Connections 06.25.2023: Good to Know

Matthew 10:24-39

Those of us who grew up in churches and denominations that were “evangelical”—in the sense of sharing the Good News (from the Greek, euangélion)—can probably rattle off quite a few Bible verses that we learned to lean on as foundations of faith. They’re the verses we wanted not-yet-believers to start with; they’re memorizable and they look good on posters and on pamphlets and scrolling across web pages. John 3:16 is the biggie, of course: “God so loved the world…” Stepping stones of verses picked out of Paul’s letter—“the Roman Road”—marked a path from sin and death to grace and salvation.

All those Scriptures make sense to us as “Good News.” Love and grace and salvation are naturally the promised destination we want to share with people who are just coming to faith in Christ. So it’s probably no surprise that Matthew 10:24-39 is not a common “evangelical” text. Can you imagine introducing someone to Christian faith with this promise: “If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!” (v. 24). Good news! If you follow Jesus, people will be more hateful toward you than they were to him! Or this: “Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered and nothing secret that will not become known” (v. 26). Good news! Don’t bother trying to hide your sins or cover your tracks! Or: “I have not come to bring peace but a sword” (v. 34). Good news! Don’t expect this to be easy or feel good!

Can you imagine handing out a pamphlet proclaiming this euangélion: “One’s foes will be members of one’s own household” (v. 36). “Whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (v. 37). “Those who lose their life for my sake will find it” (v. 39). Good news! Be willing to walk away from everything and everyone you love, even your own life!

Maybe this Scripture doesn’t seem much like “Good News” but it is definitely “Good to Know.” We dare not take love and grace and salvation so much for granted that we skim over this call to faith and fearlessness. Only as we take up this terrible challenge can we come to know the great Good News of life and death and letting go.


  • What is your gut reaction to this Scripture? Do you find it challenging? Painful? Encouraging?
  • How did you first come to faith in Jesus Christ? What Scriptures were part of your early faith life? What “Good News” was most meaningful to you at that time? Do you remember any early lessons or Scriptures that seemed too difficult or made you question whether you could (or even wanted to) become a follower of Jesus?
  • How do you engage with the parts of the Bible that are difficult to understand or difficult to follow?
  • This teaching seems like a “reality check” for Jesus’s followers. Their commitment to him means their life is not going to be easy. What are the hardest parts of this teaching for you?
  • Do you sense God calling you to practice some of these teachings more intentionally? What difference would doing so make in your life, your faith, and your relationships today?

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair is the lead editor of Connections. She is a graduate of Samford University and Central Baptist Theological Seminary, and as a military spouse has had nine (at last count) different hometowns in the past 20 years. She and her husband Scott and sons Sam and Levi live in the Washington D.C. area. In recent years, Nikki has written Smyth & Helwys curricula as well as devotionals for and Baptist Women in Ministry. She weaves clergy stoles, knits almost anything, and dreams of making her dreadful novel drafts into readable books. She blogs about faith and making things at


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