By John Larkins
Jesus said “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law and a man’s foes shall they be of his own household. He that loves father or mother more than me; and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that takes not his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me. “
Well, did your religious instructor talk to you about this Jesus?
When you read Matthew 10:33 and on, you will, for perhaps the first time, begin to see Jesus’s real mission on earth. In these verses He is instructing His disciples concerning His/their mission, which is also ours. He came to convert the Jews and the whole world, now and forever. Convert? Instruct them to leave their current religion?
Absolutely! He told them, “You cannot put new wine in an old wineskin.” Moses taught these people God’s own words, His sacred Ten Commandments, the Sacred Altar, presided over by the Holy Priests who conducted sacrifices to the one true God for the benefit of humans.
A thousand years of the Israelites love and devotion would be remolded to operate in an environment where the gates of heaven were opened by our dear savior, Jesus Christ.
All the rich and sacred way of interacting with and pleasing God was now to be replaced?? What was the replacement? It was the second phase of The Way.
Jesus’s cousin, John The Baptist, knew this was Jesus’ destiny. He had described the unnamed newcomer as “One who will come after me, whose sandal I am not worthy to fasten.” John likely knew only that a revolution was coming but not the details.
Read John’s reaction to the verses when he heard. The revolution was totally based on Jesus Christ’s bloody sacrifice, in which the mission of saving mankind would be delegated to an organization He empowered, with men He trained and blessed, that would last as long as the savior desired, dispensing His saving grace. Jesus said, “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”
Going back to the scripture in Matthew, this dangerous task was given Jesus’s apostles, to explain Jesus’s teachings to the Jews, first, and then to the entire world from that time on.
Of course, that mission is ongoing today. We can try to picture the personal impact on these men. They had wives, sons, daughters, other relatives and friends who would resist or totally reject the Savior’s way. If you are reading Matthew, Chapter 24 might be interesting. Try to imagine the various reactions of us and the whole population, to today’s missionaries intending to convert those who do not yet follow the way!
The men Jesus chose for this work, immediately and willingly put down whatever they were doing and followed Jesus, as far as the Gospel reveals. But all these men were killed for their devotion to the Savior, except young John.
The Church they founded, with Jesus, has 1.2 billion members today throughout the world.
John Larkins was born in Oklahoma to an U.S. Army family. His education was in the Catholic Church and teaching in the United Methodist Church for 10 years. After 50 years of various positions in federal service at home and in Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, John and his wife Carol live in Gadsden.
His formal education includes a BS certified for science teaching, an MBA from the University of Missouri and an MPA from Jacksonville State University in public administration and environmental management. For the past 15 years, John evangelized on the street, door-to-door, in tent revivals, and church situations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.