MATTHEW 10-32-33: “Therefore, everyone who confesses Me before people, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before people, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” NASB
OBSERVATION: What does it mean to “Confess” Christ? Is it simply to say – “I believe in Jesus.”? Or, is it something more? When you read these two verses from the Gospel of Matthew, one thing is sure.
Whatever it means – it is a matter of eternal significance!
We are familiar with the general meaning of the word confess. When we hear this word our initial thoughts are of one owning up to a sin or a failure. Yet, the word confess also has another meaning. The English definition from Webster’s Dictionary of 1828 includes the verses in question in one of its definitions of the word confess.
“…To own, avow or acknowledge; publicly to declare a belief in and adherence to.
Whoever shall confess me before men. Mat 10.
…To own and acknowledge, as true disciples, friends, or children.
Him will I confess before my father who is heaven.”
So, this brings me back to my original question. Have I fulfilled the requirements of this Scripture by merely saying – “I believe in Jesus.”?
As always, when we try to answer a question in Scripture, context is of utmost importance. Let’s look at the context of these two verses. Jesus was speaking to His disciples about their call to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom, and the ensuing persecution that they would face as a result. The context of verses 32-33 is that of proclaiming the Gospel to all nations, not simply saying – “I believe in Jesus.”
This brings us to another observation from the text. The Greek word that is translated as “confess” has some insight into what Jesus was saying. The Greek word is a compound word. It is “homo-logeo.” The first word “homo” means the same. We are familiar with the phrase homogenous which means – “of the same.” The second word is “logos” which is translated word but also connotes the Word of God. John 1:1 even refers to Jesus Christ as the “Logos”, the Eternal Word.
Now we are starting to get at the meaning of what it means to confess Jesus Christ before men. I can say, “I believe in Jesus,” and hardly cause a ripple in the pond. Yet, when I begin to proclaim the teachings of Jesus and the whole counsel of His Logos (Word) – all hell can break loose! This is why Jesus tells His disciples,
- “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he may become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they insult the members of his household!” Matthew 10:24-25 NASB
Jesus goes on to warn His disciples that even members of their own families will turn against them if they confess Him before men. Our confession is not merely telling someone, “I believe in Jesus.” It is also standing in agreement with and proclaiming His truth to a world that is lost in darkness. It is boldly proclaiming Jesus and everything He has revealed in His Eternal Word!
The Kingdom of God does not have any covert agents (Secret Christians). We are not called to hide our light so that we avoid persecution. We are called to let our light shine before men. We are called to proclaim the Gospel to all nations. We are called to proclaim the truth, call sinners to repentance, and make disciples of all nations. This is the work that Jesus began. This is the reason He died and rose again. And, this is our call until we take our last breath.
So, in this context, let’s hear these words from Jesus one more time.
- “Therefore, everyone who confesses Me before people, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before people, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.”
And, also these words.
- “And He summoned the crowd together with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it benefit a person to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what could a person give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:34-38 NASB
Lord, fill me anew with the power of Your Holy Spirit. Grant me the boldness and the courage to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to take a stand for the truth of Your Word, and to unashamedly confess You before men! Let my life, my words, and my actions, be in agreement and harmony with Your Word – “homo-logeo.”
In Jesus’ Name!