Prepare to Listen. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.
Prayerfully Read Matthew 10:34-39
34Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
35For I have come to set a man against his father,
and a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.
37Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.
“I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Was Jesus condoning, even advocating for violence? No! He was quoting the prophet Micah (7:6) and saw himself as the fulfillment of what he said. The ancient prophet warned of “the terrible divisions that would always occur when God was doing a new thing.” Jesus knew that divisions within families, between friends and political parties happen whenever there is disruption to the status quo. Some, wrongfully, take up swords or guns, when we’re called to be peacemakers. Division shouldn’t surprise us where God is transforming people into the Way of Jesus.
But there’s more shocking news. To be worthy of Jesus, we must love him more than family, make him not family or country, the priority in our life. This may conflict with cultural norms, but “whoever does not take up the cross and follow me,” said Jesus, “is not worthy of me.”
Following Jesus demands total allegiance, everything, including our lives. When we lose our lives for the gospel, we’ll find them hidden with Christ in God, as Paul taught (Col. 3:3). The way of losing our lives may cause divisions within families, churches, societies. But we must choose: follow Christ’s disruptive way that may be divisive, or ignore his way and placate those around us.
What do you think it means to live a life worthy of Jesus?
Respond in Prayer
Lord, when life is divisive, give me the wisdom and the courage to lose my life and take up my cross and follow you, so that I lead a life worthy of you, fully pleasing to you, bearing fruit in every good work. Amen.
Live Obediently. Live a life worthy of Jesus.
 Wright, N. T. Matthew for Everyone Part 1. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. 2004, p. 123.
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Despite having frequently read and taught Matthew's Gospel, preparing these daily devotions, taking that second gaze, has surprised me with newness.