JUNE 25, 2023 - FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST: PROPER 7
10:30 AM (+ kids!)
Home Wrecker and Bird Watcher
The family is vital and important and much of the Evangelical church has trumpeted “Family values!” Indeed, we agree and are for families woven into the natural order by God. But the family can become an idol against God as well. Whether conservative, progressive, or a mixture of both, following Jesus may force a demotion of the family—not something we seek (that’s cultic), but a possibility as we follow Christ. Hopefully this is not taken to the extreme, but it often happens in various ways. However, there is good news in this, too.
“...It is quite likely that the community for which Matthew wrote had experienced such family divisions and that some followers had even been turned out of their families. His coming calls forth decisions every day of our lives as to whom we will serve. A person’s family could well become the enemy if familial love seeks to replace the love of Christ. Even the disciple who wished to go and bury his father is told to let the dead bury their own dead (Matthew 8:21). Following Jesus takes priority even over the filial responsibility of burying one’s father. Inherent in the command to follow him is a requirement of unwavering loyalty. The claims of the gospel can and will split families.” (Cleophus J. Larue, Princeton).
“His coming challenges us to put him first and seek his will above and beyond all familial ties and claims of loyalty in every sphere and every arena of our current existence.”
“A disciple of Jesus is one who first listens closely to the teaching of Jesus and then decides on the appropriate response” (FOTW, Emilie M. Townes, 168).
TRAVEL PLAN: OUTLINE
TRIP: THROUGH THE TEXT
Disciples and the Master in mission (10:24 – 25).
24 “A disciple is not greater than his teacher, nor a slave greater than his master. 25 It is enough for the disciple to become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house ‘Beelzebul,’ how much worse will they call the members of his household!
Fearless followers (10:26 – 31) and The Bird Watcher....
26 “Do not be afraid of them, for nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing is secret that will not be made known. 27 What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light, and what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the housetops. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 Even all the hairs on your head are numbered. 31 So do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
Acknowledging Jesus’ supremacy in public (10:32 – 33)
32 “Whoever, then, acknowledges me before people, I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever denies me before people, I will deny him also before my Father in heaven.
Allegiance to Jesus’ supremacy at home (10:34 – 39)
34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace but a sword! 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, 36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.
37 “Whoever 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. 38 And whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life because of me will find it.
Sources: NIV Bible App. Commentary, Michael J. Wilkins, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University; https://www.workingpreacher.org, Cleophus J. Larue, Princeton Theological Seminary, Others; Feasting on the Word Year A Vol. 3; Others.