24 “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!”

Matt 10:24-25 (NIV)

Jesus had been accused by the religious elite of His day of having demonic powers for healing a demoniac – as ludicrous as that sounds. In our verses for today He gives His guys a warning that they would more than likely suffer false accusations as well –“A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.” Whatever harsh treatments disciples of the Lord Jesus meet with are certainly no more so than what their Master received when His feet walked this earth. Jesus gives forth the warning to His followers so as not to have them stumble when such harsh sufferings arise. They should not expect to fare better than He. John records Jesus stating similar Words:
20 Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. John 15:20 (NIV)

“It is hard to say which is here more to be wondered at, the wickedness of men who thus abused Christ, or the patience of Christ, who allowed himself to be thus abused...The consideration of the ill treatment which Christ met with in the world, should engage us to expect and prepare for the like, and to bear it patiently; nor think it hard if they who are shortly to be made like him in glory, are now made like him in sufferings.” Matthew Henry

Paul’s words in Romans come to mind:

17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:17 (NIV)
Interestingly, the Lord Jesus states almost the exact same thing to His disciples after He has humbled Himself by taking a towel and washing their feet. John records the incident:
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” John 13:12-17 (NIV)

The goal of the disciple of Christ is to walk as Jesus walked in both humility and love sans complaining and discontent. Our actions are to be motivated by love and not by the Law – empowered by the Spirit. Service mandated simply boils down to legalism. Jesus served us out of love and a willing heart – are we not to offer Him the like? I am reminded of John’s words once again:

This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. 1 John 2:5-6 (NIV)
“Ministry that costs nothing accomplishes nothing.” John Henry Jowett
“The service that counts is the service that costs.” Howard Hendricks
Peter also reminds us that we are not to be surprised when we undergo trials for Christ’s sake rather we are to rejoice that we participate in His sufferings – arming ourselves with the same attitude of the Master – living for Christ rather than our paltry human desires:
1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2 As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 1 Peter 4:1-2 (NIV)

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12-13 (NIV)

“Christ became what we are that He might make us what He is.” Athanasius of Alexandria

What I Glean

  • The student is not above the Teacher. If Jesus suffered accusations I should not be surprised that as His follower I too will suffer them.
  • I am to walk as Jesus walked in both humility and love through His power.
  • Service that counts, costs.