What would you do …?

Matthew 10:24-39 (Jeremiah 20:7-13, Psalm 69:7-10 [11-15] 16-18, Romans 6:1b-1) 

“What would you do for a Klondike Bar?”  Remember those iconic commercials, starting in 1982? They are on a par with, “Hey, Mickey likes it!” and “Where’s the beef?”  

Matthew 10:24-39 asks the same question: What would you do…?  

It begins with an ethical exhortation: The disciple or slave is not above the teacher or master (vs. 24).  The followers must be prepared to suffer as much, and possibly more than Jesus.  What would you do for a savior?  

The Way (Jesus, and his commandments) are not a secret, kept for the benefit of the few; they are public property (to be proclaimed from the rooftops [vs. 26-27]). What would you do for a savior?

Keep in mind that which is ultimate (the soul – psychē) which cannot be destroyed; compared with the body (sōma) which can easily be destroyed, but which is a distant second to the soul.  Understand that, and you will have no fear.  This concept is so important to Matthew that he quotes this exhortation three times in five verses (vs. 26, 28, 31).  What would you do for a savior?

And then Jesus delivers a powerful illustration of the cost of discipleship: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” (vs. 34-39).  Matthew’s Gospel reveals that the peacemakers are blessed (5:9) and that we are to love our enemies (6:44). Clearly, Jesus speaks of the persecution that his disciples will have to endure when, in a society in which kin and community define the person, they are instead called to find a new family and new kin, in the community of The Way.  What would you do for a savior?

What would you do for a savior?  Would you follow his call for a radical abdication of possessions and family ties?  Would you endure persecution, and embrace costly discipleship?  Would you do so without fear, knowing that your soul in kept secure in God’s hands?