Updated: Jan 28
Matthew 10:32-39 (in bold)
“Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.”
In Matthew 10:32, the Greek word “emprosthen” is translated as “before.” That word means, “in front, before the face,” where the word can imply prior timing, as well as placement “in front of.” The phrase “acknowledges me before others” begins with the Greek word “homologēsei,” which means, “will speak the same, will agree, will promise, will publicly declare, will confess, will praise, and will celebrate.” Therefore, the statement made by Jesus can be read to say, “Everyone who publicly declares Jesus as the Messiah in front of others;” but ALSO and EQUALLY say, “Everyone who will speak the same as Jesus – AS JESUS – at a time before others will do likewise” [so that they, in time, may speak as Jesus too].
The same word, “emprosthen,” is repeated again in verse 32, as well as twice more in verse 33. Half of those uses state “before the Father” (“emprosthen tou Patros”). This statement by Jesus is then relative to the First Commandment, where God commanded there are to be “no other gods before me.”
The Hebrew of the First Commandment literally states: “Not shall have to you gods other beside my face.”
(Zola Levitt Ministries) Look at the “Hebraic Insight #2.
This has been syntactically translated as “Thou shall have no other gods before me.” However, Strong’s Concordance shows the last two words (“al panaya”) as literally translating as “before me the face of.” Considering how Jesus was warning Jews, who would deny Jesus as the Christ before the Father, the implication is they would be breaking that First Commandment. Instead of wearing “the face of Jesus” (“the face of God in man”) “before the Father,” that denial of Jesus as the Christ would have Jews wear “the face of other gods before the Father.” Seeing that as breaking the Prime Commandment, a Jew denying Jesus as Christ (or anyone else for that matter) is turning away from the face of God, making their own face reflect their belief in “other gods.”
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
The Greek word “eirēnēn” is translated as “peace,” largely due to it being similar to the common Jewish farewell, or the equivalent of the “Peace” portion of an Episcopal worship service. The word bears the meanings, “one, peace, quietness, rest,” and implies “peace of mind” or “the health and welfare of an individual.” Strong’s “Word-studies” states: “eirḗnē (from eirō, “to join, tie together into a whole”) – properly, wholeness, i.e. when all essential parts are joined together; peace (God’s gift of wholeness).” This means that Jesus said he did not come into the world to unify it through rest and quiet. Instead, he came to shake things up with piercing jabs intended to sever that which was considered one, as a sword would then indicate.
The Greek word “machairan” is translated as “a sword.” Strong’s says this about the root word: “máχaira – properly, a slaughter-knife; a short sword or dagger mainly used for stabbing; (figuratively) an instrument for exacting retribution.” When this aspect of retribution is understood, and when one knows that Jesus had said he comes only for the Jews, his presence was due to the Judaic “wholeness” as God’s chosen people was going to be stabbed in the heart. That sole claim to righteousness would be tested by the sword. On the highest spiritual level of meaning, Jesus brought a sword to the Jews so they could slash their egos to death, thereby allowing them to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit, which is the only way for anyone to find favor with God.
Can you see the metaphor of “Doctor” Jesus being called to Jerusalem, to cut out the cancer that was killing the Jewish race … with a scalpel? Can you see Jesus coming as a priest who would sacrifice the lamb of the Jews as an offering to God … with a slaughter knife?
The children of Israel, whom Moses led out of Egypt, as the chosen ones, had long since broken every Commandment given to them. They were chosen to serve God as His holy priests; but when the people told Samuel they wanted a king, like other nations, they began centuries of walking away from their Covenant. By the time Israel and Judah fell to foreign invaders, the vast majority of the people knew little about the Laws that their ancestors had promised to keep forever. Only in captivity did the Jews attempt to recollect those old writings and force all of their people to follow them. However, the concept that “once chosen as the people of God, always chosen as God’s people” was lost through their broken pact.
