Verse of the day - Matthew 10:26-33

  • Matthew 10:26-33

    Jesus said to the Twelve: “Fear no one. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.

    And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.

    Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.”

    Jesus told the apostles as He sends them off to spread the gospel: “Fear no one. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna”

    It’s so easy to say that we are followers of Jesus but it’s another story when we are called to witness for Jesus no matter what the cost. Majority of the apostles were the perfect witnesses for Christ, they feared no one they followed Him championing His teachings until their very last gasp of breath.

    The Martyrs of the church who shed their blood for the cause of Jesus, they spoke of the truth, they were not afraid to die. Jesus’ continued instruction to the apostles is important to their mission in serving him. But this mission of service is ours, too.

    Being a Christian in this world, therefore, means being not only a disciple (a learner) but an apostle (one sent forth), too. Jesus’ words for the twelve are also words for us. We are called to not fear but to proclaim the love of Christ with our lives.

    We are called to witness our Christian faith to all people by our acts of love, forgiveness, and self giving. We are called to acknowledge Jesus before others, witnessing the joy his love has brought to our lives and Jesus’ desire to give mercy and love to all.

    But our walk with Christ can easily be stifled by our fears of what others’ think. Will people see me as some “mental case” Jesus freak? Will people no longer take me seriously because Christ is at the center of my life? These fears are unimportant, and yes, some people will persecute and judge us for our faith. The real fear, however, should be that of temptation and the discouragement of evil: “Fear him who can destroy both body and soul” (28).

    Evil and temptation discourage and accuse us in our walk of faith, and by our own choice to follow temptation, we separate ourselves from relationship with God. Jesus, however, triumphantly counters temptation for us. Jesus says that we should not fear because God loves us and counts us dear in his eyes (31) and, according to St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:13, God will not allow us to be tried beyond our strength.

    How we cooperate with God’s love and grace is our choice, however. Discipleship and apostleship are not forced; we are given the grace of desire but must choose to live in Christ. Be not afraid, be a true witness for Jesus.