This section doesn’t have as much of a flow to it as something like the Sermon on the Mount, at least to my brain. It has the feeling of notes or remembrances from a long discussion, rather jumbled. I am departing from my usual exposition to a kind of summary of the summary.
A disciple of Jesus should expect to be treated like Jesus was treated. This includes being demonized. In a way, it should be considered an honor for the disciple to essentially achieve the status of the teacher.
The one proclaiming to the gospel should do so boldly. “From the housetops” is an effective picture, isn’t it? The gospel isn’t a secret knowledge to be hoarded, but good news to be shouted.
Fear God, not men. Mean can only kill you and that’s it.
God cares for you. He won’t even allow you to go bald. (Just kidding. That’s a claim the prosperity gospel has missed as far as I know. Pro tip.) God values you.
Jesus matters more than family members. This is a tough one for us. I think we rationalize it as hyperbole. But the fact remains that Jesus has to come first in the life of a disciple. If you can’t have that kind of fierce loyalty, you can’t be a disciple.
In fact, Jesus matters more than my life. For me, this is easier than the deal with my family. But losing my life is getting it back.
As this section started, so it ends. The disciple stands in for Jesus. That is a huge responsibility, for the Twelve and for us. But with great responsibility comes great reward.
The theme continues that following Jesus is not easy. It’s better to know that ahead of time than to find out in the heat of battle. Each Christian has to count the cost: can I put Jesus before my comfort and stability? Before my family? Before my very life? Can I make Jesus the center of my existence?
It’s your call.