Two Birds for a Penny
Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: Comfort. Security. Stability. These are the buzz words that describe the benefits of the American Dream. But what if following Jesus meant setting aside those cherished values? In a commissioning speech for the first disciples, Jesus makes it clear that the Christian life is not a call to be comfortable, but a mission that necessarily invites opposition, persecution, and discomfort. But he’ll also promise that for those who belong to him, God provides something so much better than comfort.
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. What stands out when you consider the pedigree and social prominence of the initial twelve disciples?
2. There are at least five warnings in verses 16-22. What are they and how do they apply to us? Have you experienced any of these threats personally?
3. Read verses 24-25. What are some ways that Jesus was mistreated? How should this reality temper and shape our expectations?
4. Three times in verses 26-33 Jesus says, “Do not fear.” What are some of the things you tend to fear the most (e.g., failure, ridicule, rejection, inadequacy, judgment, death)? What do you believe is behind your fear?
5. What is significant about God knowing the number of hairs on our head (verse 30)?
6. In what ways has God recently shown his tender care for you?
1. Read Matthew 10:1-4.
2. 01. The advancement of God’s kingdom will take place through ordinary, faithful people.
3. Read verses 5-15.
4. “Worthy does not refer to a morally upright, honorable or religious person but to one willing and able to receive an apostle of Jesus and the gospel of the kingdom.” – Don Carson
5. Read verses 16-25.
6. 02. The ordinary messengers of Jesus will experience extraordinary persecution as gospel always incites hostility.
7. “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” – 2 Timothy 3:12
8. Read verses 26-33.
9. “God is engrossed with his people.”
10. 03. Our Sovereign God, who created the world, is also an intimate Father, who watches over and cares for his children, whom he deeply loves.
11. “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” – Romans 5:7-10.