Mortality (Matthew 10:32-34)

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Statistics help us manage risk. Knowing the likelihood of an outcome helps  us to prepare  appropriate to our circumstance and resources. But the ultimate statistic is death. 1:1 dies. The day comes to all of us. None of us can escape it. 

After death we all innately know we will be brought before God. The Scripture confirms, “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” That judgment will prove to be either our complete undoing, or our final salvation. For either we are fit to be before God on account of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, or we are set ablaze by the presence His holiness. Knowing this, we can easily see the value of Jesus’ promise to respond to our faith in Him when He said, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.” To have Jesus testify to the Father that we belong to Him is to know we will be able to stand in God’s presence unafraid when that ultimate statistic comes to us. That reality brings comfort to many as the day approaches.

Yet Jesus’ affirmative statement of our acknowledgment of Him also carries with it a powerful warning to those who refuse to acknowledge Him. For He added, “But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.” That thought brings fear to the hearts of the many who at one point or another had disowned Jesus.

Matthew will later record what happened at Jesus’ crucifixion, “Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said. But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. Then he went out to the gateway, where another girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.” He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away.” 

Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!”  

One might think that in light of Jesus’ comment about disowning Him, Peter’s fate was eternally sealed. The Scripture proves otherwise; Peter was restored after Jesus’ resurrection (see John 21:15-19). So the outcome of disowning Him that Jesus spoke of prior to His death is not a blanket statement of despair. Rather, it is a pointed warning that our lives are on a path that leads to a firm conclusion – one way or the other. The only way to change that outcome is to change our minds about Jesus and then live that repentance out in our daily life. 

God is fair: It is not the person who rejected God after hearing the Gospel who is hopeless, but the one who rejected God after hearing the Gospel and dies without repenting. That one is lost forever, for there is no repentance after death. Once we step out into timeless eternity, there is no longer any time to repent. There is just the consequences of a life that has ended.

To that end the Word of God preaches to our hearts, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” Amen. 

We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again.

The wise woman of Tekoa (from 2Samuel 14:14)

APPLICATION: Intentionality

Today, live like you are dying. 

The Offer (Matthew 10:32)

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One of the most famous scenes in history is that of the three crosses of  Calvary. We all  know that Jesus was crucified along with two thieves. One of the thieves hurled insults at Jesus to his dying breath, but the other sought Jesus’ help. That thief could see by faith that Jesus was not just another sinner dying on a cross, but the Lord of glory, saving His people. So he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” The Scripture records, “Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”  

What Jesus meant by that single sentence has been considered a proof text of the doctrine of Sola Fide (salvation by faith alone). That is, that the thief was saved in that moment, entirely by faith. For obviously he could not have been saved based on anything that he had done, or could do. So rather than rely on anything he could do, the thief had confessed faith in Jesus. That simple faith was enough. For Jesus Himself had said, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.” 

One understands from that, that as the thief acknowledged Jesus as His Lord in a public way, Jesus would acknowledge the thief before God at his judgment (for Hebrews 9:27 testifies, “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.)” Ephesians 2 makes it even plainer, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Of course, this divine principle goes against rational thinking, which demands that we establish a clear trajectory toward God in order to be accepted by God. Every other religion embodies such, demanding that you in some manner or by some action ‘earn’ the right to be in heaven. Of course, that’s impossible. The one and only living God knows that there is an impassable chasm between our ability to earn righteousness and His manifest holy presence. As children of Adam, we are just as guilty as Adam was after disobeying God. Firstly on account of our own personal sin, which everyone can recognize when they reflect on their own character and behavior; We have all done something and dwelled in thought on something that is clearly against God’s character. In doing so we have brought dishonor to the one whose image we bear. 

But we are also sinners on account of our forefather Adam. For the people of a nation are never judged apart from their ruler, and the children of a household suffer the same fate (or blessing) as the head of their household. As Adam our forefather has gone, so also do we go. Sin is literally in our genes. 

To this point Jesus’ words to the thief on the cross are a beacon of hope in an otherwise hopeless situation. Jesus’ single sentence communicates the profound truth that because of His death, He washed away the charge against us. Those who accept His sacrifice are changed, immediately and on the spot, into people acceptable to Him – and therefore – to God Most High. 

That isn’t just a staid fact. Given in the context of His teaching about God’s providential care for us, it is a refreshing daily reminder. Forgiveness is only as far away as our own repentance!

