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Verse 23 *Disciples should be wise enough to escape from danger. They should not die if it is not necessary.

After Stephen died, many Christians left Jerusalem. They went to safer places. And the result was that the good news about Jesus spread further (Acts 8:1-4). Paul and Barnabas also left places where they were in danger (Acts 14:5-7). It is plain that Jesus means himself when he says Son of Man. But the phrase: before the Son of Man comes is not very clear. So people have explained these words in several different ways: Idea 1. The *disciples were going ahead of Jesus to other places. He would follow later. This idea agrees with Luke 10:1. He says that Jesus sent *disciples to every town and place where he would go later. Idea 2. Jesus was talking about after his death and when he would be alive again. Then he would return to help the *disciples. They would tell the good news about him in all the cities of Israel. Idea 3. Perhaps he was referring to the future time when he will return to this earth. His *disciples did not finish their work before the *Romans attacked Jerusalem in *AD 70. In Matthew 24:15-30, Matthew records what Jesus said about this event. He connects it with what some of Gods servants had told the people long before. They told them about the time when Christ will return. Verses 24-25 *Disciples would suffer in the same way as their teacher and master. The *Pharisees had accused Jesus. They said that he worked with Beelzebub, the chief evil *spirit. That means the devil or Satan (9:34). So people would insult the *disciples too. Beelzebub means the flies master. *Jews had probably changed the name from Beelzebul, which means the master of the house. This was the name of a false god in the *Old Testament (2 Kings 1:1 6). Now it was another name for the chief evil *spirit.

Jesus encourages the *disciples 10:26-33


v26 Do not be afraid of anyone. There are secrets now, but later everyone will know them. People cannot understand everything now, but later all things will become clear. v27 I tell you things in the dark, but you must speak them in the daylight. When someone whispers something in your ear, shout loudly about it. Then everyone will hear those words. v28 Do not be afraid of the people who can kill your body. They cannot kill the person that you are inside. God is able to destroy both your body and the person that you are inside in hell. You should only be afraid of him. v29 People sell two little birds for only a penny. But your Father knows when each one of those birds falls to the ground. v30 He even counts every hair on your head. v31 So do not be afraid. You are worth more than many little birds. v32 Someone may say in public that he knows me. I will also say to my Father in heaven that I know that person. v33 But someone else may say in public that he does not know me. Then I will say to my Father in heaven that I do not know that person. Jesus gave four reasons why true *disciples should not be afraid of anyone: Reason 1. Verses 26-27. If the *disciples words and actions are right, later God will show that they are right. God will be the judge. He will recognise the people who have told lies about Christians. Nobody will be able to hide his true character. God will praise the Christians, so they can look forward to that time. They must listen carefully to what Jesus teaches in private. Then they must be bold as they teach other people in public. Reason 2. Verse 28. People can kill someones body. But they cannot damage the person that he or she is inside. We call the part of a person that lives for ever a soul. However, God can destroy both. God is very, very special, so people should respect him. They should give him honour. Then they will not be afraid of other people.

Reason 3. Verses 29-31. God is the Father who cares about everything that he has made. The little birds were called sparrows. They were very cheap. Poor people would buy them to eat. Luke 12:6 says that people could buy five birds for two pennies. Falls to the ground probably means dies. But it could also mean that a sparrow lands and jumps along the ground. God cares about these cheap and common little birds. Therefore, he certainly cares about people much more. Reason 4. Verses 32-33. Some people are not ashamed of Jesus. They declare in public that they know him. And Jesus will say that he knows those people. But some people will feel ashamed in public, and Jesus warns those people. He will refuse to say that he knows them. There are several ways that a Christian may not declare his *faith. Sometimes a Christian may remain silent when he should speak about Jesus. Sometimes he may speak against Jesus. Sometimes a Christian may behave in the wrong way. Then other people will have wrong ideas about the *Lord that we claim to obey.

Jesus tells them that trouble will come to families 10:34-39


v34 Do not think that there will be peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace. I came to bring trouble. v35 Because I have come, Sons will turn against their fathers. Daughters will refuse to obey their mothers. Daughters-in-law will fight against their mothers-in law. v36 A persons enemies will be the members of his own family. v37 Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not fit to be my *disciple. And anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not fit to be my *disciple. v38 Anyone who does not pick up their *cross and follow me is not fit to be my *disciple. v39 If anyone tries to save their own life, they will lose it. If anyone loses their life for me, they will gain it again. Verse 34 Jesus came to give people peace with God. And he wanted them to have peace with each other. Some people accepted him, and he changed their lives. Other people opposed him and this caused trouble. This trouble divides some families. Family members do not always have the same attitude to Christs message. Verses 35-37 Jesus taught that husbands and wives should be loyal to each other (Matthew 5:31-32). He taught that children should look after their parents (Matthew 15:3-6). But people should be loyal to Christ first. Sometimes this may cause fights in a family. In verses 35-36, Jesus used words that Gods servant Micah wrote long ago (Micah 7:6). Jesus himself knew what it was like to have his own family against him. They thought that he was mad (Mark 3:21). Also, his brothers tried to force him to make the wrong decision (John 7:1-5). Verse 38 Everyone would have seen people who were carrying wooden *crosses. They were going to their deaths. When the *Roman authorities said that someone must die, they often fixed him to a wooden *cross with nails. The person had to carry his own *cross beam to the place where they killed him on it. Judas from Galilee attacked the *Romans in the year *AD 6. So the *Roman captain killed 2000 *Jews on *crosses in Galilee. This shows us what Jesus means here. Pick up their *cross means that people must be prepared for hard times. They may not die on an actual *cross, but they must give up their own wishes and ideas. Instead, they must do what Christ wants them to do. Verse 39 A person may live in a selfish way. Then their life will not have any real meaning or value. The way to a happy life is to serve God whether it is difficult to live like that or not. Then we will serve other people because that is what God wants.

The reward for people who welcome Christs workers 10:40-42


v40 Anyone who says, Welcome! to you, is saying Welcome! to me. At the same time, that person is saying Welcome! to him who sent me. v41 Someone may say Welcome! to Gods servant because he is Gods servant. That person will receive the same reward as Gods servant receives. Or someone may say Welcome! to a good man because he is a good man. That person will receive the same reward as the good man receives. v42 Someone may give just a cup of cold water to one of these little people because they are my *disciples. That person will certainly gain their reward. Verse 40 Jesus said that God had sent him into the world. Therefore, anyone who says Welcome! to Jesus is saying Welcome! to God at the same time. Verse 41 Gods servant speaks Gods message. The good man shows what Gods message is by his example. People who say Welcome! to one of Gods servants will receive the same reward as Gods servant receives. In the same way, God will reward the good man and the person who says Welcome! to him. Verse 42 Little people can mean young children. It can also mean people who have believed Jesus for only a short time. Or it can mean humble people. Here it refers to the *disciples that Jesus is sending out. A person will receive a reward from God if he gives even a very little help to one of those *disciples. The best reward will come from God. He will say, Well done. You are a good and loyal servant (Matthew 25:21). In the next section, Matthew 11:112:50, Matthew shows how some people said Welcome! to Jesus. They were glad to see him. But other people refused to accept him. The *religious leaders especially began to oppose him.