Monday Sermon – Expect Opposition
Jesus repeatedly explained that those who follow Him will have trouble. Hear Jesus.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Jesus provided a reason for the opposition.
“The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!” (Matthew 10:24-25)
Jesus then explained what our response should be to those who try to offend us – we are not to fear them. Hear Jesus.
“So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:26-28)
Some think that trying to offend others is a game. They are correct. However, it is a very dangerous game – for them. While Jesus instructs His followers to persist in sharing His message without fear, He explains the end of the offenders. Hear Jesus again.
“Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” (Luke 17:1-2)
The scriptures note that Jesus, “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.” (Hebrews 5:8) As followers of Jesus, we can expect to be trained in a similar manner.
So, welcome the offenses, since they can only benefit your growth. What should your response be to the offender? Paul gave a recommendation.
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” (Romans 12:17-19)