Doing exactly what God desires of us – putting Him first, placing our faith and trust in Him, laying our lives wholly in His hands – has always been, and will always be challenging, to most people. It comes down to the profession of our faith in all things and around all people. In Matthew 10:24, Jesus reminds us that we should strive to be as our teacher, our master, our Lord. He then goes on in subsequent verses to speak of our confidence in our faith, time and again admonishing us to not fear, reminding us that confessing Christ before mankind leads Him to confess our names before the Father.
The Risk of Profession
It can be frightening to make ourselves into professors and confessors of our faith, for it takes adjustment in our conduct, in our attitudes, and in our speech; and some will not like this “new us” that we live in Christ. Still, Jesus says we can look past these fears to the hope we have in Him, a hope we should be willing to share with others. In I Kings 8:33, while Solomon is praying to dedicate the new temple to God, he asks that God will be forgiving to the people when they stray from His word, that He will forgive when they confess His name. He is speaking of their words, attitudes, and conduct reflecting, or professing, God’s power in their lives.
This type of profession is exactly what people were afraid to participate in for Christ’s sake during His ministry. In John 9:22, amidst pressure form the scribes and Pharisees for a healed blind man to condemn Jesus, we see the blind man’s parents fearful of the consequences associated with confessing the name of Jesus. In John 12:42, we see those, even among the rulers, who would not profess Christ because of fear. This is why, in Matthew 10, Jesus would couple confidence with our confession of faith.
The Importance of Our Profession
II Peter 3:9 explains God’s patience with us and His desire that all should repent. Likewise, in Philippians 2:10-11, while Paul describes the mindset of Christ, we see that every tongue should profess the name of Jesus. God wants all to change their lives and embrace His salvation, and He wants every person to then profess that faith in which they come to Him.
Matthew 10:32 calls on us to stand with Christ and for Him so He will stand with and for us before the Father. He calls on us to be unafraid in our profession of faith, so we will not be like those who fled from Christ when the world turned against Him. He calls on us to walk in faith and to live by faith so we may be saved by faith. Without this confidence faith, we simply begin to fall back on self and self-interest. Instead we should be aligned with Christ, exulting Him above all else.
How often do we have the opportunity to share our faith, to share prayer, to share thoughts from the Bible? How often do we have opportunity to demonstrate our priorities, putting God first in all things? Hebrews 3:1 calls on us to consider Jesus, the high priest of our confession. We need to be professing Christ daily; our priorities align with Christ’s; our words align with Christ’s teaching; our actions reflect His conduct. We have obligated ourselves to Him, and we should be reflecting Him in all things.
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.”
– Hebrews 4:14
lesson by Tim Smelser