“Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority…” (10:1).
Jesus summons His disciples, each one by name. He imparts His authority before conveying anything further: upcoming responsibilities and miraculous feats, persecutions and difficulties, the demands of discipleship and rewards.
It is a collective call to the twelve that undoubtedly ignited fear as they heard their Master speak of the likelihood of charges before the courts, family betrayals, beatings and even death. “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered [emphasis added] in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops,” (10:26-27).
In the midst of the assembly of the twelve, there is a summons to quiet, to a place where His Whispers can be heard in the darkness, to that place of intimacy to hear His Whispers in their ear; this will enable them to combat fear and speak the truth.
Consider His Whispers
His Whispers diminish the enemy. “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (10:28).
His Whispers value His children. “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows,” (10:29-30).
His Whispers guarantee the outcome. “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven,” (10:32-33).
His Whispers demand loyalty. “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me,” (10:38).
His Whispers promise reward. “… and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it,” (10:39).
How do we respond to His Whispers?
The disciples were summoned as a group and were given His authority. But there also came an individual and intimate call to listen for His Whispers, to be strengthened to face fears and proclaim the truth.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ, (Romans 10:17). We come to Christ for salvation by faith through the message of His gospel and receive the authority of His Holy Spirit. We gather with other believers to be encouraged; but our faith must be individually strengthened daily by the Word of Christ. As we wait and listen each day for His Whispers in our dark, quiet and intimate place, He is faithful to give us all we need.
As we place ourselves in the quiet place to hear and receive His Whispers:
- the enemy will be diminished.
- “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world,” (1 John 4:4).
- our value will be clearly defined.
- “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body,” (1 Corinthians 6:20).
- the outcome of our faith will be evident.
- “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory,” (Ephesians 1:13-14).
- our loyalty to Him will be strengthened.
- “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. 4 We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. 5 May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ,” (2 Thessalonians 3:3-5).
- we will be fully convinced of His reward.
- “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Romans 8:37-39).
May we never miss a day in quiet and intimate communion with Him, so that we may hear, be strengthened and obey His Whispers.