Thursday, September 23, 2010

Matthew 10:40 - "He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me."

If you look at John 20:21 Jesus says, "As the Father sent me, so also I send you." So our passage here in Matthew makes sense: whoever receives a disciple, receives Jesus who sent him, and whoever receives Jesus receives the Father who sent him. There is a chain that links the Father to Jesus to us. The chain works in reverse order too: from us to Jesus to the Father. For example John 15:18, 23 says, "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before you....He who hates me hates my Father also." We are in union with Jesus who is in union with the Father. And the Son is such an effective mediator that the connection he establishes between us and the Father is utterly seamless.

Jesus mentions his unity with the Father rather offhandedly and so it's easy to miss how little we believe in it. We feel comfortable with Jesus, but we figure the Father is a distant deity who probably doesn't share the Son's friendly feeling. The Son is close, the Father is far off. The Son is intimate, the Father is aloof. The Son is safe, the Father is . . . questionable. But here, as in many other passages, Jesus makes clear he and the Father are one. Whoever receives him is receiving the Father. Whoever loves him loves the Father. Whoever knows him knows the Father. He is the revelation of the Father. His love, his humility, his compassion, his open arms are all the Father's too.

In other words, everything you love about Jesus is true about the Father too. We act as if Jesus is sweet nectar that goes down smooth while the Father is an oversized pill that we have to choke down. But if you receive Jesus, you have also received the Father. That wasn't so hard, was it?

"He who receives you receives me and . . . receives him who sent me." It's weird to think that we form the earthly end-link in this trinitarian chain of relationships that leads all the way up into heaven. Evidently, we are so united to the Father and the Son that whoever receives our testimony receives them too. And when you think about it, even when we're not actually ministering the word to people, everyone we have a relationship with is only one step removed from knowing the first and second Persons of the Godhead. That ought to impact the way we live on a daily basis. The New Testament epistles use the word "dignity" when describing how mature followers of Christ ought to conduct themselves. That pretty much sums it up.

1 comment:

  1. Insightful. This really helped me see and relate to the Father in the same way I relate to Jesus. Thanks.