Warning from the King | Matthew 10:16-25 (Mville)
Topic: New Testament Passage: Matthew 10:16–10:25
Good Morning! We are continuing to preach through the book of Matthew, the gospel account
of Jesus as the Savoir-King of God’s people. We are in Part 2 (Chapters 8-13) the Mission of
the King. Since launching his public ministry back in the end of chapter 4, Jesus ministry has
been defined by teaching the values of God’s kingdom, preaching repentance of sin and calling
people to the kingdom, and actively living out the kingdom through healing. While these are
all awesome, Jesus is more than simply a good teacher, a great preacher, and miraculous
healer. He is the great savior and king of God’s people. Jesus is God in the flesh. There are
many hurting and lost people who need the message and healing of the kingdom. As Jesus
was sent from Heaven to earth on mission, Jesus sends those who are citizens of the kingdom
on the same mission. Last week we saw him commission 12 of his disciples as apostles and
prepare to send out missionary teams two by two. Before sending these teams he gives them
clear instructions like a general giving orders to officers who will be out in the field conducting
individual operations. Previously, Jesus has said to not take any provisions and expect to
be met with some amount hospitality, but that will not always be the case. As this Sermon of
the Mission continues, we see how Jesus sends, expectations for the mission, purposes in
persecution, and how Jesus suffers so we can endure.
Matthew 10:16-25 16
as serpents and innocent as doves. 17Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts
and flog you in their synagogues, 18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my
sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. 19When they deliver you over, do not be
anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to
you in that hour. 20For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through
you. 21Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise
against parents and have them put to death, 22 and you will be hated by all for my name's
sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23When they persecute you in one
town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of
Israel before the Son of Man comes. 24
his master. 25
they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise
It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If
10:16 Jesus Sends
Jesus send his people out on mission to the world to proclaim and live out His kingdom. This is
Jesus intention for his followers, they will not receive the good news of the gospel and saving
power of Jesus and not actively engage with sharing it with others. Disciples of Jesus are sent,
but not to safety. Jesus knowingly sends his followers on mission into harm’s way. This is not
an accident, but part of Jesus plan from the start. If we are to seek and save the lost, hurting
people of God we have to be willing to dive into the difficult places they find themselves stuck
in. In Ch 9 Jesus see His people as sheep without a shepherd. As he saves them they are
still sheep but now have a good shepherd in Jesus to lead them. Where Jesus leads is directly
into the midst of ravenous wolves with no clear way out. As Jesus was sent into a dangerous
world Jesus sends us. John 17:15-18 15
that you keep them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, just as I am not of the
world. 17Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18As you sent me into the world, so I have
sent them into the world.
Sheep are sent but not alone. Jesus tells His disciples at the end of Matthew he will be with us
always till the end of the age. Jesus gives us a clear understanding of challenges we will face
on mission. We are to be sheep but we are not to be stupid, naïve, or stained by the world. We
are to be wise/cunning like those in the world that seek to lead sheep astray while also being
innocent of evil. This means we need to be students of the world to understand it’s darkness,
and students of the word be able to shine light into it.
10:17-20 Expectations for Mission
Part of having wisdom is having clear expectations about what being on mission for Jesus
is going to look like. In a world marked by sin and opposition to God as King. When you are
faithfully living on mission for King Jesus you should readily expect two things to happen in
Expect Hostility- Yes we preach, proclaim, and live out the Gospel of Jesus hoping it will be
receive for the saving, healing, restoring joy that it is, and indeed many will respond and
follow Jesus. This is incredibly encouraging when it happens. However, even more than an
expectation of being received hospitably we need to be prepared this won’t always be the case.
Spreading the Gospel is not perpetually easy. From many who reject Jesus as Lord over their
lives we should expect nothing more than hostility. Jesus doesn’t say if we as messengers are
rejected by men who hate the message, he says when. This is a certainty.
