If we want a more meaningful faith and a more meaningful life, we must leave behind the kingdom of “me” and step into the larger Kingdom of God.
Scripture - Matthew 10:34-39
“Don’t think that I’ve come to bring peace to the earth. I haven’t come to bring peace but a sword. I’ve come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. People’s enemies are members of their own households.
“Those who love father or mother more than me aren’t worthy of me. Those who love son or daughter more than me aren’t worthy of me. Those who don’t pick up their crosses and follow me aren’t worthy of me. Those who find their lives will lose them, and those who lose their lives because of me will find them.”
Unpack It! To understand the challenging words Jesus has here, it is important to know that Matthew’s Gospel is written for Jewish people to convince them of Christ as Messiah. In writing this Gospel, the author knew that Jewish Christians would face persecution from family members, and so Jesus encourages his disciples in this Gospel to stay true to their faith even if it means sacrificing important relationships.
Discussing the Text
Jesus describes himself as someone who disturbs our lives. When has God disturbed your life for good?
Jesus’ words are challenging, but what he’s really trying to address is that sometimes we have to choose between our faith and other people/things that are important to us. When is the last time you had to choose to between your faith and something or someone else?
Jesus says that we must pick up our cross to follow him? In what ways is life in God’s kingdom more difficult than life in the kingdom of “me?”
Questions for Deeper Faith
If you had a box today and could put the most important things in your life inside it, what would that be? (Family, career, selfish desires, etc.)
Do you enjoy being in control? Why is it hard to give up control?
How important is security to you? Is the idea of trusting God with important parts of your life hard to stomach? Why or why not?
When is it hard to step outside the kingdom of “me?”
What do you think your life would look like if you moved from the kingdom of “me” to the kingdom of God? How would you live differently?
Gracious God, You have invited us time and again to live a richer life in your kingdom, and too often we remain content inside our own broken boxes. Remind us this week that we are designed for more than that, remind us that we were made to live life abundantly by walking in the way of your son, Jesus Christ. If we have fears, meet us in them, and make your presence known to us as take steps to live further in your Kingdom, relying less upon ourselves and more upon your grace. All of this we ask in the name of the one who welcomes us through the gate, your Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.