When once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held as in a vice, constrained by the love of God.

Oswald Chambers


How can we respond to God’s great grace to us in any other way but worship?

God’s Providential Care (Matthew 10:29-31)

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If the thought of a little brown bird being the object of God’s care was not  pedantic  enough to illustrate the depth and breadth of God’s care for His people, Jesus also mentions the hairs on our heads. He said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Of course, none of us even know how many hairs we have on our heads, because to count them would be an onerous exercise in futility. Not only would someone need to physically count individual hairs, but also discern when a hair becomes a hair to start with. Is it when the hair goes from translucent to opaque or when it reaches a particular length? Should a hair only be counted when it is clearly outside of the follicle that formed it? What if the follicle is just resting before putting forth a new hair? 

One researcher noted, “All hair follicles are formed during fetal development, then new hair is generated in the hair follicle by continually undergoing phases of recession, rest, and growth throughout life. The length of the hair is determined by the duration of the growth phase; for example, the growth phase for scalp hair can proceed for a number of years, while the growth phase for eyebrows last a few months. After the growth phase, hair formation ceases, and the follicle recedes and enters a period of rest. After a period of rest, a new growth period starts, and the old hair is ejected and lost from the body. The reason for this complex regulation of hair growth is not understood.

For these reasons, and the fact that hairs can be of various widths and lengths (making counting via weight impossible) no one is actually capable of counting the exact number of hairs on a particular human head. We can make generalizations (between 90 and 150 thousand, depending on natural hair color), but we cannot count to the number. 

But God does count them. God formed each of us in our mother’s womb (Job 31:15, Isa 44:2, 24, 49:5, Jer 1:5). In doing that God set our genes such that the exact number of hairs He determined would grow (or not, as He determined). 

The most minute details of our lives are not beyond God’s notice. In fact, they are part of God’s great care. 

The practical implication of that fact (specially in the context Jesus mentions it in) is that we must know that God does care for us, no matter our circumstances. 

It may take faith to remember that. But the circumstances we face – no matter how difficult – are not inflicted upon us without His care. God is good – all the time – and the harshest circumstance cannot overcome His care. The truth of those facts may not be obvious, but they are nevertheless true. The reality of our own hair (or lack thereof) is a testimony to it. 

God’s care for us is real, and that reality must be enough to sustain us when circumstances set us to doubt. Amen.

They who are solicitous to number their money, and goods, and cattle, yet were never careful to number their hairs, which fall and are lost, and they never miss them: but God numbers the hairs of his people, and not a hair of their head shall perish (Lu. 21:18); not the least hurt shall be done them, but upon a valuable consideration: so precious to God are his saints, and their lives and deaths!

Matthew Henry

APPLICATION: Intentionality

The next time you feel abandoned by God in your distress, look at the top of your head and consider anew His providential care for each of us!

Sparrows (Matthew 10:29-31)

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Someone once pointed out that if you glide your hand across a large  beautiful dining room table and encounter a single micro-sliver, you no longer remember how smooth the table was for the very great majority of its surface. You will probably not even remember the color or the beauty of the table. But you will remember that you got a sliver from it! The one small hurt is more than able to overwhelm the many impressions otherwise. This is what the fall of mankind did to us. It reversed the way certain things are supposed to work. One should in fact remember the beauty and the worth and the smoothness of the table and discount the one very small imperfection. 

Likewise, we ought to remember that God loves us with an everlasting love. He provides for us for eternity. He comforts us by His presence and His Spirit forever and ever. That our short lives in this fallen world might include a temporary injustice for His sake is not something that ought to define our impression of Him. 

Mrs. Civilla Martin once visited a bed-ridden saint and asked her if she ever got discouraged because of her condition. Her friend responded quickly: “Mrs. Martin, how can I be discouraged when my heavenly Father watches over each little sparrow and I know He loves and cares for me.” [Struck by that thought, Mrs. Martin later wrote the hymn “His Eye is on the Sparrow”], which has since been a source of much encouragement to many of God’s people.”  She wrote, “Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise, when songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies, I draw the closer to Him; from care He sets me free; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

Every Christian who has ever wrestled with self-worth or feelings of hopelessness turns at some point to the words Jesus said in Matthew 10:29-31. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

That Jesus said those words in the context of preparing His disciples for persecution makes them all the more meaningful. For who second-guesses their worth to God more than the one who is being persecuted because of their testimony about God? If the thought, “Does God even care about me?” is not far off when we are lonely or sick, how much more readily does it spring to mind when one is in prison for year upon year, mistreated and uncomfortable? 