John 3:19-20 19And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the
darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20For everyone who does wicked
things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
There are people who don’t like to think their lives include sin, wickedness, or darkness. When
you are calling sinners to turn from their sin and turn to King Jesus they may want to remain
their own king. Telling someone Jesus died for their sin in of no value to them if they don’t think
they have any. The same light that melts the ice hardens the clay. We need to change our goal
on mission from acceptance in the world to faithfulness. We need to be killed of our idol of cool
and acceptance. Jesus + Cool = Nothing.
And I believe with all my heart that what the world needs is radically bold, sacrificially loving, God-
besotted, “freaks” and aliens. In other words, I am inviting you to say no to the world for the sake of the
world. The world does not need more cool, hip, culturally savvy, irrelevant copies of itself. That is a hoax
that has duped thousands of young Christians. -John Piper
We all want acceptance and approval in some form. We all fear rejection and pain, but we
should expect it if we are remaining faithful. If we are not facing more hostility and opposition as
individuals and as a church we have to ask ourselves, why? Are we simply enjoying a period of
God’s favor that is not typical for Christians regardless of time or place? Or are we truly being as
innocent as doves as we ought?
Expect the Spirit. We are to expect hostility but we are not to fear it. When we meet hostility on
account of the Gospel of King Jesus and the Father of Heaven we do not need to be anxious.
The Holy Spirit will guide our speech and our conduct. Luke 12:12 says at that hour the Holy
Spirit will be there to teach what to say. Our role is not to always be prepared or worry about
how eloquent our speech is. Jesus tells us to be faithful in the going and He will speak through
us. It is the same promise God gave to Moses back in Exodus when Moses was concerned
with how his speech would be received before Pharaoh. In Acts 7 we see this happening when
Stephen, an early deacon in the church is brought before the High Priest and the Sanhedrin and
preaches an amazingly deep, theologically rich, bible saturated sermon. He was empowered by
the Holy Spirit. It was true, it was right. How was it received? He was still stoned.
10:21-23 Purpose in Persecution
Jesus elsewhere promises God know every hair on our head and not one will perish he does
not promise we will be free of persecution. Christians will not perish because there is everlasting
life with God in Jesus. Our experience as Christians in this country and part of the world is
not normal. Persecution is a very real present daily reality for millions of our Christian brothers
and sisters around the world that we are completely removed from and usually blind to. Daily,
Christians face trials and persecution of various kinds. While seemingly random and chaotic, it is
never meaningless; there is always a purpose in persecution.
Knowing who your real family is- You are either ultimately defined by the blood line of your family
or you are defined by the blood line Jesus poured out on the cross to cover your sin. By the
blood of Jesus we are graciously given adoption in to the family of God. Jesus says when you’re
delivered up “The Spirit of your Father” will be speaking through you. Not just Jesus’ Father, if
you are in Christ, you and Jesus have the same Father you are part of the same family. When
you are adopted into a family you are no longer part of your old family. If your family doesn’t
worship God in Jesus, they may reject you.
Miriam Ibrahim a young Sudanese women born and abandoned by her Muslim father, grew up
with her mother a Christian. She was brought up to local courts by relatives including her own
brother on charges of apostasy and adultery for not practicing Islam and marrying a Christian
man. Pregnant, put in jail, where she gave birth she was convicted and given 3 days to reject
Jesus, follow Islam, or be sentenced to death At her sentencing hearing she said, “I am a
Christian and I will remain a Christian.” Because they value life so much she was going to
be allowed to wean here newborn (up to 2 years old) and then face 100 lashes and death by
hanging. By God’s grace she has been released, here and her husband are trying to make it out
of the country. Here brother said this week during her release "The law has failed to uphold our
rights. This is now an issue of honor. The Christians have tarnished our honor, and we will know how to
avenge it." She knows she has a Father in Heaven who will never leave her or forsake her, she
knows she is part of a kingdom where Jesus reigns who, she has a comforter and a teacher in
the Holy Spirit. She is our sister.
The Sake of Jesus Name- You should expect when you are faithful to follow Jesus you will be hated
by those who hate Jesus “for his name sake” not the sake of you being a jerk or being a coward.
