Chapter 10 has Jesus' exhortation telling his followers not to be afraid. At the end of this section his comments suddenly change focus from God to himself ... and in that he reveals something more of himself to us.
|Duccio di Buoninsegna (1255–1319), Christ Taking Leave of the Apostles|
32 Jesus adds a final reason for his disciples' carrying out the mission he gives them with confidence instead of fear. Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. Acknowledging Jesus before others broadly includes the disciples' public witness and more narrowly refers to their testimony before tribunals (10:17-18). Jesus speaks of his disciples acknowledging me: after his resurrection, the message his disciples will proclaim will center on Jesus more than on the coming of the kingdom (see Acts 2:36, for example). Jesus promises that those who acknowledge him to others he will acknowledge before his heavenly Father. Jesus will make his acknowledgment at the last judgment, when God will sort out good from evil. Jesus will claim as his own those who acknowledged that they belonged ot him. He adverts to his special standing with God, whom he speaks of as my heavenly Father. Jesus is not an ordinary defense witness but the beloved Son of the Father (3:17). Because Jesus will vouch for them at the last judgment, his disciples can proclaim him and his message without fear, despite whatever persecution they encounter.Quote is from Bringing the Gospel of Matthew to Life. This series first ran in 2008. I'm refreshing it as I go.
For reflection: How have I acknowledged Jesus by my words? by my actions?