If you were looking to further your career by changing jobs, what would you look for? Most of us would peruse the want ads for a position that advertised excellent pay, lots of benefits, a supportive and positive work environment, perhaps exciting travel in exotic and luxurious places, and a job that capitalizes on our innate strengths, skills, and experience that make it a joy to go to work.
Today’s read was Matthew 10, where Jesus gives us a vivid description of what it means to be His disciple. I don’t think Jesus’ job description would fit what most of us are looking for! Consider the details He outlines for those who commit to following Him as Lord and Savior.
- Do not acquire gold, silver, or copper for your money belt.
- Stay in whatever house will welcome you (no five-star hotels!).
- Expect rejection of your presence and words.
- Expect to live as sheep among wolves.
- You will be handed over to the courts and brought before governors and kings.
- You will be scourged.
- You will be betrayed by your own family.
- Your children may rise up against you and cause you to be put to death.
- You will be hated by all because of your association with Jesus.
- You will be persecuted.
- You will need to flee from city to city.
- Your name will be maligned and associated with Satan.
- You will have no power or ability to accomplish this job on your own strength or skills.
- You must have loyalty and love for your boss, Jesus, more than your own family.
Ummm…okay, then. Who’s in??
I know there are likely a few (nutty) people who love a challenge who might sign up, but most of us would cross off this opportunity without a second thought. Yet, as “aliens in a foreign land,” this is exactly what we can expect if we belong to Jesus.
Oh…but there are some amazing benefits. For example, Jesus gives us the power of the Holy Spirit in us to accomplish every task assigned. For the original disciples, they were given the ability to cast out unclean spirits, to heal diseases and sicknesses, and even raise the dead, as a sign they spoke with the Messiah’s authority. We have that same power, although since Jesus conquered the grave, His resurrection is the only sign necessary. (That said, I believe God still uses people to perform miracles in places where the gospel is not freely available.)
Other benefits are that God promises that the very hairs of our head are numbered and that we are far more valuable to Him than a sparrow, who cannot fall to the ground without His knowledge. Nothing can happen to us unless He allows it. He gives us words to speak in times of confrontation and persecution through the Holy Spirit speaking in us.
We are told do not fear them, but confess Jesus before men, so that He will confess our names before the Father in heaven. We may lose our lives here, but we will gain them in eternity.
The best part is the retirement package: eternal life in heaven, in the presence of God. Unending pleasure and joy with Jesus, face-to-face. No more tears. No more pain. No more suffering. No more sin. No more evil. NO MORE COVID! No more shots or chemotherapy. Just. Pure. Joy.
I believe, therefore, I’m in. I trust Jesus to tell me the truth. A disciple is not above his teacher…it is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher (Matthew 10:24-25). I know a few people I love who are getting close to collecting their final paychecks. I’m sad they are leaving the company’s earthly location, but so excited for them as they take one last work trip to the home office.
At the end of our assignment, may we have the same confident hope that Paul did, who fulfilled his job as a disciple of Jesus.
2 Timothy 4:7-8 – I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.