The Gospels – The Gospel According to Matthew
The Word of God as a two-edged Sword
Matthew 10:34-36 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes will be those of his own household.”
The Word of God is like a double-edged sword and as mentioned earlier, it will cause discord in many ranks because by Its nature It confronts each individual with the reality about himself and the decision of his life. Is it going to be acceptance of the Word of God and the granting of eternal life or the rejection of it leading to unbelievable torments? Each individual’s soul is faced with this decision and depending on how the individual stands spiritually, he must decide one way or the other.
If he is inwardly evil, the odds are that he will decide to continue in his evil ways and if good he would welcome the opportunity offered by the Word of God to develop himself further. Earthly relationships do not come into it. As explained earlier, the real nature of each individual is what will be exposed by this process. For those who have decided for the Light, the reaction of the others towards him will often be a lesson in human nature. More often than not attempts will be made to hinder him and if their persuasive efforts do not work they would resort to stronger measures which could be anything from coercion to violence.
Matthew 10:37-39 “He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.”
This is the Law of the First Commandment. These are the arms that must be cut off, the eyes that must be plucked out if they stand in the way of the realization of the Word of God. The Word of God is what should be most paramount in our lives. All else is transitory. Therefore to place earthly relationships above God is to place these things before Life Itself. These are then the gods we now worship. They now replace the real God who is the Creator and the Sustainer of our lives.
The cross that Jesus is referring to here is not the Cross of Suffering of the Christian Church but the true Cross of Truth. Thus he who does not take the Cross of Truth offered to him in the Word is not worthy of It. Jesus offered each one of us a Cross of Truth which is His Word. We are meant to accept It by taking It up and acting accordingly. If we fail to do this then we are not worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven. The cross that the Christians have adopted as a symbol is not the true Cross of Truth. It was simply the form that the Romans used in those days to execute people.
The Cross of Truth is not unknown to those who are open and alert. It is the equal-armed Cross and has been known since antiquity, even before the advent of Christianity. This Cross is the visible form of Truth and where this Cross is found, there Truth also is to be found.
Jesus, through His Word has offered every one of us a symbolic form of Truth. We must take it up, in other words, accept it and live accordingly. In fact, Jesus Christ is inseparably linked to this true Cross. He embodies It and personifies It. He who therefore follows Jesus, follows the Truth. But the Word of Jesus, which He embodies is this Truth. It is not just a question of one’s personal opinion in declaring to oneself that ‘I am a follower of Jesus’. No, we must be seen by the Light to be acting according to what the Cross demands, according to what the Truth demands, according to the Word of Jesus. This Cross, this Truth embodies the Will of God and it is the adherence to this that will guarantee an entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. So it is “Those who do the Will of My Father not those who say Lord, Lord”.
Mathew 10:40-42 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
41 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.
42 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.
In contrast to the picture that contemporary preachers would like to paint of Jesus, He has revealed Himself to be strong and unyielding. He was strict and proud. He has warned us against casting our pearls before swine and has also told His disciples to dust their feet from under them if their words are not accepted in any town.
It is difficult to see where this picture of an all-forgiving Jesus so bandied about by these preachers comes from. Even the tone of His speech reveals a steadfast and an unwavering attitude that does not fail to impress. There is no sign at all of any weakness in the tone of His speech. It is strict, just and fair. He who would have it otherwise only tries to reveal his own weakness thereby in his inability to make the effort to bring forth the good volition which is the only way forward for everyone.