Monday, February 5, 2018

Was Yeshua being mean-spirited in Matthew 10?

Some like to use the Matthew 10:34-40 to show that Y’shua was mean and didn’t know what he was talking about. Well, for those who are able to see the context, it’s perfectly clear that he was referring to his teachings bringing division! He knew that some would sh’ma (hear and do) while others would reject them – thus, bringing division.

The “bottom line” of Matthew 10 is left up to each individual: Do they love their own earthly life or family and friends more than the Word of YHWH? If so, they’re not worthy of YHWH or His Divine Messiah who came to proclaim the Kingdom and do everything His Father commanded (Luke 4:43; Luke 8:1; Acts 28:23; Acts 24:14).

Y’shua came to remind Israel that YHWH’s Word doesn’t always “go down” smoothly and that there is no gray area. It’s black and white. You either accept YHWH and His Messiah, or you don’t. The following verses serve to confirm this:

Ezekiel 3: 27 But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth; and you will say to them, 'This is what Adonai ELOHIM says.' Whoever is inclined to listen will listen, and whoever is inclined to refuse will refuse, because they are a rebellious house. (CJB)

Revelation 10: 8. And the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again, and said: Go, take the little open book in the hand of the Messenger that stands on the sea and on the land. 9 And I went to the Messenger, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, Take, and eat it: and it will make your bowels bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey. 10. And I took the little book from the hand of the Messenger, and ate it: and it was in my mouth sweet like honey: and when I had eaten it, my bowels were bitter. 11. And he said to me, You must again prophesy upon many nations and peoples, and princes, and kings. (AENT)

Yes, YHWH’s Word is sweet to the taste, but there are times, it feels very bitter – especially when it goes against our carnal desires! Therefore, in all things, we must always weigh HIS desire against ours.

Now, let’s take a look at Matthew 10, in context:

Matthew 10: 34. Do not think that I have come to bring calm on earth. I have not come to bring calm, rather a sword. 35. For I have come to divide a man from his father, and a girl from her mother. And a daughter-in-law from her mother-in-law. 36. And the adversaries of a man will be his household.[1]

37. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.[2] 38. And anyone that does not take up his staff[3] and come and follow me is not worthy of me. 39. Whoever finds his soul will lose it, and whoever loses his soul for my sake will find it. 40. Whoever accepts you, accepts me, and whoever that accepts me, whom I send accepts him. (AENT)


[1] Micah 7:6. Compare the phraseology in verse 37 to Luke 14:26 “he who comes to me and does not hate his father or mother is not worthy of me”. Matthew’s version is literal while Luke’s version is idiomatic. To enter into the Kingdom of Heaven we must love Mashiyach Y’shua more than anything or anyone else. This does NOT mean that we fail to love and honor our parents. Rather, it means that however much love is lavished upon one’s parents; more should be given to Y’shua.

Our love for the Kingdom of Heaven brings eternal life to both ourselves and potentially to our family members. By comparison, earthly love “looks” like hatred. YHWH is the Author of love, as we devote our love to Him, and give Him our time to worship Him and study Him and His Word, only then are we better able to love ourselves and those around us. See footnote on Luke 14:26 for more information.

[2] Should we expect another? This is a question about the prevailing expectations of two Messiahs. Mashiyach ben Yosef is to suffer and die for Israel’s sins. Mashiyach ben David is to rule the world at the End of Days. It is clear that Yochanan recognizes Y’shua as Ben-Yosef with the phrase, “Behold the lamb of Elohim that takes away the sin of the world”. But apparentlym he is not sure if Y’shua is also Mashiyach ben David. Y’shua’s answer about the miracles proves he will fulfill that role as well.

[3] Take up your staff and follow means to exercise your personal authority. A staff is a symbol of authority that is used for mobility and protection (see B’midbar/Numbers 17:16-25. Christian versions insert “cross” here which does not appear in either Aramaic or Greek texts.

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