Translation & Sermon by Nate Wilson for Christ the Redeemer Church, Manhattan, KS, 04 March 2012
10:24 A disciple is not above his teacher, neither is a servant above his master.
10:25 It is the goal of the disciple to become like his
and of the servant [to become] like his master.
If they called the Head of the household “Beelzebub,”
how much more [likely will they say the same] of those in his household?
10:26 Therefore, don’t start being afraid of them,
for nothing exists which, having been covered up will not be uncovered,
and [there is nothing] secret which will not be known.
10:27 That which I am saying to you in the darkness, start speaking in the light,
and that which you are hearing in your ear, start announcing upon the rooftops!
10:28 And don’t start being afraid of those who kill the body but do not have the power to kill the soul, but fear rather the One with power to destroy both soul and body in hell!
10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a dollar? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.
10:30 And as for yourselves, even the hairs of your head are all being accounted for.
10:31 Therefore, do not begin to be afraid, y’all carry more value than many sparrows!
One Sunday last year, one of the little children in our church (I won’t say who!) handed my daughter (Irene) a drawing that she had made, saying that it was a picture of my daughter. When Irene looked at the picture, she noticed the instructions at the top of the page which read, “Draw a picture of something that is scary to you.” The little girl who had colored the picture was not old enough to read, so the irony was lost on her that she had drawn a picture of Irene underneath the heading of “something that is scary.” At the bottom of the page there were some further instructions, “Pray that you will not be afraid of this any more!” And even though this was done in ignorance, it really is a perfect illustration of what Jesus tells us to do in this passage. Nobody here should be afraid of Irene. You shouldn’t be afraid of me or of any other human being in this room. What’s more, you must not be afraid of anybody outside of this room either!
Mat 10:26 μὴ οὖν φοβηθῆτε αὐτούς·…
Therefore, don’t start being afraid of them...
o Who is the “them” that we should not fear? From v.25, we see it is the Scribes and Pharisees who called Jesus Beelzebub. The followers of Jesus were not to be afraid of the religious leaders who supposedly were better educated and who called them names. Are there any highly-educated people who are influential in society who call us names? Our former mayor who has a Ph.D. called me and my sons bigots, and I’m sure a lot of other choice epithets were being bandied about the municipal buildings in Hutcheson, Salina, and Wichita this very week by sexual revolutionaries bent on vilifying Bible-believers and on making faithful Bible teaching illegal.
o The Greek grammar of this prohibition (with the Aorist Subjunctive or Optative) indicates that we should not even let ourselves start being afraid. When we realize that fear could come on, we must nip it in the bud before fear becomes an emotion that controls us.
o This is not an easy command to obey. Even the apostle Peter struggled with this one. Paul recounts this struggle in Galatians 2:12, “prior to the coming of certain men from James, he [Peter] used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision.” (NASB)
o God had to remind the Apostle Paul not to be afraid of the religious leaders in the town of Corinth, too, after having a run-in with the Jews in the synagogue there: Acts 18:1-11 “...the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, ‘Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.’ And he settled there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.” (NASB)
Mat 10:28a καὶ μὴ φοβηθῆτε1 ἀπὸ τῶν ἀποκτενόντων τὸ σῶμα, τὴν δὲ ψυχὴν μὴ δυναμένων ἀποκτεῖναι·.
And don’t start being afraid of those who kill the body but do not have the power to kill the soul
o In Jesus’ day, the Jews did not have authority to put anyone to death; only the Roman government did. It was the Roman governor and the Roman soldiers who put Jesus to death.
o Not only are we not to be afraid of unfaithful religious leaders, we are also not to be afraid of godless government officials.
o God told the Apostle Paul this also, “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar,” (Act 27:24) That would take some courage to be hauled up in front of Nero for disturbing the peace in Jerusalem and not be afraid of what he would do!
o I’m reminded of the autobiography of Brother Yun, the Chinese pastor called The Heavenly Man. The police arrested him for preaching in a house church, then put manacles on his wrists that cut so deeply he could see his wrist bones, they beat him with whips and used electric shock wands to torture him. According to his testimony (p.92), he prayed “God have mercy on me. Please receive my spirit,” and suddenly the fear and pain left. There would be more pain to come as the prison authorities continued to beat him day after day for months. They even hired a doctor who was specialized in torture. I won’t go into what he did, but it made Brother Yun pass out, and when he came back to, he was in agony, and his cellmates were crying. But he was not afraid of the Chinese government and what they could do to his body anymore. He kept trusting God, and God took care of him.
Mat 10:31 μὴ οὖν φοβηθῆτε· ...
Therefore, do not begin to be afraid…
o Perhaps this third time has to do with the fear of death, that you might fall to the ground like a sparrow that has just smashed its brains out by flying into a window.
o When Jesus commands something three times in a row, we’d better sit up and pay attention. Stop being afraid! Do not let yourself begin to be afraid. Fear not!
o Now, of course, it doesn’t do a lot of good to tell ourselves that we will stop being afraid; what we must do is replace that forbidden fear with the right kind of fear and with positive action:
Mat 10:27a ὃ λέγω ὑμῖν ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ, εἴπατε ἐν τῷ φωτί…
10:27 That which I am saying to you in the darkness, start speaking in the light…
o What is the darkness? The last time we saw this word “darkness” was Matthew 4:16 “Jesus came to reside in Capernaum… In order that the word through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled saying, “…the people sitting in darkness saw a great light.” The darkness is the world without Jesus, before Jesus came into it.
o The command is to start speaking – and not just talking about any old thing, but talking about the things Jesus talked about.
o Certainly that command was given to the disciples for their little ministry trip 2,000 years ago, but it also applies to us. We are to talk with other people about the things Jesus talked about.
o For those of us who have a hard time opening our mouths and saying anything, we need to obey God and start talking.
o For those of us who can talk about things, but have a hard time talking about the things Jesus talked about, let’s get with the show and fill our minds with the Bible and talk to other people about what we’re reading in the Bible!
Mat 10:27b … καὶ ὃ εἰς τὸ οὖς ἀκούετε, κηρύξατε ἐπὶ τῶν δωμάτων.
10:27b …and that which you are hearing in your ear (whisperedNAS,NIV,ESV – not actually in the Greek text), start announcing upon the rooftops!
o The “domatwn” rooftop is the same word Mark used to describe the rooftop which the men ripped up and lowered their paralytic friend for Jesus to heal (Mark 13:15). It would be the equivalent of broadcasting from the radio or TV station or getting up on the bandstand or the grandstand and taking the microphone.
o Generally when we speak it is about something that we have thought about privately first. When I deliver a sermon, I’m sharing stuff I’ve meditated on for hours as I’ve read my Bible and researched what it says. I think that’s the idea Jesus is presenting here. The message starts with what God delivers privately to you as you read the Bible and pray each day on your own, and from that material, you will find that you can teach other people what you learned in those private times with God.
o For instance, in a minute I’m going to quote from Psalm 139. Why? Because I read that Psalm with my family last week, and when I got to preparing what I was going to preach on Matthew 10:30, then Psalm 139 started flowing through my mind as the perfect response.
o Does the thought of speaking publicly sound terrifying? There’s a good reason why Jesus said three times, “Do not fear!” Drink in God’s word and then open your mouth!
Mat 10:28b φοβήθητε δὲ μᾶλλον τὸν δυνάμενον καὶ ψυχὴν καὶ σῶμα ἀπολέσαι ἐν γεέννῃ.
…but fear rather the One with power to destroy both soul and body in hell!
o We will see later on in Matthew’s gospel that Jesus Himself is going to be the one who separates the saved from the unsaved and sends those who are strangers to Him into the lake of fire and then will welcome those He loves into heaven.
o How do we fear God? I recommend the book by Ed Welch, When People are Big and God is Small. Here’s a quote from pgs. 192-193: “The prescription for timid evangelists… It is much easier to talk about Jesus when His life consistently leaves us in awe. Then we repent of our fear of other people’s rejection. Isn’t that a prominent reason for our timidity? We worship the acceptance and favor of all people When we sense the least bit of rejection, we crumble. Finally, we remember what God says about other people: we are to need them less and love them more. I don’t need them to fill up my love cup; instead, I am in their debt. I owe them a debt of love which can be paid , in small part, by pointing them to the love of Jesus.”
Mat 10:24 Οὐκ ἔστι μαθητὴς ὑπὲρ τὸν διδάσκαλον [αὐτοῦ+א,W,f13] οὐδὲ δοῦλος ὑπὲρ τὸν κύριον αὐτοῦ. 25ἀρκετὸν τῷ μαθητῇ ἵνα γένηται ὡς ὁ διδάσκαλος αὐτοῦ, καὶ τῷ δούλῳ ὡς ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ. εἰ τὸν οἰκοδεσπότην Βεελζεβοὺβ [ἐπ]ἐκάλεσαν, πόσῳ μᾶλλον τοὺς οἰκιακοὺς αὐτοῦ;
10:24 A disciple (studentNIV) is not above his teacher, neither is a servant (slaveNAS) above his master. 25(It is enough forAll Eng) It is the goal of the disciple to become like his teacher, and of the servant [to become] like his master. If they called the (MasterKJV,ESV) Head of the household “Beelzebub,” how much more [likely will they say the same] of those in his household?
o The point of being a disciple is to become like the one who is mentoring you. Jesus is saying, in effect, “In agreeing to be my disciples, you were basically saying you wanted to become like Me. And if you become like Me, you’re going to have experiences similar to the things you see Me experience. Now, if you wanted to experience a life that is more comfortable than the life I lead, you came to the wrong place, Buster!”
o True conditional clause. The Pharisees and Bible teachers did indeed try to stick the name Beelzebub on Jesus. “He is possessed by Beelzebul” (Mk. 3:22) “He casts out demons by the power of Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons!” (Matt. 12:24 || Luk 11:15) Beelzebub (or Beelzebul) was the Philistine “Lord of the Flies” from Ekron, who was believed to be one and the same with Satan.
o If men accused Jesus of being in league with Satan, they will also accuse you. That is why Richard Dawkins today says that Christianity is the root of all evil in the world today. Ludicrous, but consistent with what Jesus predicted.
o Jesus uses three paradigms which all point to the same truth:
1. Jesus is the teacher/mentor/discipler, and we are His followers/students/disciples
2. Jesus is the Master/Lord/Boss, and we are the servants/slaves/employees
3. Jesus is the Head/literally “despot” of the household of God, and we are members of that household, literally His “houselings,” under His roof and under His authority.
o In all three paradigms there is an association of us with Him with us as the lesser rank and Him as the greater rank, and among those who are outsiders to that association, they naturally identify us with Him.
o If a pastor tells me he studied under Dr. Brian Chappell at Covenant Seminary, I can pretty accurately predict the method and main points of that student’s preaching.
o If someone tells me that they work at Abercrombie & Fitch at the mall, I can pretty much predict what their life values are, just from knowing the values of the employer.
o If someone introduces himself to me and says that his last name is Rockefeller, I can’t help but think maybe they are connected to wealth and influence because of the family name.
o Likewise, Jesus says that He is going to have a reputation in this world, and that reputation is going to bleed over onto us. The world will make assumptions about us if we claim to be Christians, and it will feel towards us the way if feels toward Jesus.
o If you want to be God’s child, under His lordship and mentorship, don’t be afraid of people. Fear God and speak out the messages He gives you, and expect the same treatment Jesus got.
Mat 10:26 μὴ οὖν φοβηθῆτε αὐτούς· οὐδὲν γάρ ἐστι κεκαλυμμένον ὃ οὐκ ἀποκαλυφθήσεται, καὶ κρυπτὸν ὃ οὐ γνωσθήσεται.
10:26 Therefore, don’t start being afraid of them, for nothing exists which, having been covered up (concealedNAS,NIV) will not be (revealedKJV, disclosedNIV, or literally:)uncovered, and [there is nothing] secret (privateStr, hiddenAll Eng.) which will not be known.
o Here is another reason not to be afraid: because it is not possible to keep anything covered up. If someone does something wrong to us and the police don’t catch them and punish them for it; if someone says something false and insulting about us and gets away with it and people despise us as a result, there will come a day when the truth will be known and all sin will be exposed and paid for in meticulous detail.
o “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10 NASB)
o Don’t be afraid of people. Fear God and speak out the messages He gives you because if they mistreat you, they won’t get away with it.