Jesus represented the New Covenant. Thus, Jesus did not come to stroke the egos of one group of people who had collectively failed God. He came with a sword to divide that whole into individual parts, each of which would be required to be a completely devoted servant to God. What Jesus would tell his disciples would be to go beyond the group of Jews and let the whole world have the same opportunity to serve God. The bloodline of a chosen people would become upset, as Jesus’ blood – from the Holy Spirit and Mind of Christ – would be the new lineage requirement.
The sword of Jesus is then stated in the following divisions of family relationships, where being a Jew that was filled with the Holy Spirit would come in conflict with a Jew that denied Jesus was the Christ, and more so rejecting the idea that being born a Jew automatically gave one favor with God. The concept of Jewish superiority would mean the death of the old and the rebirth as a new servant priest, in the name (character) of Jesus Christ.
“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 foes will be members of one’s own household.”
This is repeating the prophecy of Micah (7:6), which states: “For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, a man’s enemies are the members of his own household.” Micah was a prophet of Judah (in the SW portion) and prophesied “during the reigns of kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah of Judah;” and he was “a contemporary of the prophets Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea.” Micah’s prophecies are said to be “directed mainly towards Jerusalem”(source Wikipedia), still the corruption Micah saw through God’s eye was to be punished through the fall of Jerusalem. As the figurative head of the last remaining body that once was Israel – the gift of land to the chosen priests for the One God – when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians that decapitation ended the agreement between God and those led by Moses.
While Micah was directly quoted, the prophet Malachi repeated this prophecy of Micah, in different words. In Malachi 4:4-6 was recorded these words of God: “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel. See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” Jesus was clearly stating that he had come to fulfill the specific prophecy of Micah, as well as all general prophecies of the destruction of Israel (including Malachi’s). By the time Jesus began his ministry, the Babylonians had been defeated by the Persians, who financed the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem (the Second Temple), as the place lost had become the place the Jews sought to be given back. They wanted to be recognized as those especially chosen people of God, back in their Promised Land. Jesus was fulfilling prophecies that said (in effect), “I bring a sword to cut you away from this womb from which you were born, because to be truly chosen you have to go where the LORD chooses, as His servant (priest).”
All of these familial relationships stated by Micah and Malachi are race and religion based. Malachi telling Jews to “Remember the law of my servant Moses” and “I will send the prophet Elijah” is a clear focus placed on the remnant of Israel and Judah. God was not prophesying destruction of all peoples … just those He had bargained with. Therefore, a Jewish father raised his son to be just like him; a Jewish mother raised her daughter to become the wife of a Jewish man, meaning one Jew’s daughter would marry into another Jew’s family, with all in-laws Jewish.
The “foes” of the Jews were the Gentiles, of which the Samaritans had been cast. The Romans who ruled over Galilee and Judea, when Jesus walked the land, were Gentiles who possessed that which had been lost (as had the Babylonians, Persians, and Greeks prior), Inter-familial problems were minuscule, when the non-Jewish world was clearly seen as the greatest enemy to the Jewish “household” (their unique character as chosen people, where a religion had created a separate race). To the Jews, blood was thicker than the water flowing through Gentile veins. However, Jesus would upset that system of social prejudice.
“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 the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.”
While this clearly speaks to Jews, those who would then and do still reject Jesus as the promised Messiah, the creation of Christianity as a religion after the Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus means the same applies to Gentiles and Jews alike. The history stated in the Old Testament and the history of our modern world reflects just how little bloodline plays in the worthiness of God’s chosen people.
