To read today’s portion of scripture, follow this link to Biblegateway.com or find the following in your Bible:
“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master” (Matthew 10:24).
I can’t tell you how many times these words have comforted me. As every pastor’s wife will tell you, we get to see more precious moments than most people, we get more opportunities to comfort others than most people, we have more prayers offered up on our behalf than most people … and we are often the objects of more scrutiny and judgment than most people. Sometimes that scrutiny leads to the loss of a friend, or even undeserved slander. But when I find myself in another such moment, I remind myself, “Jesus was slandered, too.” (insert: abandoned, misunderstood, rejected, hated … ) And if He, why not me?
Some great companion verses to go along with this verse in Matthew are as follows:
“You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22).
“Blessed are you when people hate you, avoid you, insult you, and slander you because you are committed to the Son of Man” (Luke 6:22 GWT).
“If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you” (1 Peter 4:14).
Of course it must be pointed out that being slandered or rejected because of Jesus is not the same thing as being slandered or rejected because of our own wrongful actions. It is for Him that we should suffer persecution; not because we have earned it in the flesh.
Jesus told the disciples about coming persecution for two reasons: 1) He didn’t want that persecution to take them by surprise; and 2) He wanted them to realize, when persecution came, that it only validated their faith. It proved who they belonged to.
And it still proves that today.