Scripture: Matthew 10:16-42 [NLT]
Observation: (What does your mind’s eye see?)
I see Jesus with a more serious look on his face than usual. He is getting ready to send His army out to battle for the first time and He wants to prepare them as much as possible. He is maybe even a little bit more animated than usual. I keep getting this image of general Patton standing in front of a big map on the wall preparing his officers for the big battle soon to come.
The disciples are listening and as they hear more they start to get a worried look on their faces. The gravity of what they are being called to do suddenly starts to sink in. Jesus seeks to reassure them with promises of power to help and lead, just as Patton would reassure his officers that they are the greatest fighting force with the best weapons at their disposal. He gives all of the instructions with hope that they may remember these things at the times they will need them.
The individual verses in this scripture are so often quoted and referred to individually that I thought I might try to look at them as a whole. Jesus is teaching and instructing His disciples (army) about what they will encounter in their “war”, what tactics to use, what to expect from the enemy, what weapons to use and how to use them. He tells them how much their “General” cares about them, how much help they can expect from “headquarters”, what to do if you need to retreat, how to fight the enemy head on and how to fight the enemy shrewdly. He warns them that there may be casualties and that your countrymen may not continue to support them even though they are doing everything they can to help them. He warns them that they may even be betrayed by their own countrymen and brought before the courts to stand trial for trying to help them.
Everything He says here is intended to teach them (and us) and prepare them for what they will be facing; what an amazing Leader we have that He does not “sugar-coat” anything but prepares us with truth for what’s to come.
Application: (How do I apply this to my life?)
The battle belongs to the Lord; but he’s looking “for a few good men” (and women) to help Him in the fight. Am I one of those men? Can the General prepare me for war. I think He can if I am willing to sign up (there is no draft in God’s army) listen, take instruction, and then execute those instructions. I also have the comfort of knowing that I have the backing of the greatest “fighting” force the universe has ever seen. 🙂
I am humbled by the thought that You would want me to be a part of your army. I ask now that you “pull out the big guns” and help me to become a better soldier. The big fight is at our doorstep and I want to be useful to You Lord. I ask that You take my life today and use it in some way. Thank You for Your love and interest in me.
Protect my family and friends. Be with the Wilson’s and with the family of the friend that they lost in the car accident. Be with the small bible study groups that we are a part of; help them to grow under Your tutelage. Help me tonight when I try to show Your Will to another person…please please make sure that it is Your will and not my bumbling’s.
I love you Jesus and I thank you for Your covering righteousness. In Jesus name, Amen.
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