God First Above All

Matthew 10: 34—11:1
Isa 1:10-17 / Psa 50

I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
(Matthew 10:34)

Put no hope on what this world may bring,
Life isn’t always what it may seem.
Put Jesus first above everything,
Then our soul He will surely redeem.

(Jesus said), “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his own household. 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; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the One Who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.” Now when Jesus had finished instructing His twelve disciples, He went on from there to teach and proclaim His message in their towns. (Matthew 10:34–11:1)

Reflection

Our Lord was talking about spiritual warfare when He said “I have not come to bring peace but a sword.” There would be no peace insofar as the battle against evil was concerned. Jesus was also predicting the persecutions that were to come during the early years of the Church. The preaching of the Christian faith would come at a steep price – the division even among family members. As the prophet Simeon had predicted to Mary in the temple, Jesus would be “a sign of contradiction, and you yourself (Mary) a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 3:34-35). If the family of our Savior Himself would not be spared of the sword, why should His followers be exempted?

God and His kingdom must take precedence over everyone and everything in our life. On this there is no compromise or conditions. This is simply because we were never created for this life on earth, but are destined to live the life eternal in heaven with our Maker. We are just passing through this life, and the only important and vital thing in this passage is our commitment to follow our Savior, Jesus Christ, suffer for Him, even to the point of death, to be worthy of Him and receive our eternal reward. Like my cousin Sonia, who has been suffering for so long with an incurable disease, she is asking for prayers that the Lord may already “take her home.” Although we do not know the will of God, we believe that her suffering is not in vain. We can only pray that her prayers (and ours) will soon be answered,

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” If we value our life on earth more than our relationship with Jesus, then we will lose the real life, the life that has no end, that has no more strife or worrying, a life of bliss in the glory of God’s love, where all kinds of earthly love pale in comparison, and where there will no longer be any kind of pain or suffering. As our Lord so aptly put it, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?” (Lk.9:25) How can this be such a hard choice to make? And yet our Lord tells us that even the little things that we do out of love—“give even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink” will have merit in the eyes of God.

Lord, You have taught us to set our eyes on the real destination of life’s journey. We praise and thank You for the great sacrifice that You had to make — becoming one of us to show us the way to Your kingdom. Grant that we may also be Your instruments in bringing Your Word and love to others as atonement for our sins, and to reciprocate Your infinite love. Amen.

Comments are closed.