To begin with, Adam was hand-molded by God, with Eve sharing the same DNA (Adam’s X-Chromosome “rib”). Together they had Cain and Abel; and despite that most holy lineage, Cain proved to be a reject. God tried to reason with Cain, but Cain chose to serve another master. Abraham was the father of Ismael, meaning that blood relative was cast out into the wilderness (along with Hagar, his mother), because Ishmael too served another master. Isaac had twin sons, with the eldest more concerned with his own needs, such that he was denied the birthright as the firstborn. Jacob had thirteen sons by four women, with most of them flawed in character. Only Joseph (through his two sons) and Benjamin would be worthy of occupying the heart of Jerusalem and Israel. Eli trained Samuel as a prophet, as he himself was one who spoke with God. However, Eli condemned his soul by seeing the evil of his two sons and doing nothing to cast them out of the Tabernacle. Jesse had eight sons, but only David was chosen for anointment as king; still David would waste away because of the rejection he found in his son Absalom. Solomon was a wise man, as the blood of David. Still, Solomon married outside his race (family blood) and was led astray from God.
This means Jews cannot claim to be chosen by God, when they choose to serve self by promoting Judaism as the religion of the One God, all while rejecting Christ within.
In the founding of Christianity, where all the first Christians were Jews, Judas Iscariot was the one who betrayed Jesus and fell from the lineage of Apostles before that line began. Ananias and Sapphira, as two Jews filled with the Holy Spirit initially, both gave up their souls by thinking they could keep self-serving secrets from God. Saint Peter is said to be the first Bishop of the Church of Rome (the first Pope), with 48 of the first 50 popes and 73 of the first 100 deemed to be saints. The Church has been led by only a few true Apostles since, a time spanning over 1,200 years, with the papacy believed to be the spiritual line of Christ. The physical bloodline of Jesus is believed to have led to the royalty of Europe (the Holy Grail), but too many kings relished their power too much, with Henry VIII of England beheading several wives while severing his ties to the Church of Rome because he wanted a divorce. Louis XIV bankrupted France, causing his grandson king and many others of royal blood to be executed in the name of a philosophy designed to free the commoners. The purity of that blood has since become mixed with that of commoners, with Charles and Diana having diluted children, so William and Kate barely having any royal blood, and Harry and his potential commoner concubine even less.
This means Christians cannot claim to be chosen by God because they wear silver crosses around their necks or they have a fish emblems on the back windows of their cars, promoting Christianity as the religion of the One God, all while refusing to become reborn as a new Jesus Christ.
The individual is called upon to become righteous (raise up one’s stake – stand tall, not wallow on the ground like Cain). The individual is called upon to become a new body for Jesus (to follow him as a new him). Only then can one be worthy of Christ. Only then can one speak the same as Christ Jesus before others, so Christ Jesus will stand before God as you wearing his holy face.
When Jesus concluded by stating, “Those who lose their life for my sake will find it,” this explains how Stephen could cry out as he was being stoned to death, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Stephen could see his life of sin fading away to a life of eternal presence with God. When the reward of true life comes at the hands of those born dead, one cannot feel animosity … only love. The world has fallen far from being on its knees as the stones of hatred hurl at those wearing the face of Christ Jesus, as was Saint Stephen. That is how the last verses of this reading reflect the “second coming of Jesus,” as depicted in The Revelation of John. Many see Jesus’ claim of coming to bring a sword as the Jesus of retribution … angry Jesus.
However, when that coming arrives, it means the individuals of humanity will have chosen to reject God and Christ totally. The second coming of Jesus occurred on Pentecost Sunday, the day after Jesus Ascended, nearly 2,000 years ago. Jesus has returned every time a new Saint was born anew. Thinking one cannot become a new Jesus today … that it is okay to just wait for the end of the world and the “Rapture Bus” honking outside you home … is to lay on the ground like Cain. If you wait for that coming, there will be nothing left in the world worth prodding with stabs, nothing left not corrupted or rotted so bad it cannot be pared into individual parts worth saving. So, the laziness of wanting God to give you a leader to walk behind, to be like others who serve no true god of merit have been, that thinking is what will have corrupted the whole. At that time there will be no sons, daughters, fathers or mothers who will have chosen God and Christ as worthy of leading their lives into a life of servitude, by righteous faith.
Can you feel that day coming soon?