "Be careful of people."

Key Thought

While opposition and persecution are real possibilities for followers of Jesus, he does not leave us unequipped for such circumstances. First, he does not paint a rosy picture, so that we will not be caught off guard. He wants us to know the truth about what lies ahead. Second, we must practice caution because there are those wanting to do us harm. We are not trying to get into trouble; it may happen because of what we do, but it is not our goal. Third, Jesus reminds us of our purpose of appearing before others for the sake of the Gospel: we are to be witnesses to the world. Fourth, we are not to worry exactly how to defend ourselves, for the Spirit of God will help us know what to say. Jesus makes it clear that we may suffer for our faith, but he wants us to know that we will not be unprepared or abandoned when we do! His words are a careful and practical balance of warning, assurance, mission, and support.

Today's Prayer

Holy and righteous God, I pray now for believers all over the world who are facing persecution and harassment for their faith. Please bless them and fill them with your Spirit to give them words to say to make a lasting redemptive impact on the hearts of those who oppose them. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus gave these twelve apostles some orders. Then he sent them {to tell people about the kingdom}. Jesus said, "Don't go to the non-Jewish people. And don't go into any town where the Samaritans live. But go to the people of Israel (the Jews). They are like sheep that are lost. When you go, tell them this: 'The kingdom of heaven is coming soon.' Heal sick people. Give dead people life again. Heal those people that have leprosy. Force demons to leave people. I give you these powers freely. So help other people freely. Don't carry any money with you—gold or silver or copper. Don't carry a bag. Take for your trip only the clothes and shoes you are wearing. Don't take a walking stick. A worker should be given the things he needs. "When you enter a city or town, find some worthy person there and stay in his home until you leave. When you enter that home say, 'Peace be with you.' If the people in that home welcome you, then they are worthy of your peace. May they have the peace you wished them. But if the people don't welcome you, then they are not worthy of your peace. Take back the peace you wished for them. And if a home or town refuses to welcome you or listen to you, then leave that place. Shake their dust off your feet. I tell you the truth. On the judgment day it will be worse for that town than for the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah. "Listen! I am sending you, and you will be like sheep among wolves. So be smart like snakes. But also be like doves and do nothing wrong. Be careful of people. They will arrest you and take you to be judged. They will whip you in their synagogues. You will be taken to stand before governors and kings. People will do this to you because of me. You will tell about me to those kings and governors and to the non-Jewish people. When you are arrested, don't worry about what to say or how you should say it. At that time you will be given the things to say. It will not really be you speaking. The Spirit of your Father will be speaking throughyou. "Brothers will turn against their own brothers and give them to be killed. Fathers will turn against their own children and give them to be killed. Children will fight against their own parents and will send their parents to be killed. All people will hate you because you follow me. But the person that continues strong until the end will be saved. When you are treated badly in one city, go to another city. I tell you the truth. You will not finish going to all the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes again. "A student is not better than his teacher. A servant is not better than his master. A student should be satisfied to become like his teacher. A servant should be satisfied to become like his master. If the head of the family is called Beelzebul (the devil), then the other members of the family will be called worse names!

Matthew 10:5-25

Related Scripture Readings

Stephen (one of the seven men) received a great blessing. God gave Stephen power to do miracles and to show proofs from God to the people. But some Jews came and argued with Stephen. These Jews were from a synagogue. It was called a synagogue for Libertines. (This synagogue was also for Jews from Cyrene, and for Jews from Alexandria.) Jews from Cilicia and Asia were with them. They all came and argued with Stephen. But the Spirit was helping Stephen speak with wisdom. His words were so strong that the Jews could not argue with him.

Acts 6:8-10

The next day the Jewish leaders, the older Jewish leaders, and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas (the high priest ), Caiaphas, John, and Alexander were there. Everyone from the high priest's family was there. They made Peter and John stand before all the people there. The Jewish leaders asked them many times, "How did you make this crippled man well? What power did you use? With whose authority did you do this?" Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit. He said to them, "Leaders of the people and you older leaders: Are you questioning us today about the good thing that was done to this crippled man? Are you asking us what made him well? We want all of you and all the Jewish people to know that this man was made well by the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth! You nailed Jesus to a cross. God raised him from death. This man was crippled, but he is now well. He is able to stand here before you because of the power of Jesus! Jesus is 'the stone that you builders thought was not important. But this stone has become the cornerstone. ' Jesus is the only One who can save people. His name is the only power in the world that has been given to save people. We must be saved through Jesus!"

Acts 4:5-12

The Spirit God gave us does not make us afraid. He is our source of power and love and self control. So don't be ashamed to tell people about our Lord {Jesus}. And don't be ashamed of me—I am in prison for the Lord. But suffer with me for the Good News. God gives us the strength to do that.

2 Timothy 1:7-8

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.