8. a. In the previous passage, Jesus was sending them out to spread the gospel. In Matthew 10:32-42, the tone changes. It isn’t about acceptance or rejection. The focus changes to being hated and persecuted because of Jesus.
b. The same words are recorded in Luke 21:12 in the discourse regarding the destruction of the temple. Mark 13 also records it in the same context as Luke.
c. What does Matthew 10:23 mean?
- It could mean before the Holy Spirit is given at Pentecost.
- Or it could mean the gospel will still be preached in new places until the Messiah returns. That would line up with Matthew 24:14.
9. a. Jesus predicted His followers would be—
- brought before civil authorities,
- and tortured.
- turned over to authorities by their own families.
- hated by all for His name’s sake.
b. Places where Christians are facing persecution today:
- Egypt has recently been in the news. I received some first-hand news from a Christian friend who is there now.
- Although physical torture is rare in the United States, I have recently read reports of Christians being fired, arrested, and intimidated because they displayed their faith in some way. Opposing abortion and other certain other types of sinful behavior has become politically incorrect. Many businesses don’t even allow their employees to say Merry Christmas.
c. Ways persecution can help spread the gospel—
- Be a witness in court to attorneys, judges, media, etc.
- The church was scattered to other cities, towns, and nations when they escaped an oppressive environment. They preached the word everywhere they went.
- Our nation was founded by believers escaping a state church governed by the king.