You Thought I Was Pro-Family? Ha!

A Trinitarian Christ-centered paraphrase of Matthew 10.1-39

(10.1-25) This is it, guys.  This is what you’ve trained for.   You twelve guys have been with me all this time, and now I’m going to send you out to fly solo for the first time.  Stay focused.  Go to the Israelite towns first.  We’ll go to the Gentiles in phase two, but it’s not time for that yet.  Tell people the good news, that the Empire of Love has arrived. And don’t just tell them.  SHOW them what the power of love can do.  Don’t pack a bag; don’t even bring money.  I want you to experience what it feels like to eat from Papa’s hand, day in, day out.  If a town welcomes you and listens to you, great.  But if they run you out of town, don’t stress about it.  It’s not your fault.  Their rejection will say more about them than about you.  When the Catastrophe hits, they will think Sodom and Gomorrah got off easy. Remember, the rich and powerful will hate you, just like they’ve hated me.  They will arrest you and beat you.  Do the job in one city; when they kick you out, go to the next city.  When the Catastrophe hits this generation (when the Son of Man comes to rule at the Father’s right hand), you Twelve will not have gotten to all of the cities in Israel yet.

(26) So yes, there are fearsome things going on.  But believe me when I tell you they are not worthy of your fear.   Your mission is to tell the truth, and truth is what these little Hitlers fear above all else.  Truth is the only weapon you will have, and it is the only weapon you will need. (27) Speak it fearlessly. (28) Do not fear death.  Men with guns can kill you, but they cannot defeat you.  They cannot destroy you.  Only your Father in heaven can do that.  He is the only one worthy of your love or your fear. (29) Remember, Papa’s good will is inescapable.  No tiny incident can happen outside of it, not even a little bird falling out of its nest. (30) Papa knows each hair on your head, (31) so don’t be afraid.   You are at LEAST as well taken-care-of as a sparrow.

(32) When the Catastrophe hits, my enemies in Israel will experience the consequences of their actions, as is the destiny of all enemies of humanity.  My Papa and I will not violate anyone by separating them from the results of their decisions.  Because he is a good Papa, he never plays favorites with his kids.  On that day, those who are willing to follow me openly will follow me to safety.  (33) Those who are too ashamed to follow me to safety will remain in danger.

(34) I have not come to bring peace – at least not the kind of peace YOU’RE thinking of.  Real peace comes at the cost of truth, and the truth is a sword that divides people according to who accepts it and who doesn’t. (35) Because I am bringing the truth out into the open, it will be “son against father, daughter against mother. (36) A man’s enemies will be those who live in his house.”  (37) …What, you thought I was pro-family?  Ha!  Sure, I love family togetherness, but I what I love even more is ruthless honesty.  Your family and friends may or may not be willing to join you in facing Reality, and your journey into truth may have to partly be a journey away from them.  I am the Truth, and Truth is thicker than blood.  Be clear about your choice. (38) Truth kills before it heals.  If you’re not willing to face the pain, you’re not willing to follow me. (39) Those who seek after their vision of ‘the good life’ will miss out on life that is truly good.  Life that is really good is found only by those who crucify their ambitions and seek after MY vision instead.

~ John Stonecypher

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