Reading: Matthew 10: 24-39
Verse 30: Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Couched within this difficult passage are words of love and care. Jesus has commissioned the twelve to go out in the beginning of Matthew 10 and now He is preparing them. Jesus is letting them know that it will challenge them but also encouraging them to “proclaim for the roofs” what is whispered in their ears. We too will be led by the Holy Spirit when we are willing to go out and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to the world. The power and presence of the Holy Spirit will whisper in our ear and give us the words we need to share.
In the middle section of our passage, Jesus emphasizes “do not fear” three times. He is building them up for service. He is assuring them that God deeply values them. Jesus tells them, “Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered”. He is saying God knows them intimately. God knows us in the same way. He knows us so well that the small detail of the number of hairs on our head is precisely known by God. Jesus notes that not even a sparrow falls to the ground without God knowing. So how much more are we in God’s eyes. He says, do not worry, God has us.
The passage ends with the call to take up the cross. For those disciples,who have literally seen people take up a cross on the way to their death, this call would have real meaning. Jesus is asking them to be prepared to give their all. Knowing what Jesus did on the cross, we too know what He asks of us. Jesus is asking for our all. The cost of discipleship can be high today as well. To walk as Jesus walked, to be like the teacher, is hard. But with God’s love and care and with the presence of the Holy Spirit, the difficult is made possible. We are loved by a God who knows us intimately. With our God all is possible. As we go forth, being light and love, we go with God and the Spirit, empowered to transform the world.