Matthew 10:16 (NIV)
The Bible Says... “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves” (NIV).
Just a Dash
The women’s ministry at my church is currently engaged in a book study of Kyle Idleman’s book, Not a Fan. This book has challenged all of my beliefs on what it means to be a true follower of Christ and “not a fan” by making clear distinctions between the two identities. The picture above from @nebiyekelile resonated with me this past week, because spiritually, the work you produce should be a clear indication of the instructions you’re following. It also got me thinking about how it was clear to others that the disciples were following Jesus, because they were doing the same work that He was doing. I have been guilty of saying that I follow Jesus, but not doing the work He asked me to do. I’ve also been guilty of saying I follow Jesus and then trying to lead from the back; but following Jesus means letting my plans take a backseat to God’s will for my life, because when I try to lead, it's no longer clear who I'm following.
A Pinch More
After choosing His disciples, Jesus explains in detail what it means to follow Him. For the disciples, following Jesus might have seemed pretty glamorous at first – After all, Jesus was an incredible teacher who healed so many sick and even drove out demons!
In Matthew 8:19, a teacher of the law tells Jesus, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go” (NIV). This is the first time someone volunteers to follow Jesus without Him inviting them to do so. At this, Jesus realizes it is time to let this man (as well as us) know the cost of following Him. Jesus briefly describes what it’s like to follow Him in verses 20-22.
However, when it came to His twelve chosen disciples, Jesus’ message about the cost of following Him was a bit more explicit. In fact, He describes sending The Twelve out into the world as “sending you out like sheep among wolves” (Matt. 10:16 NIV). Jesus explains to them who they are to minister to, the message they are to spread, and the work they are to do. Then, He goes on to tell them the good, the bad and the ugly about following Him. In Chapter 10, verses 16-42, Jesus prepares His disciples for what they are going to be up against on account of Him. The same opposition that Jesus was preparing His disciples to face would be the very same opposition that He himself would face. The disciples followed Jesus’ lead, so it was evident who they were following.
Q: How has your experience following Jesus been similar to how He described it in Matthew 10?
Q: Are you doing the work that Jesus called His followers to do? If not, why?
Q: What has been your response when Jesus has revealed to you the cost of following Him?
Q: Is the work you’re producing evident of the instructions you’re following? If not, whose instructions have you been following?
Matthew Chapter 10