Matthew 10:37-42
Mat 10:37 (KJB)
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Jesus is not stating that a person should not love the members of their family. (Mat 5:44 KJV) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:44 applies to families as much as everyone else. What Jesus is saying that your love for Him must supersede that of your love for family or friends. Do you recall when Peter told Jesus that He was not going to the cross and Jesus rebuked Him? Peter was allowing the flesh to interfere with the mission of Jesus. This same situation will happen in a family. If the Lord calls you into a certain ministry and you discuss with an unsaved family member, you will get the same hindrance if you obey them. If you take their advice, then you are showing that you have more love for them than you do for the Lord Jesus. What Jesus is looking for in a disciple is one who will obey without a second opinion. If you place Jesus second, then you are not worthy to be called a disciple because a disciple does not say “No Lord.”
Mat 10:38 (KJB)
And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Jesus knew that each disciple knew what a cross was because no doubt they had all seen someone crucified by the Romans. What Jesus is stating here is that to be His true disciple, one must take up their personal cross and follow Him. The word “followeth” is in the present tense which means it is a continual following and not just a one time or sporadic following. The idea behind this statement is that a true disciple must be willing to die to themselves and all their aspirations involved with the world. The cross was an instrument of death and so is the personal cross in the life of the believer. There is no such thing as being crucified part time. When a person was crucified, it was terminal and final. When a person becomes born again, they must follow Christ with a fervor that includes dying to the world. (Gal 6:14 KJV) But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. The Apostle Paul defined it greatly in Galatians 6:14. Paul does not glory in his own works but he glories in the cross of Christ. The cross of Christ has caused the world to be crucified unto Paul, that is, the world holds no attraction for Him. Crucifixion means that Paul’s only reason for living is no longer tied to the world and the law, but is tied to Christ. Paul also states that he is crucified unto the world, that is, he has no affinity to the things of the world because he no longer preaches the law or the things of the world. His entire being is in Christ and therefore the world does not hold him in honor nor does he hold the world in honor, because the world is in opposition to Christ and the cross. If a Christian does not completely dedicate themselves to the cause of Christ, then they are proving that other things are more important and showing they are not worthy of Christ.
Mat 10:39 (KJB)
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
What Jesus means here is that those who find their life in the things and ways of the world, will lose their life, that is, they will remain unsaved and will eventually be judged and cast into the lake of fire, thus losing the little bit of life they had in exchange for eternal damnation. Then on the other hand, those that lose their life in this world, that is, while everyone else is having a good time, you are dedicated to the cause of Christ and urgent in getting the true Gospel out, then you will find real life and that is eternal life in Christ. It is an exchange principle. If you are dedicated to worldly pursuits, then you will die in those pursuits by losing your life. If you are dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ in this life, you may lose all the time in this life for the cause of Christ but you will find eternal life which is the greater gift.
Mat 10:40 (KJB)
He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
There is a chain of reception in the Gospel. It is one that Christ and Christian rejecting cults need to seriously look at. If you are bringing the true Gospel and you are rejected, then you are not the only one being rejected, they are also rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ, and if they are rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ, then they are rejecting God the Father. (1 John 2:23 KJV) Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. On the other hand, if you are bringing the true Gospel and a person becomes saved, then they are not only receiving you, but the Lord Jesus Christ, and God the Father. It is one spiritual package. If they reject the true Christian, then they are rejecting God the Son and God the Father. Too many false religions believe they can have the Father without the Son and that is a false teaching.
Mat 10:41 (KJB)
He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
Here Jesus speaks of receiving those who are involved in the ministry. Jesus is saying that he that receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shares in his reward. This may be the type of prophet which is not necessarily foretelling future events but one who declares the word of God. If one receives them and gives them hospitality, then those people who help the preacher in his ministry are sharing in his ministry. This is why there is no such thing as a small part in ministry. Let us say you have a visiting preacher coming to your church for a series of meetings. You are asked to design a flyer to hand out, in essence, you are receiving that preacher and will share in his ministry. A word to wives. Let us say that you do all the work around the house thus freeing your husband to do ministry, you are sharing in his ministry. Then Jesus speaks about receiving a righteous man. Let us say the righteous man is not a preacher but has the gift or ability to build houses or repair them. You may be a helper to this man but you are sharing in his ministry. You will also share in the rewards of the ministry. What is the greatest reward a Christian can receive. (Gen 15:1 KJV) After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. It is the promise of God Himself being our reward. If you are helping a preacher or helping a person do repairs on a church building, it all comes down to one thing and that is service. You are taking whatever talent or ability the Lord gave you and are using it to the glory of God. So never think that any task is menial in the Kingdom of God.
Mat 10:42 (KJB)
And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
Then Jesus takes it down another notch to just a cup of cold water. He is repeatedly emphasizing that not every single task in the Kingdom of God is going to be a large task and just because a person is doing a task which seems very small, they too will share in the reward. It takes many working together and some doing the bigger tasks and some doing the smaller tasks to bring together a ministry that sends out the Gospel. Sometimes I hear on the radio, ministries which state that you should not hesitate to send in $5 or $10, and that is true because they add up and as they add up, they widen the outreach of ministry. So never look at a ministry task as being too small for being useful, because Jesus doesn’t and neither should you.