“The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!
“So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
As Jesus prepares His disciples to be sent out to the harvest, He now takes the discussion, made up of instructions and warnings so far, and relates it to the relationship He has with the disciples. You will recall that in 9:34, after Jesus drove out a demon and restored speech to the afflicted man, some Pharisees said that He had done so by the power of the “prince of demons”, He is now telling the disciples that when they go out to proclaim the Kingdom, their opponents will say the same things about them. His rationale for this is simple; they are His servants, and the servant will be treated the same way as their master. Since Jesus is (and will be) encountering opposition, so will we.
Oh, and now you know the name of the “prince of demons”.
The disciples need not fear their oppressors; they need not worry that their evil deeds will go unnoticed or that they will get away with anything, for the disciples are under the Father’s protection, and anyone who harms them will be called to account; there is no getting around that fact. Rather than be concerned with their own safety in doing God’s will, they would do better to worry about what might happen if they should work to hinder His will.
Jesus wraps up this thought with the example of a sparrow. Who watches out for sparrows? Actually, we could ask something like: Who cares at all about sparrows?
Jesus gives us an answer: His Father in heaven cares about each and every single insignificant sparrow on the planet, and nothing happens to a single little sparrow that He doesn’t know about.
That is a staggering thought…
So then, if you or I, as God’s servants, on “Official Business” are harmed by a servant of the Enemy, can that happen without note being taken on high?
I really doubt it.
This discussion runs much deeper than the short journey the Twelve were sent on, for it runs through this entire age, from Pentecost until Jesus returns, and Jesus is speaking here to us, just as much as He was speaking to them. They went out and conducted their business; will we?
Next time, we will see even more of Jesus’ comments… see you then.