In the Fulness of Time/Part 61

By: Dr. Thomas O. Figart; ©2007
In Matthew 10:24-31 Jesus tells His disciples to “fear not”! Dr. Figart explains how the fact that God has a purpose should help us to “fear not,” regardless of the situation we find ourselves facing.

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His Comfort: Fear Not. Matthew 10:24-31

In Matthew 10:1-23, Jesus presented His Commission to the Twelve. He now repeats three times in 10:24-31 “fear not,” and with good reason; they would certainly suffer for His namesake and needed this encouragement.

Fear Not: God has a Purpose. 10:24-26

Matthew 10:24-25 “The disciple is not above his teacher, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be like his teacher, and the servant like his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household.”

The principle: Treatment of the inferior cannot be expected to be any better than that given to the superior. Comparisons are given in four passages.

Mockery: Three analogies are given: the disciple/teacher relationship, the slave/lord and head of the house/those in the house relationship. The disciple learns from his mentor and passes along that knowledge; but if the teachings of the teacher are rejected, it can be expected that the same teachings proclaimed by his disciples will be rejected. If the commands of the lord are disregarded, certainly a slave who issues the same commands cannot hope to be obeyed. If the head of the house is spoken of in a derogatory fashion because of the things he does, so will the members of the household be mocked when they do the same things. The specific name, Beelzebub is identified as “the prince of demons” in Matthew 12:24 (cf. also 9:34).

Maturity: In Luke 6:40 the first analogy is used: “The disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone that is perfect shall be as his teacher.” The word perfect is katertismenos in the perfect tense, conveying the idea of “fully trained,” or “completely equipped.” Those who follow Christ should exert the discipline necessary to become mature teachers.

Humility: In the context of John 13:1-17 Jesus uses the second analogy stating in v. 16, “The servant is not greater than his lord, neither is he that is sent greater than he that sent him.” Coming right after Jesus’ demonstration of humility in washing the disciples’ feet, this analogy of servant/lord is a graphic reminder that humility is a prime characteristic expected of apostolos, or “sent one.” This servanthood of Christ is expressed most fully in Philippians 2:5-8 where Paul says that Jesus “took upon him the form of a servant (doulos) . . . humbled himself and became obedient unto death.”

Hostility: In John 15:20 Jesus reminded them, “The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you.” That there would be such hostility, the dis­ciples were told in the Sermon of the Mount in Matthew 5:10-12, 43. Now, as they will venture forth on their own, they will need to be reminded that this hostility is because the world hates Him before it hates them (John 15:18-19), so they will meet hostility as His servants, for His namesake; therefore they are not to fear.

Matthew 10:26 “Fear them not therefore; for there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; and hidden, that shall not be known.”

Some have connected this verse with that which follows in verse 27, but it would seem better to take it with verses 24-25 instead. For one thing, the word “therefore,oun, a connecting particle is at the beginning of the verse and thus points backward. The connection is this: Since you are His servants, disciples and members of His household, remember, He has a purpose which will be fulfilled, in which He will bring to light the hidden things and will eventually cause the light of the truth to prevail. As Jesus continues, He will reinforce this with the comfort of God’s power to fulfill His purpose, in the fullness of time!

Read Part 62

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