But to illustrate that God’s love for us is far greater than our circumstances, Jesus used the image of a little brown bird. Something that is very common in almost every culture across the globe. Something that provides almost no value to hungry people or to bird-watchers, yet is an object of God’s care and affection  all the same. 

That thought should encourage us on the days we feel alone and defeated. If we yet breathe, God is still for us; whatever manner of trial or suffering we are enduring is not His punishment against us, but ultimately part of His judgment against His enemies. 

If God’s compassion is great enough to induce him to lay man’s punishment upon his own Son, it is surely great enough to induce him not to lay it upon the believer.

William G. T. Shedd

APPLICATION: Thankfulness

God cares for the least of His creation. How much more does He care for us! Give thanks then for this day. His grace is yet upon you. 

Fear (Matthew 10:28)

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“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.”

In December of 1995, Julio Ruibal was assassinated in Colombia. What set Julio apart from the roughly 36000 others who were killed in Colombia that year was the manner in which Julio had lived his life. Christianity Today magazine wrote, “Born in Sucre and raised by his grandmother after his parents’ separation, Ruibal converted to Christianity while he was in the United States where he had gone to study medicine. He received discipleship training under the late Kathryn Kuhlman, a charismatic who led a worldwide healing ministry. Ruibal returned to Bolivia in 1972, at the age of 17. A spontaneous revival broke out in home meetings that Ruibal organized, and within weeks, he was preaching to packed crowds in the La Paz soccer stadium. At age 22, he founded the Neo-Pentecostal Movement in Bolivia, and he held healing services in outdoor stadiums.

Ruibal’s ministry so impressed then-President Hugo Banzer Suarez that he loaned the young evangelist his presidential jet to travel to meetings in other parts of the country.

“The present generation of Christian leaders, those of us between 40 and 45 years of age, were born under Ruibal’s ministry,” said Salcedo, who became a Christian in one of Ruibal’s home meetings and whose congregation started as a result of the 1972 revival. Several members of the evangelical leadership in Bolivia had been members of motorcycle gangs when the revival changed their lives.

John Stanko, executive director of the Julio Ruibal Foundation in Mobile, Alabama, said the evangelist was “on the cutting edge” of confronting Colombian society. “He was always fearless and just had a boldness that was both refreshing and irritating to different people, depending on where they were coming from.

Julio believed that as long as he was obedient to God’s will, he was effectively invincible. He also believed that when he had done all he could for God’s Kingdom, his time would end no matter how hard he might try to postpone it. 

It is easy to see how Julio lived out Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:28. He knew that if there was anyone to fear, it was God Most High. For while the drug czars could threaten and kill, they could not destroy the soul. But God can. So while the drug czars can threaten and can kill the body, God does warn and will eternally condemn those who those who refuse to repent. Revelation 14 says, “And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name. This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.”

Our fear ought never to be those who can deal in temporary matters, but Him who  deals in eternal matters. Amen.

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot […] then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.

The apostle Peter (from 2Peter2:4–10)


Let us fall down and worship God, who is worthy of our worship and our complete obedience. 

Revealed (Matthew 10:26-27)

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Bill Clinton was once the most powerful man in the world. As president of  the United States (the then-global leader), he was commander-in-chief of a massive military empire. That military might was obligated to go to war on his command. Most of the world still used US dollars as the primary trading currency, making his nation the global financial leader. As president, he could indirectly control monetary policy and choose the trade deals he and his government wrought, therefore having a direct impact on the rise and fall of nations. From all perspectives, God had positioned Bill Clinton in a role of enormous power – perhaps more so than any in the history of the world. 

Yet that could not stop his downfall. The long married Mr. Clinton could not restrain himself from an inappropriate relationship with a 22 year old intern named Monica. There is no doubt that president Clinton did not want any of that information – especially what he said and did – made public. But a few years later, the scandal broke anyway. Those of us who were reading the news at the time know that the things president Clinton said and did in the inner chambers of the White House wound up reported all over the world. In spite of a personal policy of denying the truth, the truth came out. The most powerful man in the world could not keep a secret, secret. 

