Today’s Gospel: Matthew 10:34-11:1
In today’s Gospel we learn what is means to be Christ’s disciple. Jesus tells us that His message won’t bring peace to all who hear it. He speaks of the sword. In our lives, this can mean the tension and division that Jesus’ message often causes even within our own families. Jesus knows this and warns us not to put even our family members ahead of Him. This would have been shocking to His Jewish followers as family loyalty was valued highly in this society.
Jesus also tells us to take up our cross and follow Him. To the modern reader, this has come to mean offering up life’s hardships in the name of Jesus. To the listeners of His day, this was horrifying. They knew this meant being willing to die in humiliation in order to be Jesus’ disciple. Today’s Gospel shows us the radical conditions to being a true disciple.
Jesus concludes by explaining that if we accept those who come in His name, we accept Him. If we reject those same people, we are in essence rejecting Him. This explains apostolic succession. Our priests and bishops are acting in Jesus’ place here on earth.
What have I put before Jesus in my life?
How has Jesus’ message brought tension even within my own family?
Am I willing to suffer and endure humiliation in order to follow Jesus?
Jesus, please teach me to be a true disciple, no matter the cost. Allow me to put you first in my life. Amen.
Copyright 2014 Ellen Toole