The Scriptorium

All for Jesus

There's a cross for every believer. Matthew 10.38-42

Matthew 10: The First Sending (6)

Pray Psalm 84.8-12.
O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
O God, behold our shield,
And look upon the face of Your anointed.
For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Sing Psalm 84.8-12.
(Holy Manna: Brethren, We Have Met to Worship)
Lord of hosts, my prayer receiving, hear me, help me by Your grace!
In Your courts I stand believing; turn to me Your glorious face!
Lord, our sun, our shield, our glory, no good thing will You deny
to those who proclaim Your story, and who on Your grace rely.

Read Matthew 10.1-42; meditate on verses 38-42.

Prepare.
1. How is it possible to be “worthy” of Jesus?

2. Who are the “little ones” Jesus mentioned?

Meditate.
These are Jesus’ last words to His disciples before they depart for their mission. They are both sobering and encouraging.

Everyone in Jesus’ day would have understood His allusion to the “cross”. They knew what crucifixion was, and what it entailed. Jesus equated His disciples’ mission with His own (see on, vv. 40, 41). Even though they did not fully understand this reference to the cross, Jesus did; and they would no doubt get the point once He had completed His work.

The cross was the assigned means whereby God brought redemption to the world. Jesus’ death on the cross was the death of death and sin, and the portal to resurrection and eternal life. The disciples’ calling and mission would resemble this – sacrifice for the sake of redemption.

Each of us has a “cross” – a calling that requires death to self and entails bringing the redemption of Jesus to the world. They are worthy of Jesus who embrace their calling and pursue it diligently. We must “take” or “receive” our calling, and, emptying ourselves of all self-interest, let Jesus fill our calling with Himself. This is where we find the full and abundant life Jesus came to bring (v. 39).

See how closely Jesus identifies Himself with those who embrace His calling (v. 40). He is with us. He works through us, and He speaks through us, just as He had told His disciples. Those who receive and hear us, receive and hear Jesus. They shall have the “prophet’s reward” and the “righteous man’s reward” – the blessings that come from hearing the Word of God (vv. 41, 42). Jesus would make sure that His “little ones” would have all the provision and refreshment they would need for their mission (v. 42). Even as He spoke, we can imagine, He was preparing people to receive the disciples into their homes, provide meals and other refreshment for them, and thus enable them to carry out their calling. And those who provided and cared for them would receive the reward of peace that comes to those who receive the Word of God.

Reflect.
1. Why is the cross an appropriate way of thinking about your calling from the Lord?

2. How do our individual callings work to bring redeeming grace to the world?

3. What can we expect from Jesus as we give our all to Him?

We are unworthy of Christ if we do not take up our own cross, by which we suffer, die and are buried and resurrected together with him. Only by this pledge of faith in the Spirit will he triumph in new life in us.
Hilary of Poitiers (315-367), On Matthew 10.25-26

Thank You for calling me as Your disciple, Lord. Strengthen me for the work today, as I…

Pray Psalm 84.1-7.
Offer yourself to Jesus, as a living sacrifice for His Kingdom and glory. Then pray for the opportunities you will have today to serve and bear witness.

Sing Psalm 84.1-7.
Psalm 84.1-7 (Holy Manna: Brethren, We Have Met to Worship)
Lord of hosts, how sweet Your dwelling; how my soul longs for Your courts!
Let my soul with joy keep telling of Your grace forever more.
Like a bird upon the altar, let my life to You belong.
Blessed are they who never falter as they praise Your grace with song!

Blessed are they whose strength is founded in Your strength, O Lord above.
All whose hearts in You are grounded journey in Your strength and love.
Though they weep with tears of sadness, grace shall all their way sustain.
In Your presence, filled with gladness, they shall conquer all their pain.

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from
The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore