Daily Word

Endure to the end | Matthew 10:21-23

21 “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. 22 And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one town, flee to the next. I tell you the truth, the Son of Man will return before you have reached all the towns of Israel.

Matthew 10:21-23 (NLT)

Expecting persecution

In the last passage Jesus told the disciples to expect persecution and gave specific examples. He also told them how they should respond – trusting that God will use them and speak through them. Today it gets personal, so personal that people will be tempted to give up.

How serious?

It’s a terrible thing to be injured by someone. It’s worse to be killed. But what if you are killed because of your own family member who turns you into the religious police because of His name (as it’s literally translated)? You identify yourself as a follower of Christ, His disciple. You live a life that glorifies Him. But people hate God. They hate Jesus, so they hate you – so much so they will have you killed to try and get rid of the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Everywhere His disciples go, they would suffer this degree of persecution. Not all to the same extent – though history shows that all the disciples, except for John, were martyred. 

Endure to the end

Christ’s call, His encouragement, is to endure to the end. Don’t give up. This similar, if not the same message is recorded in John 16:1-4. A popular American English proverb says, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. Winston Churchill gave a famous speech about never giving up. “But everyone who endures to the end will be saved,” says our Lord. And He practiced what He preached!

Timing (v23)

“This is one of the hardest-to-understand statements of Jesus in Matthew. Could Jesus really mean that He would return to this earth before the disciples would make it through all the cities of Israel? If so, this would make Jesus plainly wrong in this prediction.” (enduringword.com) There are many interpretations of what Jesus meant. I won’t take a position – other than Jesus wasn’t wrong.

RЯeflection

  • Do we suffer persecution so severe that it leads to martyrdom? You and I haven’t experienced it…yet. But it does indeed occur in many parts of the world. Endure to the end. Pray for those being persecuted – and for their testimony.
Sri Lanka church attack. Image from newsweek.com *

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