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Lesson # Matt. 10:38
Study Material - Matt. 10:38
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
38 And [kai] he [hos] that taketh [lambano] not [ou] his [autos] cross [stauros] , and [kai] followeth [akoloutheo] after [opiso] me [mou] , is [esti] not [ou] worthy [axios] of me [mou] . KJV-Interlinear
38 'And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. NAS
I am going to repeat the paragraph on love from yesterdays study. 'Phileo', love has to do with feelings of the heart. This connotes more emotional response or reaction. 'Agapao', another word for love, but not used here, deals with the mind. It has to do with ones attitude toward society, dealing more with tolerance than emotional feelings of passion.
It is important that folks differentiate emotional love of the heart from the mental love of the mind. Phileo is more of an emotional response to a something or someone. It focuses on the object (whomever or whatever it is you love) of the love. The latter deals more with concepts of tolerance. This love focuses on the source of the love. And that source would be the believer (source) who is tolerating the world (object) around him. The character and integrity are important as they are characteristics of the source - you the believer.
Years earlier, a zealot named Judas gathered together a band of rebels to fight the Roman occupation forces. The insurrection was put down quickly, and in order to teach the Jews a lesson, the Roman general Varus ordered the crucifixion of over 2,000 Jews. Their crosses lined the roads of Galilee.
Those who were hearing Jesus speak now, certainly had memories or knowledge of that history. So they knew of the punishing pain and tyranny which the crosses of that time represented. Though many a criminal had to carry their own pole to the place of their execution, the cross was known as a thing of dishonor and cruelty, and of course of death.
Certainly there are many hardships and trials in human living. From the problems that young people face in their growing years, things that we generally look at as childish. To that many varied and complex problems we all encounter in our adult life.
But these all are details of life, things that will come and go, and in some fashion will influence and might even shape our lives. What is the defense against the pressures of life? Bible doctrine. Forsake the old ways (human viewpoint, human philosophy) and embrace the new (Bible doctrine).
To bear ones cross does not carry an emphasis on what you do, nor the circumstance of your life. Though these all come into view in your total living experience obviously. But your priority in life needs to be the revamping of the thinking of your mind and the application to life of what you know (Bible doctrine).
There are those who interpret this passage as an instruction to sell of everything and go out into the bush and undergo terrible living conditions. Or, there are those who want to run away from life and its responsibilities under the pretense that they are serving Jesus. The noble goal is convenient and totally false.
What is our task in life? Well we just finished studying it in this chapter. Did you think that the context of the subject that Christ was talking about, suddenly changed in this verse? No. Fear not. How do we do that? We study Bible doctrine, we learn, we apply what we know to life's experiences. We continue to study, we continue to learn and we continue through the cycle of learning, applying, and understanding, and through this process we begin to gain wisdom - the right kind of wisdom for life. All the while we study in our divinely designed classroom and living sphere which we call fellowship. Outside that sphere we cannot live the spiritual life, or what some folks call the Christian life.
Fear not? We learn from God. We grow up. We face circumstances in life wherein God helps us to test (now there is a novel idea) our faith. We either pass or we fail. If we fail we regroup (hopefully) and go around again for another test and keep on doing that until we pass. Lots of takeovers until you get it right. Cool!
God never puts you through anything beyond what you are capable of handling. You'll soon realize that you are capable of handling some pretty tough situations in life.
Bear your cross? A cross is a stake, pole, post, an instrument of capital punishment. It is a symbol of self denial (denying oneself access to the lures of this world), and a symbol of the atoning (covering) work of Christ on the Cross. Christ covered all the sins of the world through His work on the Cross. Why would anyone want to go back to them and dig them up. Handle your situations in life through the application and strength, of Bible doctrine, not from the weakness of human viewpoint or escape.
Worthy? Someone who is suitable, due a reward, deserving. How do we become worthy? By growing up spiritually, never by 'doing' things in life apart from Bible doctrine.
Follow? Accompany, to go in the same way. Christ lived His live by means of Bible doctrine. Ours is to do the same. Learn it, use it, understand it, possess it.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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