Mat 10:29 οὐχὶ δύο στρουθία ἀσσαρίου πωλεῖται; καὶ ἓν ἐξ αὐτῶν οὐ πεσεῖται ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν ἄνευ τοῦ πατρὸς ὑμῶν. 30ὑμῶν δὲ καὶ αἱ τρίχες τῆς κεφαλῆς πᾶσαι ἠριθμημέναι εἰσί. 31μὴ οὖν φοβηθῆτε· πολλῶν στρουθίων διαφέρετε ὑμεῖς.
10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a dollar? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 And as for yourselves, even the hairs of your head are all being accounted for (numbered). 31 Therefore, do not begin to be afraid, y’all carry more value [are worth more thanNIV] many sparrows!
o One cent/penny/farthing/copper coin – the Greek word is Assarion. Unger’s Bible dictionary reports that while it wasn’t the smallest coin in circulation, it was one of the smallest denominations. It was a Roman coin valued at a tenth of a Greek Drachma or a Roman Denarius (which was about a day’s wages). So this assarion (or as for short) was worth less than an hour’s wages.
o The idea is that sparrows are little birds that are not worth much on the market and yet God cares for these insignificant little animals. God cares about all those little birds!
o Jesus is probably alluding to the prophecy of Amos “Will a bird fall on the earth without a fowler? … shall there be evil in a city which the Lord has not wrought? For the Lord God will do nothing, without revealing instruction to his servants the prophets. “ Amos 3:5-7 (Brenton)
o God’s sovereignty is so complete, so far-reaching, that not even the smallest, most common bird can die without God weighing in on the matter and allowing it to happen!
o Job 28:24 says that God “surveys the whole earth under heaven, and knows everything in the earth” Job 36:27 says that God keeps count of every drop of rain, 38:37 that he numbers the clouds, Psalm 147:4 that He has named every star. And you thought an end of the year accounting was tedious. What an incredible detail of knowledge God has of your life. He knows all about the clouds that are blocking your sunlight, how many raindrops hit you, and He even keeps a running tab on how many hairs are on your scalp at any given time.
o “O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought … And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all… Such knowledge is too wonderful for me… You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb…. And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You. (Psalm 139:1-18, NASB)
o Who can possibly be afraid with a God this great this close to us?
o "But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated by all because of My name. Yet not a hair of your head will perish (i.e. You are so precious to God that not even your hair that falls out will be cast into hell. You will be entirely saved.). " (Luke 21:16-19 NASB)
o God watches out for the lives of little insignificant birds, and you are not so small an insignificant. You are much more important to God than a heap of sparrows. Therefore, God will certainly watch out for you and take care of you. You have nothing to fear, even if you do get some of the same treatment Jesus got.
So what would you draw on the coloring page if you were told to draw something you were afraid of? Hopefully it won’t be Irene! Hopefully you can say your only fear is God, because He alone holds the keys of heaven and hell. Don’t be afraid of man. Fear God, Speak and proclaim His messages, because He has gone before us, He will hold all evildoers accountable, and He cares for us.
 Critical text (with א, B, D, W, f1, etc.) reads Present Imperative (“stop being afraid”) whereas Majority Text (with C, f13, etc.) reads Aorist Subjunctive (“don’t start being afraid”).
 Critical text (with א, C, K, L, f13, etc. the first time and א,B,C,W etc. the second time) reads Present Imperative (“stop being afraid”) whereas Majority Text (with B, D, W, f1, etc. the first time and D, f1, f13, etc. the second time) reads Aorist Subjunctive (“don’t start being afraid”).
 John Calvin understood this reason to mean that the message that Jesus came to save sinners will be unstoppable. The feeble efforts of the disciples in their first tries to proclaim the gospel may feel like a faint whisper that barely gets heard, but God will see to it that the message becomes a mighty roar as He throws His power and influence behind the feeble messengers. v.27 certainly supports this.
 Critical text (with א, B, D, W, f1, etc.) reads Present Imperative (“stop being afraid”) whereas Majority Text (with C, f13, etc.) reads Aorist Subjunctive (“don’t start being afraid”).