May 2, 2015
READ: Matthew 10:16-25,40-42
All nations will hate you because you are my followers (v.22).
A beekeeper friend recently had an interesting encounter with what he thought was a swarming, hostile hive of bees. The bees were perched outside the opening to their hive enclosure—a wooden structure in which they lived. My friend thought that a swarm was imminent, but upon closer inspection he realised the bees had moved outside of the hive because it had got too hot due to sweltering weather. They weren’t hostile, but simply chilling out in the daytime breeze.
At times, we’ll feel the heat of the world’s hostility to God and His good news. Some people simply don’t want to hear about it. Jesus spoke of the responses the disciples would receive as they told others about Him (Matthew 10:7). He said, “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves” (v.16). When we tell others the gospel, we too can expect trouble. Some of us will even face white-hot persecution (vv.17-21).
There can be some challenging moments as we live out and share our faith. But Jesus said, “Slaves are not greater than their master. . . . And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names!” (vv.24-25). To make it perfectly clear, He stated, “All nations will hate you because you are my followers” (v.22).
But here’s the good news about God’s good news! Not everyone will oppose us or reject our message. We may perceive or expect hostility, but Jesus says there will be people who will respond positively to the gospel (vv.40-42).
So it’s our time to spread the good news! The people around us need Jesus. For the sake of those who will want to believe in Him, may God help us carry out our mission today!
365-day-plan: Esther 1:1-22
Read Acts 5:26-32 to see how the apostles responded to the hostility of the unbelieving world as they persisted in sharing the good news.
What are some challenges and consequences you have faced while sharing the gospel? How does it encourage you that some people will respond favourably to the good news?