Matthew 10:26–33: Therefore, Do Not Fear
After calling his twelve disciples to himself, Jesus has given them a bold mission. They are to go throughout the lost house of Israel, preaching the message of the kingdom, healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing lepers, and casting out demons. This is an extraordinary mission, and, to make matters more difficult, they will also face extraordinary opposition. This must have been a lot for Jesus’ disciples to digest. How were they supposed to feel? How were they supposed to respond? In this next section, Jesus bolsters the courage of his disciples by focusing their work on a single point: himself. As Jesus continues to send his people out into the world to this day, his purposes remain the same as what Jesus intimates here: Jesus reveals himself through our preaching.
1. How does the initial “so” (or, “therefore”) of v. 26 connect back to the previous section? What makes the conclusion “have no fear of them” so surprising, in light of everything Jesus warned his disciples about in Matthew 10:16–25? What does Jesus mean when he says that the covered things will be revealed, and the hidden things will be made known? By what method does Jesus intend to reveal God’s hidden plans for the salvation of his people through Christ?
2. What additional reason does Jesus give so that his disciples will not fear men (v. 28a)? Instead of fearing men, whom should we fear (v. 28b)? What does the rest of the Bible teach us about the fear of the Lord? Beyond fearing the Lord, how does Jesus motivate us with our heavenly Father’s great love for us (v. 29–30)? How, then, does Jesus intend to harmonize the command to “fear” God (v. 28), and the command, “fear not” (v. 31)?
3. What kind of a relationship with his Father in heaven does Christ describe in vv. 32–33? How is Christ’s relationship with his Father different from our relationship to the Father? What is the connection between our relationship to the Father and Christ’s relationship with his Father? What does this tell us about the unique nature, person, and role of Christ? How do we square Jesus’ warnings of denying him with Peter’s ultimate denial of Jesus (Matt. 26:70, 72)?
4. What does this passage teach us about the mission of the church? What role does preaching have in this mission (v. 27)? In what way does Jesus reveal himself through our preaching? How important is preaching for people to come to know Jesus by faith for salvation (Rom. 10:14–17)? How does preaching uniquely focus us on the person and work of Christ? Do you think preaching is still as important today, with our modern culture, communications, and technologies?