A friend of mine asked a question regarding the favorite Bible verse of a teen she knows:
I’d like you opinion on something. I know you don’t answer questions…..but hey! A few thoughts if you could/would be great. We stumbled into something at my teen group last Tuesday. I asked about their favorite Bible vs. … one of them said, “That one that says if you don’t acknowledge Me, I won’t acknowledge you”. Hmmmmm. That is her favorite? So, upon further research, she was talking about Matthew 10:32-34. I felt like that must come from a different context than what it sounded like, but reading the whole chapter just makes me scratch my head as far as the acceptance and grace of God. I am looking for HELP! (TS)
I know some imagine that I never answer any questions, but I think I have squeezed one in every so often! LOL! The first thing I’d want to find out is why she picked that verse as being her favorite. It may be something other than what you or I might think. Then again, maybe it’s the only one she could think of. :) Okay, so here are the verses in question:
Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. Matthew 10:32-33
What I see throughout the passage leading up to these verses is the sharp contrast Jesus made between those he was speaking to, namely, his 12 disciples, and those who would be persecuting them. So what I’m saying is that everything spoken up to the point where Jesus made his statement about confessing him or denying him was being said to the ones who had already confesses him before men.
- Consider the contrast I’ve mentioned as found in the following statements:
- Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves
- But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues
- For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
- You will be hated by all because of My name
- But whenever they persecute you
- If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!
- Therefore do not fear them
You and them. Those who belong to Christ versus those who don’t. He was preparing them not only for the hardships that would come upon them as they were being sent out at that time, but also (and even more so) regarding what they would experience after Jesus ascended into heaven. They needed this encouragement because they were going to experience very extreme persecution.
Of course, it could be argued that Peter denied Jesus later which should have caused Jesus to deny him before his father, but then, nothing of the sort happened. Instead, he even told Peter ahead of time of the pending downfall and how he would be strengthened after the whole ordeal so he could go back and strengthen his brothers.
Truthfully, the Lord knows who belongs to him, and he knows how to build them up when needed.