3rd Sunday after Pentecost | Matthew 10:5, 21-33



You’ve heard it a lot over these last couple weeks, but it bears repeating:

Everything, to everybody, everywhere.

Everything Jesus has done and won for you,

Shared with everyone else, everywhere in the world.


Maybe you’ve gotten off to a quick start.

Maybe you’re easing into it.

Maybe you haven’t done anything.

Maybe you’re afraid.


If the idea of churching the world makes you uncomfortable or even frightened,

The words of Jesus in this morning’s Gospel text show there’s good reason for that.


“Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.”


If you’ve been hard at work churching the world then you already know.

If you’re just getting started, then you’re learning.

And if you have not yet begun then you will soon find out:


Saying what Jesus says and doing what Jesus does will cause suffering.

Persecution will come.


Some in your families will call you stupid, simple, and out-of-touch.

Some friends, colleagues, and classmates will pity you as someone who has been brainwashed;

Others will mock you and ridicule you.

You may even be put to death.


Endure it.


“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.

It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master.

If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul,

How much more will they malign those of his household.”


If for all of Jesus’ preaching, teaching, healing, and miracles,

He is accused of being a liar, a zealot, and a blasphemer,

Then what do you think you will be accused of?



You will be called a bigot, guilty of hate-speech.

You will be dubbed anti-intellectual and anti-science: even you engineers and doctors.

You will be anti-progress, anti-equality, misogynistic, patriarchal, and primitive.

Just last week, Bernie Sanders said you aren’t fit for public office.

That’s as close as the world can come to calling you Satan.


That’s one of the costs of discipleship.

That is what will happen as you,

in your vocation – wherever God has put you – church the world.

Endure it to the end.


I can tell you to endure to the end because Jesus tells you to endure to the end.

And you can endure to the end, because Jesus has endured to the end.


“Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.”


With betrayal, sin, and weakness, His own brothers, you, have delivered him over to death.

The Father has forsaken His Son.

The Children of Israel have risen against their Father, and crucified His Anointed One.

And He has been hated by all for His name’s sake.


But it’s more than that.

Jesus has delivered up to death by you, but also for you.

He has been hated by all for your sake.

And the Father has forsaken His Son, that He may never forsake you.


The cost of your discipleship has been paid in blood.


As you share that Gospel, that Christ has done everything for your salvation,

As you church the world,

You will learn more and more that there is very much out there to fear,

Persecutions of every kind.


Yet Jesus says, verse 26, “[H]ave no fear of them.”

Whatever He says to you in here you say out there. No fear.

The Gospel proclaimed from the pulpit, you carry into the world. No fear.


That may cost you your body.

But you will get that body back in the resurrection.

Of this Luther writes, “Let them take my head, for I have a God who can give me another one.”


If you do not have to fear those who can destroy your body,

You certainly do not need to fear those who can hurt your reputation.

Adults worry about this a lot at work, but this is especially true for the youth.

The pressure on you to say as others say and do as others do is immeasurable.

I don’t know exactly what your persecution will be like.

Maybe it will come from institutions.

Maybe it will come from friends.

Maybe both.

But it will happen.


Four years ago, my Goddaughter, Melody, after much instruction in the Christian faith,

And under much protest from her parents, was baptized into Christ at The Easter Vigil.


She was disowned by her family.

I’m not being dramatic.

I mean that in the most literal sense possible.


Later that summer, when she married her husband, a young Lutheran organist,

They didn’t even send a card.

She was dead to them.


All because she said what you say:

That Baptism actually saves you;

That what you receive here each week is Jesus true Body and true Blood;

That when the pastor forgives your sins, it is as sure and certain, even in heaven,

As if you heard Jesus voice from heaven, because it is Jesus’ voice from heaven.

For that she was denied by her family here on earth.

And embraced by her new family, the Church.


That happens. That is real life. And Jesus says to expect it.

So I beg you to take Him seriously.

As sure as persecutions and persecutors will come,

Have no fear of them, whoever they are. Be fearless.

Say as Jesus says.

Do as Jesus does.

Endure to the end.


What else can you do?

You’re baptized after all.

Which means that you’ve already been put to death.

And you have already been raised.

You have been united to Christ in the waters of Baptism.

And so He cannot deny you any more than He can deny Himself.


Nor can the Father deny you, for you are joined to His Son, who pleads for you, who acknowledges you, who loves you and gave Himself for you.


So here we go. Everything to everybody, everywhere.

No fear.


About Pastor Hopkins