Sticks and Stone

Matthew 10:24-27 (All verses in NKJV)

Matthew 10:24-27, 24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household! 26 Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. 27 “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. 

– We are still in Matthew chapter 10, where Jesus is instructing his newly selected “12 disciples” in the mission for which he is sending them. 

– Jesus is sending them to the Jews this time, “the lost sheep of the house of Israel”, to tell them the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, and that the Kingdom of God has come.

– He has made it clear to them that they will not be well received. They should expect to be attacked.

1. They were hateful to Jesus, they will be hateful to you too.

Matthew 10:24-25, A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household! 

– Beelzebub: A transliteration of the Hebrew phrase “lord of the flies”. This was a Philistine god, associated with the Canaanite god Baal. The prince of demons, and the opposite of who Jesus was. 

– This was basically the most demeaning and insulting thing they could have called Jesus.

Mark 3:22, And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebub,” and, “By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.”

– Notice that it is not the wicked gentiles shouting insults at Jesus. It is his own Jewish leaders, the scribes and pharisees. They are actually using their arch-enemy’s words to attack one of their own!

– Obviously, Jesus was infringing on their turf, and they were becoming defensive. His message was in direct contradiction to their own self-interests, so they need to attack and discredit it, and him. 

– They were willing to compromise their own integrity to preserve their power. The end justified their means. (Doesn’t all this sound familiar? Do you see this kind of behavior happening today?)

– John 16:1-3, “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.

– They said intentionally hateful and hurtful things to him, you should expect that you will get the same if you are willing to speak up about what you believe in.

Example: “Christian Ninja”. You can avoid the attacks if you hide in the shadows. Stay quiet and maybe no one will notice you. The Amish are extremely devout, but no one is canceling them. Why do you think that is? 

– We are called to spread the word, and when we do that, we “skyline” ourselves, and draw fire.

Matt 5:16, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

– Their goal is to shame you and embarrass you. To get you to shut up or give up. Don’t be quiet. Live out loud.

– Matt 5:11-12, Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

– Name calling, labeling, and accusations are the weapons of today. Not a mob with pitchforks and torches, a social media mob that will banish you before they even finish reading the accuser’s tweet.

– You cannot control the action of others, but you are responsible for your own actions! 

– Everything is in the bible… even how to behave on social media!

Proverbs 29:9-11, If a wise man contends with a foolish man, Whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace. 10 The bloodthirsty hate the blameless, But the upright seek his well-being. 11 A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back.

– Use some “outcome-based” decision making. Trust that God controls your future.

– Romans 12:17-19, Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

– Think about what Jesus would do. The ultimate goal is to bring God glory!

– 1 Peter 2:23, For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 22 “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; 23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;

2. Don’t worry about their lies, because the truth will come to light.

Matthew 10:26, Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.

Example: VP Pence used “the Billy Graham rule”. He would not be alone with a woman who was not his wife. The idea is to remove temptation, avoid rumors or accusations, and to honor his wife. The Press was ridiculous about it, and teased and goaded him:

– They insulted his wife calling her controlling and fearful, saying she didn’t trust her husband. They implied that he must have seriously deep lust issues and saw women as objects.

– They reframed it from “not alone with a woman”, to “won’t be a room with a woman at all.”

– It was call “gender discrimination”, demeaning to women, blatantly sexist, and criticized for ignoring the plight of the LGBT community, AND… “anti-gospel” (jesus/woman at the well…)

– CAN’T A MAN JUST HAVE SOME BOUNDARIES?! Why do they care? They hate him anyways.

– I couldn’t find any articles, or posts, or tweets, or YouTube videos of Pence defending his choice, or any angry attacks on the hypocrites who write these stories. Seems like he just went on living his life.

– Don’t be afraid about what will happen if you get attacked for having faithful Christian values.

– It is hurtful, but attacking back just makes you frustrated, distracted, and tarnishes your witness.

2 Tim 1:7-8, For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,

– 1 Peter 3:14, But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”

– You have to stand for truth. Sometimes that will means being rejected or made fun of.

– Don’t worry about their lies and about defending yourself. God is your defender!

– Matthew 6:34, Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Don’t be a “people pleaser”. If you try to walk the line of making everyone happy, and not offend anyone, it will eventually lead to compromise. Don’t waste your time on the haters.

– Jesus even told his disciples this a few verses back. Matt 10:14, And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.

– TD Jakes, “If they can walk away from you, let them go!” If it was that easy for them to leave, they were never really with you.

You cannot be all things to all people. You have to be who God created you to be and accept the consequences of that. You’ll be okay! Remember, you are representing God, not yourself.

Phil 2:14-15, Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

– Don’t compromise! Sin doesn’t want to share, it wants it all. Give it an inch it will take a mile. 

– Psalms 27:11-14, Teach me Your way, O Lord, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies. 12 Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence. 13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. 14 Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!

3. Preach the word anyway, and be a light to the world.

Matthew 10:27, “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. 

– Jesus is speaking to them now, instructing and guiding them. Preparing them for future ministry.

– These instructions from Jesus are for more than just their current mission, because they haven’t endured any real hardship up until this point… but they will in the future!

– When the time comes, they need to be prepared to preach the gospel publicly, without any shame or hesitation. 

Example: The Apostles doing ministry in the Book of Acts. They were preaching in the temple in Jerusalem, performing many miraculous signs and wonders, and many people were getting saved and healed. They drew crowds from all of the surrounding cities as well.

– The Jewish religious leader got mad and threw them all in prison, but an angel of the Lord set them free, and the next morning they were back in the temple preaching the gospel. 

Acts 5:26-32, Then the captain went with the officers and brought them (the Apostles) in without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned. 27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, 28 saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” 29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

– This is exactly what Jesus is preparing us for. Are you going to be ready?

– Now is the time to prepare your hearts and minds to serve the Lord boldly in the face of a world that will reject you. 

– They called Jesus names, and disrespected him, so you should be ready to receive the same!

– 2 Tim 3:12, Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 

– Jeremiah 1:19, They will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,” says the Lord, “to deliver you.”

– prayer –

Pastor Jay Alexander preaches on Sticks and Stone. Please share online for others to see.

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