Our next exciting study will be Chapter 10 of Matthew’s Gospel.  Up until now we have read about Jesus: His baptism, teaching and healing ministry, the calling of His disciples, and His dealing with those who opposed any suggestion that He may be the expected Messiah.  The Jewish leaders had experienced bad outcomes with other people claiming to be the Messiah who came before Him, and they were not ready to accept Him that easily.

But now the focus shifts from Jesus to His disciples.  What our Lord tells them about their pending ministry and evangelism efforts in spreading the Gospel would not qualify as an exciting motivational speech today.  It does not contain any sugar-coated words of how great life was going to be for them; no promises of victory after victory.

Instead, Jesus tells them exactly what to expect when they go out into the world to preach the Gospel, and it wasn’t pretty.  You may ask, why would He scare them like that before they’ve had any experience.  There are two things I see in why Jesus did this.  First, to let them know the truth so they would know what to expect.  And second, to see which of them did not have the courage to face such trials and tribulation so they could go back home and not waste their time.

In order to get His followers to understand His place in their lives, He begins by using the example of how a shepherd takes care of his sheep.  In those days shepherds were common place.  Yet we have much to learn from how they treated their flocks.  Today, that is why many refer to their pastors as “shepherds of the flock.”  But Jesus wanted them to know what a good shepherd really was, and why He would be their role model.

But the Jewish leaders and their followers were not impressed.  In fact, Jesus would suffer right in front of His disciples eyes the very things He told them to expect when they went out to share the good news about the Kingdom of God.  In so doing, they would learn how He handled skepticism and criticism.  In this chapter we will learn a lot about what it means to be a good shepherd of God’s people.  I hope you will travel with me through this marvelous portion of Holy Scripture.

God bless you for your love and dedication to God’s Word.  See you Monday!

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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