Catacomb Resident Blog

Never Be the Same

17 December 2021

Matthew 10 sees a lot of stuff taken out of context in common evangelical teaching. The context was that Jesus, while still staying in Galilee, was sending the Twelve, in teams of two, into Judea. They were taking advantage of the Covenant custom of receiving preachers of the Word. Any Jewish town would have someone who typically took responsibility for hosting preachers, especially those performing miracles.

So, this whole thing was under the Covenant of Moses, and there were social expectations. But knowing that it was the message of Jesus about the coming Messianic Kingdom, as it was the message of John the Baptist before Him, He warned them to expect resistance. In fact, in some places they might face outright persecution, and prosecution. His message would challenge the dominant political structure, which was deeply invested in something other than the Covenant. By restoring the Covenant as Jesus taught it, and prophesying that the Messiah would soon proclaim His Kingdom, it was a threat to the political order.

He warned them that this was not the time to commit themselves to working with any place long term. He wanted them to travel light and move out smartly from town to town. Share the message, perform miracles and don't worry about anything else. Take what comes. That's the way it should work under the Covenant.

But the coming Kingdom was not going to be like the old Covenant nation. It would be a Kingdom of hearts. It was no longer appropriate to have the focus on the law code, which served to drag along into shalom a horde of folks who didn't actually have faith. Jesus warned that His message would polarize people, and that was precisely the nature of their mission. It was to expose the fault lines of Jewish society. It was planting the seeds for a kingdom of hearts committed to the Messiah, and the rest were weeds that would be pulled up when the time came.

So the old identity of being born a Jew was no longer enough. It had to be a genuine commitment of faith. This would fracture household and shake up the political order.

What Jesus was telling them was not a recipe for sharing the gospel to the world at large. It was how it must be done among His own people up until the time He proclaimed His Kingdom. The whole point was to create unrest, to make people question their false contentment. It's a recipe for sharing the Covenant message with the organized churches today. There's not that much difference in the context then and now. We have an established order that's comfortable for those in power, and it will rattle the old order.

We should expect a genuine Covenant adherence to break up families, at least in terms of their sense of identity. Some will climb the narrow rocky path of faith, while the rest continue rushing down to Hell. An awful lot of church people cannot handle the Covenant teaching, because they have their New Testament Talmud.

Pray for His wrath to fall and cleanse His people. Pray that He will bring them out of the bondage of religious traditions.

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