And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. (Matthew 10:38)
Jesus is teaching us to value the things of God. So often we tend not to put a premium on the things of the Lord. Jesus speaks to the disciples and tells them that as His servants, they have worth. They are the carriers of the glorious blessings of the King. In this we are also like the disciples: we now carry the glorious blessings of the King!
Christ warns the disciples that not everyone will be happy about their message or the good they will do for people, but He tells them they are not to fear those who kill the body, but rather Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. In Matthew 10:32, Jesus says, “therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.” In the next verses, He says, “do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household’” (Matthew 10:34-36). In verses 37 and 38, He says, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”
The Lord knows that because of Him many will be confronted even in their own family with hostility and contempt. He tells us beforehand that if we deny Him, there are severe consequences. In this chapter, He wants His disciples to know His value, that is, “the value of God.” If we love family more than Him, we show our own unworthiness of Him. If we think more of what family members think and thereby capitulate to their wishes, we are not worthy of Him. Finally, if we think more of ourselves and will not choose suffering over deliverance, we are not worthy of Him.
Let us determine today to take up our cross and follow Him. He is worthy, and this is why we give all!