The Gospels – The Gospel According to Matthew
Jesus’ moral strength and severity
Matthew 10:11-16 “And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it, and stay with him until you depart. (12) As you enter the house, salute it. (13) And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. (14) And if any one will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. (15) Truly, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town. (16) Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
The pride with which followers of Jesus should act is revealed here. They should show confidence and assurance in God but they are not to cast pearls before swine. If any one refuses to accept them they are to depart in dignity and go elsewhere. They are never to go round begging people to listen to the Word of God.
It is man’s responsibility to seek out his God and not the other way round. Some preachers over the centuries have perverted this notion and have fostered the erroneous belief among human beings that God needs them and has to run after them. Nothing is further from the truth. God will calmly abandon to the darkness all those who would refuse to turn to Him and all those who expect Him to run after them instead of at last recognising that after all it is a question of their own personal salvation and they should see to it that they are not condemned.
There is no such thing as an all forgiving weak God, forgiving everything and even allowing sinners to go unpunished. That must not be. We must wake up and realise that the picture hitherto painted of Jesus as weak and yielding are false and nothing but the desires of those who are weak in themselves and who would rather avoid making any efforts towards their own salvation to represent Him as such.
He also advised His disciples to keep their eyes open, to be keenly observant. To be ready to defend themselves but never harm any one on that account. They must not act like fools or simpletons but to be always keenly on their guards. They will be attacked, there will be enemies who would be rid of them. They are on hostile ground and the darkness would always find those who are willing to be used as tools against the messengers of the Light. They must be strong also in the earthly sense so as not to make it easy for their detractors to attack them and even if they are attacked make it difficult for them to succeed.