Matthew 10:26-42 Study Notes

Matthew 10:26-42      Study Notes prepared by WC McCarter from D. A. Carson’s Commentary
Next we get a series of verses about fear. Persecution will obviously cause fear. Remember, where we are in Matthew 10. Jesus is sending out His twelve and has warned them about the opposition they will face. “Do not be afraid” is used several times and is a wonderful verse found throughout the Bible. "Them" refers to the persecutors.
VV26-27. The truth must be declared. These things can not be hidden forever. It is said that the flat rooftops of Palestinian homes provided excellent places for speakers. Jesus told them things in private, but they would go all over many towns telling those things publicly.
V28. A second reason they should not be afraid is that the worst men could do is nothing compared to what God can do. If you truly fear God, then there is nothing else to fear. Hell is a place of torment for the whole person. Nothing on earth compares to that place.
VV29-31. A third reason they do not have to be afraid is because God cares so much for them. An illustration is used; for example, a sparrow, which was food for very poor people. God is sovereign and cares about the little things as much as the big things.
*Much of verses 17 through 42 look beyond the apostles to disciples like us.
VV32-33. The point is made clear by the word “whoever.” A necessary part of being a disciple is it acknowledging Jesus in public. Some people are more bold in public than other,s but we must all acknowledge Him and certainly not deny Him. If we do, He will deny us. Jesus said in John that He is the way the truth and the life. No one goes to the Father but by him. In Acts 4:12 we are told that there is salvation in no other name but the name of Jesus. Here, Jesus connects our relationship to Him in this life with our position in the next life.
VV34-39. Not only will families hate Christians, but families will actually be divided. At some point those first disciples, as well as us, will have to decide where our loyalty lies. We must prefer Jesus to all others. A person must love their parents and children and spouse, but they must love Jesus that much more. To take our cross is to deny oneself. It is a call to discipleship. Finding life means preserving live. If you try to preserve your life here by refusing to submit to the demands of Christian discipleship, you will lose your life in the next. Remember, Jesus has already told us that we should fear the One who can destroy both soul and body.
VV40-42. This last section is on a more positive note, but it highlights what Jesus has been saying all along: the treatment of Jesus and His followers is all totally tied together. The little ones are all those believers who go out sharing the gospel. To give even to the least of the disciples will not go on unrewarded.