Jesus said, “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.” Mr. Clinton’s downfall is only a very small prelude – nothing more than a single foreshadow – of the things that will be made known. Every crooked deal, every planned lie, every ‘secret’ order given behind closed doors in government, business and affinity party doors – they will all be revealed. They will all be made known, just as everyone in the world knows what Bill Clinton did back in the mid-1990’s. 

The immediate implication (from the context of Matthew 10) is that Jesus’ followers never need fear that the injustices handed to us will be kept secret. Many a Christian hauled away in the middle of the night and tried during the dawn hours (as Jesus was) fear that their difficulty and pain will forever be kept from the world, their death therefore being in vain. That is simply not true. 

The persecution and hardships endured by God’s people will eventually be something that the whole world knows. Perhaps because God will exalt those who suffer for His Name, and that exaltation will be front-page news as He sets up His physical Kingdom. We Christians must therefore realize that if God so deals with the things people have said in the dark – when they are prompted by demons – how much more will God make known what He prompted us to say (and do) by His Spirit? To this point Jesus says, “What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.”       

This is not only a command to preach fearlessly, and to witness no matter the imposed  threat. It is an encouragement to share what He speaks as He prompts. For one day all the world will see and know just how much we have been obedient (or not).  


Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has.

Billy Graham

APPLICATION: Intentionality

There are no secrets from God. One day all we are and all we are not will be revealed. Therefore let us ensure that we shall not be disappointed on the day the Lord gives us our recompense. 

Accepting Our Lot (Matthew 10:26)

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Jesus has told His followers that He is sending them out as sheep among wolves. That   those they are sent to will charge them and arrest them, being them before the local government and mistreat them. That, “Brother will betray brother to death, and […] All men will hate you because of me.” That His disciples will be persecuted from one place to another, even as they flee for their lives! He now begins His conclusion to this set of comments with, “So do not be afraid of them.” 

In Jesus’ reasoning, the reason for the persecution is obvious. His disciples are testifying about Him and doing as He does. They will be effective witnesses, and so by the world’s hand they receive similar treatment as Himself. He knows they will arrest Him, hand Him over to the council, mistreat Him and kill Him, therefore it follows that His followers must expect likewise, for the disciple cannot expect to be better than the Master. 

Yet it must be recognized that if the disciple is so like the master that they are similarly treated, then the disciple is worthy of the same reward as the master. That is not something to be overlooked! Jesus was resurrected, and so shall we be. To this point Rom 6 says, “just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Not only a new life in the here and now, but after we physically die – as 1Cor 6:14 says, “By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.” More than that, Jesus was made immortal. So we shall be also – as 1Cor 15:49 says, “just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.” 

If we know these things, we cannot be afraid of persecution or suffering. For while it is brought about by our own witness of Jesus, it is ironically also a witness to us. Suffering is a witness to us who suffer; a witness that Jesus is fulfilling the promise made to us. That we shall be resurrected. That we shall be made immortal. That we shall be made like Him! Made fit for heaven and well able to enter the Father’s home and invited to sit at His table. 

Far from being afraid, we ought to be full of joy and gladness when such treatment comes. As Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  

Therefore there is no cause for us to fear when we are threatened with persecution, or are being persecuted, or are being delivered over to mistreatment and even death. God is still on the throne, well able to see and remember what is being done, and God will yet make all things right. More than right – He will amply reward the faithful! 

To that point we must remember the exhortation of Scripture to others who have suffered before us, “You joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.” Amen.

In periods of persecution, we may seem to be losing, but only temporarily. In the end, God’s kingdom will triumph. It is not limited by time and space; it holds sway over Heaven and earth, over life and death. His kingdom is forever, and in His kingdom there is neither hunger nor thirst nor pain nor suffering anymore.

LeRoy Lawson

APPLICATION: Intentionality

To consider our future in advance prepares us for the future we know is coming. Take time to ponder it and pray it through, so that when it happens you can receive it with joy. 

Accepting Our Challenge (Matthew 10:24-25)

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John wrote this to the reader of His epistle, “This is how we know we are in   him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” It is another way of saying that a disciple of Jesus must live as Jesus lived, and do as Jesus did, and be (in character) what Jesus was (a true Son of the living God). We’ve all heard many sermons on discipleship and obedience, so there is usually little resistance to that idea in our heads. The challenge comes when we are faced with difficulty, and the idea must move from our heads to our hearts. It is one thing to agree to good doctrine, another thing to repeat it, and still a far different thing altogether to live it. 

In the context of speaking about the persecution His disciples will face, Jesus said, “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!”  

