I am a Jesus pusher!!! “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake” (Matthew 5:11). At the high point in Jesus’ ministry, He is compelled to duplicate Himself in the lives of the disciples. He challenges them to pray; He allows them to be the answer to their own prayers (Matthew 9:37-38). Jesus shares the Divine power of the Spirit with them, which enables them to duplicate His ministry (Matthew 10:1). This lifts them from “disciples” to “apostles.” Before He sends them forth, Jesus gives them a great discourse on ministry (Matthew 10:5-24). In the section of His instruction discussing the core of ministry, He highlights “persecution” (Matthew 10:16-24). He presents it in the imagery of His ministry, sheep in the midst of wolves.
This picture, however, is not allowed to remain as imagery. He vividly describes “religious persecution,” “political persecution,” and “family persecution.” He begins this section with a warning. “But beware of men” (Matthew 10:17). The Greek word “prosecho,” translated beware, is two words combined, “pros” meaning “toward,” which is a directional term, and “echo” meaning “to have.” In other words, you are to set your mind in a direction; it is a focus. Twice in the next few verses He speaks of “for My sake” (Matthew 10:18, 22). We are not to focus on the persecution, but we are to focus on being like Him (Matthew 10:25). Focusing on the hurt and pain of persecution will cause you to become a wolf; you begin to act just like those who are persecuting you. Focus on Jesus! I am a Jesus pusher!!!