The Hard Sell

A Hard Sell

This is Pastor Marnie Leinberger’s sermon from Sunday, June 22, 2014. The scripture is Matthew 10:24-39. In our service we read from the New Revised Standard Version and from The Message, a modern interpretation by Eugene Peterson. We read both with the hope that our understanding will be enriched.

This is from The Message:

24“A student doesn't get a better desk than her teacher. A laborer doesn't make more money than his boss. 25Be content—pleased, even—when you, my students, my harvest hands, get the same treatment I get. If they call me, the Master, ‘Dungface,’ what can the workers expect? 26“Don’t be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are. 27So don’t hesitate to go public now. 28 “Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands. 29“What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. 30He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! 31So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries. 32“Stand up for me against world opinion and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven. 33If you turn tail and run, do you think I’ll cover for you? 34“Don’t think I’ve come to make life cozy. 35I’ve come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—36cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. 37Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don’t deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don’t deserve me.   38“If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. 39But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.

The New Revised Standard Version can be found here.