|| Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; 12:8, 9, 51-53
MT10:32 “So, anyone who will confess me before humans I shall confess before my Father in the heavens. MT10:33 But, whoever disowns me before humans I will disown before my Father in the heavens. MT10:34 Do not think I came to push peace on earth but a sword. MT10:35 For I came to divide ‘a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a bride against her mother-in-law. MT10:36 A person’s enemies will be those right in the family.’ [Micah 7:6] MT10:37 The one having more affection for father or mother is not worthy of me; and the one having more affection for son or daughter is not worthy of me. MT10:38 And any who do not take up their own Cross and follow me are not worthy of me. MT10:39 Anyone who finds their soul will loose it; and anyone who surrenders their soul because of me will find it.
 Confess me before humans: The word “confess” is from the Greek HOMO-LOGESEI (same + word). It is also rendered: TCNT: acknowledge. The theme is still “fear” (implying courage). Jesus is not hiding from his disciples the difficulties and challenges before them. Compare Luke 12:8; John 12:42; Hebrews 3:1.
 I shall confess: Compare Revelation 3:5. What a joyful prospect!
 Disowns me: Or, KJV: deny me. The most disturbing example is Peter who must have remembered these words. Compare Matthew 7:23 and see notes on that verse.
 I will disown: Compare 2 Timothy 2:12. This discussion confirms the two outcomes to Judgment Day as stated by Paul and John (2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 John 2:28; Daniel 12:2; John 5:29).
 Push peace on earth: The Greek is BALEIN and is generally rendered “put” or “cast.” KJV: send; RHM: thrust.
 I came to divide: KJV: set a man at variance; BER: to bring division; RIEU: to sow discord.
 A person’s enemies: The whole phrase is from Micah 7:6. Micah 7:5 adds, “Trust no neighbor, put no confidence in a friend, do not open your mouth to the wife who shares your bed.” (NJB) There have been historical moments when a follower of Jesus – with faith in his teachings – was at odds with relatives and friends. Sometimes this is a moral division; other times it is a doctrinal division. Even among “Christians” there is out right hatred for persons of another “Christian” faith or viewpoint.
 Affection: The Greek is not AGAPE but PHILON or family love. KJV: loveth; NEB: cares more for; GDSP: more than he loves me.
 Not worthy of me: Or, BAS: not good enough for me. True Christian discipleship is, indeed, an exclusive friendship with the Lord Messiah allowing no room for an equal affection with another, even though family.
 Take up their own Cross: The first use of “cross.” The Greek word generally translated “cross” is STAURON and may also mean an upright stake. It is unknown the exact form of the STAUROS Jesus himself bore. The Nazarene uses the term 15 times in the Gospels (Matthew 16:24; 27:32, 40, 42; Mark 8:34; 15:21, 30, 32; Luke 9:23; 14:27; 23:26; John 19:17, 19, 25). Paul uses the word 17 times, Peter once, and once in Revelation. The Greek STAUROS is used in the book of Esther with regard to a “stake.” (Esther 2:23; 5:14; 6:4; 7:9, 10; 8:7; 9:13, 25) This thought of taking up one’s cross (or, stake) must have been a shocking thought. Nowhere do the disciples question this. One may ask where did Jesus get the idea of suffering on a cross or stake. Paul argues the Christ must die on a “tree” using Deuteronomy 21:22, 23 (Galatians 3:13). There in Greek the word is XYLON which means “tree” or “wood” implying some kind of upright pole or log. At any rate, the imagery of Jesus is one that portrays the difficulty of the Christian walk.
 Follow me: Compare 1 Peter 2:21 and Revelation 14:4. TCNT: follow in my steps; WEY: follow where I lead.
 Finds their soul: Or, LAM: concerned about his life; KNX: secures his own life; WMS: gains his lower life; TAY: if you cling to your life. A commentary would be that of Mark 8:36 – a person struggles to gain his whole world in specific endeavors or dreams, and yet looses their life or soul.
 Surrenders their soul: Jesus speaks of self-sacrifice in the course of discipleship. One may surrender life as a martyr – or, emptying self of personal goals and desires to serve others – but find the True Life in the future resurrection (1 John 3:13-18). Or, WMS: lose his lower life for my sake will gain the higher life; KNX: secure it; NEB: gain it.
- What’s Holding You Back?
- The “Great Expectations” of Discipleship
- Deepen your Faith through Discipleship
- Discipleship by, J. Heinrich Arnold: Trust
- Are You a Jesus Follower?
- Today’s Scripture – December 21, 2017