Read Matt 10:1–23
Mat 10:21-23 Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, (22) and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (23) When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
Indeed the Son of Man has already come. He is the one speaking these words. They just didn’t get it quite yet. But one things Jesus is telling his apostles is something he has told all of us in the Beatitudes. When you are a Christian you will be hated for the name of Jesus. You will suffer persecution, ridicule and yes sometimes even imprisonment and death.
In the Beatitudes Jesus assures us that we are blessed by God when we suffer for the sake of Jesus’ name. The kingdom of heaven belongs to such people. The same kingdom the disciples are proclaiming. It is for the lowly, the poor, the sick, the lonely and depressed and those who are seeking a righteousness which is not their own.
Those who live for the kingdom can expect persecution from their very own family, brothers, sisters, parents and children will at times turn against their own flesh and blood. This happened to the apostles, the Christians who heard them and even unto today those who believe the apostles’ message.
Yet we should not be discouraged or disheartened. If we endure, if we remain faithful to the end, we shall be saved. Not that endurance earns our salvation but our faith in Christ’ name. If we lose that faith, which is the only way to salvation, how can we be saved? But a crown of righteousness is for those who remain faithful unto death. St. Peter reminds us we have been saveed, 1Pe 1:4-5 “to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, (5) who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” We will be guarded through faith by God’s power to remain faithful. Whatever is going on in the world is transitory and passing away. It will not remain forever. But what Jesus has in store for you is eternal, it does not fade away, rust or rot. It is more precious than all the gold, silver and precious jewels of this world. And to illustrate that fact, the roads of the eternal Zion are paved with gold like common brick and cement.
Lord Jesus Christ, let us suffer for you name’s sake and not for doing evil and when we undergo persecution on account of your name, give us your Spirit that we may be faithful unto the end. Amen.