“Analysis of Matthew 10:16-23,” by Andrew J. Schatkin
My dear Ladies and Gentlemen, my fellow discerners and readers and thinkers, and you who reject media falsehood for truth and honesty and eschew the demands of the forces of politics and commerce for political correctness, I ask you to join me in another intellectual adventure whose purpose is to find truth and facts and sets about to engage in critical thinking and honest discourse and embraces above all intellectual honesty do join in this quest for the reality of our system and not the propaganda we are continually fed to blind us and keep us all in darkness and ignorance. I ask you again to join with me in a discerning quest for facts and truth nothing more and nothing less.
Today I will speak of and attempt to understand the verses and sayings of Christ found in Matthew 10:16-23. I approach this task knowing my human limitations in the face of the words of the eternal god and savior that I can only begin to understand and interpret and these few and puny thoughts of mine on the words of Jesus are only my doing this knowing that my shallow human thinking is no substitute for the words of the savior and what he says here or at any time as reported in holy scripture. The verses are as follows: “Behold, I sent you out a sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves; Beware of men, for they will deliver you to councils and flog you in their synagogues and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake to bear testimony before them and the gentiles. When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour for it is not you who speak but the spirit of your father speaking through you. Brother will deliver up brother to death and the father his child and children will rise against parents and have the put to death and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute in one town, flee to the next, for truly I say unto you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the son of man comes.”
This is a most involved series of words and thoughts and to adequately interpret it and achieve a grasp and comprehension of its many levels of meaning requires great thought and effort. First, Jesus says to his disciples that they are to face persecution for his sake. He says the disciples will be arrested and brought before the authorities, kings, and governors and they will be examined. He is predicting and informing the disciples they will be persecuted for believing and adhering to him. More to the point, Jesus is informing us and the disciples as to the essential evil and wicked nature of the world. He says the world will attack the good person like a sheep among wolves. He then says, even more telling, concerning the nature of this evil and corrupt world and the persecutions, that brothers will deliver up brother to death; the father his child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. Jesus here tell us of the nature of persecution and the nature of this evil world and then says in further explanation but says you will be hated by all of his sake. Jesus here explains to us the true nature of the world and then makes clear how the disciples will be persecuted and in this evil world family member will be involved in this evil system and will even be involved in the acts of persecution. The use of the word ‘synagogues’ in verse 17 is a contrast perhaps to the Jewish Christian synagogues; governors are roman provincial governors and kings or vassals; rulers such as Herod Agrippa. In verse 20, the use of the spirit seems to refer to the holly Spirit as the sort of god, the father. Finally, Jesus says that he who endures to the end will be saved; Jesus speaks here of persistent patience.
I conclude here by saying that Jesus tells us two truths here. First, the faith in him will bring about persecutions and we are told to await and expect this persecution for our faith. Second, he tells to await this persecution which may well take the form and include family members, brothers, fathers, and children turning on family member and warns of the great evil and wickedness we all face in the world. Thus we have two messages here that work together in informing us that we will be persecuted and the world in its corruption and evil will waylay and attack us to the point and end of our lives bringing about our death.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I do hope you have derived some benefit and some understanding of these words of Christ and I need no remind you that to this day Christians are persecuted through the world as they were in the 400 years after Jesus death.
I ask and urge you always to return to the biblical text and what I say in this interpretation is no match for the words of Christ. Finally, I end by saying and reporting as to the current persecutions of Christians that in Pakistan Christian convert form Islam was severely beaten for leaving Islam and died in the hospital. This incident is reported by the site the Voice of the Martyrs. Jesus’s words in Matthew continue to ring true.