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  • Writer's picturePastor Curtis A. May

Not what they were expecting, but so much more.

Article for July 2, 2023

Matthew 10:34–42 34[Jesus said:] “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.

Expectations are always too high. Those who were Jews awaiting the coming of the foretold savior had high expectations. But Jesus did not come as one who would fit the expectation of a great warrior. Jesus came as a poor child who was born and was lain in a feeding trough for barn animals. They had expected a king, a warrior, a savior who would slaughter their enemies. His entrance into the world was humble.

But in the likeness of God the Father, the baby Jesus was made known. His humble arrival was made into a wonderful arrival as people were told of His coming. People sang Jingle Bells and I’m dreaming of a white Christmas. No, they sang praises to God and lifted God on high by glorifying Him. Jesus the one to save us came humbled, even humbled to be born of a virgin. I feel it must have been hard for Joseph and Mary raising Jesus and looking at Him as a savior. Did they expect Jesus to be perfect, knowledgeable, or to act righteous like the Pharisees? Jesus may have been in their eyes no more than any other normal boy at their time in history, growing up to be a young man.

Expectations were made when a twelve-year-old boy stayed behind to teach in the synagogue. You might have thought that maybe Joseph and Mary expected Jesus to show a little respect to His earthly mother and Father.

Would you not expect that your child would let you know or even ask if they could stay behind and teach the Father’s word? Or what was the expectations of the people who knew Jesus was the savior. Who saw Jesus get angry with a whip in hand while He toppled tables and made money fall to the ground. Did they expect the holy one to act in pure kindness in every situation.

We expected Jesus to bring peace, we did not expect Jesus to bring a sword. And not just any sword but the sword of division. There are goats on the left and sheep on the right. The world who hates, and the sheep who need a shepherd. Those who flee from salvation, and those who count on God’s grace. This is the sword of division that even divides families.

Matthew 10:34–42 37Whoever 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. 38And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

Do you measure the amount of love you have to give? Some people do, and therefore feel they do not have any more to give as they have already given love to family, friends and idols. People do not appear to understand that if you love God first and He is your loves first priority, then they have even more love to give to others.

Why? Because loving one another more than God is like loving an idol, but loving God is like loving everything He has done for us, everything God has created, and everyone of God’s children. Understand, to love God is to love all God has given us. Our expectations should be with God, but we need to know God before we can expect anything from Him.

Matthew 10:34–42 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 40“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.

Our world is now full of people who think they have found their life in this world. These lost people are even more lost as they travel further away from the truth. The truth is Jesus Christ who is the only salvation for all repenting sinners.

Making sin legal is not repentance. Believing and knowing God’s word is a good start to repentance. Know the law yes but know the gospel even more.

Jesus Christ did not try to live longer as a man but gave that life up for us and therefore for the sake of His Father. We live in sin, and we know that we cannot justify our sin to God. So it is, that Jesus justified us, but not our sin, to God our Father in heaven. What we lose of this world of our life of sin, for the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ, we gain in life as it is eternal life.

Matthew 10:34–42 41The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.

The one who receives a pastor receives a pastor’s reward. In other words, what we receive is the gratitude of the prophet and of the pastor for a brief moment in time. But the reward of the righteous which is Jesus Christ is a reward that truly lasts forever.

Matthew 10:34–42 42And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

Let us always give a cup of cold water to the children of God. Everyone is a child of God. Everyone who thirsts for God is a chosen child of God for there in leis their faith. We are not to judge but to decern the needs of others and as disciples let us always help one another to build up the discipleship of Jesus Christ.

What has been given to us by our savior is a gift, that is, we owe nothing for this gift of eternal life with our Lord Jesus Christ. However, I am so overwhelmed with gratitude, knowing my sin, I am compelled each day to give my Lord thanks, praise, and Glory due His name, His will, and His love for everyone. Amen.

Written by Pastor Curtis May


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