Those are different. Sudhakar was pastoring in Hyderabad in India and the towns around. In
one of the towns pastors were boiled alive in acid their bodies dismembered and placed in
bags at the four corners of the city as a warning to other Christians and pastors. Sudhakar was
attacked during a service by Hindu militants and hit in the head by a brick. He was taken the
local police station and charged with disturbing the peace and starting a riot. He faced the threat
of legal action for years. These are our brothers.
John 20:18-19 18
were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but
I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19
For our Endurance For our hope. We are soft. We are weak. We are easily deterred. We seek
instant gratification on any effort we put in and get quickly discouraged when we are not
immediately rewarded. On mission for Jesus is supposed to a marathon and not a sprint, and
it’s a marathon down a road of trial.
Pastor Saeed Abedini sentenced to 8 years back in 2012 in Iran Converted to Christianity
in 2000 began planting house churches (over 100 in 30 different cities with roughly 2,000
members) Moved to US in 2005 when Ahmedinjad got elected and a crack down began.
Returned in 2009 knowing the social/legal climate of the country had become less favorable.
He made several trips to build orphanages and was arrested. Sentenced for “undermining the
Iranian government by creating a network of Christian house churches and attempting to sway
Iranian youth away from Islam.” He avoided the death penalty but has been moved to Rajai
Shahr prison populated with Iran’s worse criminals and the harshest condition in the country.
He knew it would be hard road to return to work in Iran yet he chose it anyway. He is our
Rom 5:3-5 3
does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the
Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For His Name to Spread – here Jesus tells them to flee. We are not to seek martyrdom, we are to
seek and save the lost. We are blessed to live in a country with great freedom and relative
stability but our freedom has often led to compliancy. Instead of taking our blessings as an
opportunity for boldness we have become bystanders in the battle. Rather than a sense of
urgency, we easily fall into apathy. We are slaves to comfort and clarity. Jesus name will be
spread and when Christians seek to settle down or slow down the mission for comfort they will
find the opposite. The safest place to be is precisely where Jesus has called you to be.
Persecution keeps the momentum of the mission going. The mission isn’t done yet.
James 1:2-3 2Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3
that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
10:24-25 Jesus Endures, We are saved.
How can Jesus ask his follower to go to places and be on missions he knows will lead them into
trials, persecutions, and possibly even death. Why ask so much of us? What is he preparing his
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces
and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5
2 Cor 4:17-18 17For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory
beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are
unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
For the world, they saw the message and kingship of Jesus as something to be mocked and
scorned. They called him “Beelzebul” – lord of the flies or lord of dung. This was the worst insult
one could be given. Jesus is saying at the heart those that do not follow and obey him have
not merely respectfully declined an offer of salvation but have bitterly rejected Jesus as King
and see his kingdom as valuable as a pile of dung. Jesus wants us to know if this is how they
see him, they will see his followers as even lower. Sends his followers out on a difficult mission
knowing his mission would be even more difficult. Jesus would be “delivered over” to courts of
the Jewish leaders and Gentiles like Pontius Pilate and King Herod. The word we’ve seen in
this section as “deliver you over” is the same word used to describe how Judas betrayed Jesus.
Jesus was betrayed by those as close to him as family.
Jesus was rejected by the world, Jesus was delivered over to death. Jesus endured so we can
Jesus suffered worse. Jesus suffering on the cross saves, so we can be saved in our suffering.
Because Jesus was silent we can be bold to speak. Because Jesus was lead as a lamb to
slaughter we can be sent by Jesus as sheep knowing we have a shepherd who has laid his life
down for us. Trust Jesus!
More in Mission of the King | Matthew Part II
September 14, 2014Rejecting Jesus | Matthew 13:53-58 (Mville)
September 7, 2014Parables of Kingdom Power and Price | Matthew 13 (Mville)
August 31, 2014Parables of the Kingdom | Matthew 13 (Mville)