The popular way of thinking today seems to be that the Christian will have an easier time and be more comfortable than before he or she was saved. God will love you more and you will have more access to the power of God to fix things in your life. Therefore you will be far happier and not have to struggle so much during your walk here on earth.
Now parts of this are true indeed. God does take care of us Himself and there need be no struggle on our part to apprehend things. But if we think that God is there to serve us or that His intentions for us were no higher than to give us a pleasant and comfortable life, we still have much to learn.
¨A disciple is not above his teacher, not a slave above his lord.´ ´It is enough for the disciple to become as his teacher, and the slave as his lord…¨ Matthew 10:24-25 (Reference Bible)
For many years I wondered after this text. The words seemed clear and the teaching sound, but I could not find relevance to the rest of the chapter. It looked a bit like this text was shoved in without a clear purpose.
But praying and meditating and lifting it up to the Lord, the thought came over me that it was in fact completely in harmony and showed another vital aspect towards our education of spiritual things.
Jesus was teaching His disciples (and us) how things would be for us. He carefully showed us how to engage the world we would be living in and what sort of situations we would encounter. When He mentions that the slave is no more than his master or the disciple no more than his teacher, He follows it up directly with, ¨it is enough that he be like him.¨
Our Savior wanted us to know that as He suffered and was considered out of line with the world around Him, we too should expect the same things. When we encounter hard times or oppression, we should never feel downcast and injured. We need not feel like it is unfair for us to face opposition.
When we get down or see that all the world around us is against us, remember that it was like that for our Teacher too. Our Master suffered and was opposed in so many ways while He was amongst us in the flesh. In this text He is helping us understand that we need not feel alone or unduly treated. In fact our suffering just might be a sign that we are truly following in our Master´s footsteps and that is why we have to face such trials.
Therefore rejoice with Paul in your sufferings, if you will. Our dear Savior has warned us it would be so for us and what a joy it is to share anything at all with Him. We all know it is not pleasant to think we should have rough times and be out of alignment with the world around us. But with the right attitude and our eyes firmly fixed upon Him, we won´t hardly feel it when they throw their insults and try to make our lives miserable.
¨…If people have called the householder Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household so?¨ (verse 25)
So let us fix our gaze upon our Savior. Let us prepare ourselves to receive less than the perfectly comfortable little life here on earth. If Jesus has said that it will be worth our while to endure temporary conflict because what He has in store is worth it, than we would do well to listen. Therefore let´s look only to Him, come what may. Be prepared to experience a little of what He had to endure. It shouldn´t be too difficult if we know He had to go through hard times too. And when we are looking towards Him, then it is His strength and His wisdom which will keep us and assure us of the favorable outcome.
Help us Lord today, to face whatever the world may throw at us. You have gone there before and have warned us what our own walk would be like. Give us a strong and fixed gaze on You alone so that we may follow close in Your footsteps and Your hand may keep us till the end. May our simple faith please you and bring honor to your name in some special way.
And thanks for including us and saving a part for us of You and Your experience.