Jesus’ point is not so much that students are on the path to becoming like their Master – although that is a true point. Nor is the main point that a servant is never greater than the one who employs them – although that too is true. As the student, no matter how sharp they are, cannot replace the teacher while they are under them, so likewise the servant cannot replace the master while they are under the master’s employ. These things, Jesus says, are obvious. 

Why then would one object to particular treatment if their teacher – by the very nature of being their teacher – is subject to the same particular treatment? An apprentice bomb-maker cannot complain of being surprised when they are hauled off to prison when they’ve seen their teacher get hauled off to prison for bomb-making. Likewise, a disciple who sees Jesus mistreated and called a partner with Satan cannot complain when people likewise mistreat them. 

As Warren Wiersbe put it, “Men persecuted Jesus Christ when He was ministering on earth, so why should we expect anything different? We are His disciples, and the disciple does not “outrank” the Master. They said that Jesus was in league with Satan (Beelzebub: lord of the dung; lord of the house); so they will say the same thing about His followers. However, we should count it a privilege to suffer for Him and with Him.” 

Wiersbe’s point is more than valid. Disciples witness of their master. It is a mark of honor – an attainment of sorts – to be treated the same as your master. Surly then we can understand it to be a very high privilege when we find ourselves being treated as Jesus was. It means there is enough of Jesus in us to convict us of being like Him. It means wee have fully discharged our obligation to be a witness. After all, we must remember that in God’s court, not every witness results in the justification of those who are being charged. Sometimes our faithful witness actually results in their condemnation, and all the more so for having so poorly treated God’s faithful child! 

As believers share persecutions, as Jesus did, they also share God’s comfort, as Jesus did.

Bob Utley

APPLICATION: Thankfulness

Let us be thankful for hardships, for by them we participate in the Christ-life. 

Our Challenge (Matthew 10:23)

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Jesus has simple instructions for His followers when they are persecuted for   preaching the Gospel, “When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” 

Or as one commentator put it, “When a disciple met with persecution in one city, he was to flee to another city, both for his own safety and to avoid wasting effort on a rejecting audience.” This much we can all understand. But Jesus adds, “you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” That statement initially seems hard to reconcile with our present reality.  While Israel is a country with many cities, it is not a country that seems so large or having so many cities that in all the past 2000 years this work is still not completed. To that point some have argued that the coming of the Son of Man that Jesus speaks about here is the judgment that befell Israel in AD70. Certainly that may be a foreshadow of the end, but it is clearly and obviously not the second coming that Jesus later clarifies (in chapter 24). 

These facts belie our own prejudice. For when we think of Israel we typically think of that narrow and pointed band of land on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Our worldview limits our understanding of “Israel” to the modern country, and the existing nation of Israel has only 76 municipalities granted the title, ‘city’ status by the Ministry of the Interior. Even if you count all the villages and settlements, Israel only has 1100 ‘places of settlement’. But Israel from God’s viewpoint (which one must recognize was on Jesus’ mind) was always was a much larger territory than the country we recognize on our modern political maps. 

In Genesis 15 we read, “On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates—the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”  This is the land that Joshua was sent to conquer, and that the twelve tribes of Israel were to take possession of. This is the geographic territory known as Israel. 

Unfortunately Joshua and company did not completely take it. The river of Egypt is the Nile, significantly to the west and south of the land that Israel eventually ruled over. The Euphrates cuts halfway through Iraq, far to the east of the land that Israel ruled. The land between would be all of Jordan, most of Syria, the best part of Egypt and a very large chunk of Saudi Arabia. So even if we were to limit the ‘cities of Israel’ to the geographic inheritance of the Hebrews, we would find that not all are yet permeated with the Gospel. 

Yet a greater consideration is what Jesus meant by “the cities of Israel”. Romans 4 and Galatians 3 make it exceedingly clear that Abraham is not just the father of physical Israel, but the father of all who are counted righteous by faith, “Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.” And, “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Therefore, “the cities of Israel” are all the places where Christ is or will be proclaimed Lord. That’s the whole world, which means that ultimately the Gospel must be proclaimed in the whole world before Christ returns.  

This much Jesus will make even clearer later on, when He says, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Amen.

God’s plans for mankind always included his desire to reach the whole world.

Gary V. Smith

APPLICATION: Intentionality

What is your part in reaching the whole world? What part of God’s call on your life have you left unfinished?