Matthew 10:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 10:18, NIV: On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles.

Matthew 10:18, ESV: and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles.

Matthew 10:18, KJV: And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

Matthew 10:18, NASB: and you will even be brought before governors and kings on My account, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.

Matthew 10:18, NLT: You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me.

Matthew 10:18, CSB: You will even be brought before governors and kings because of me, to bear witness to them and to the Gentiles.

What does Matthew 10:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus is preparing His hand-picked group of twelve disciples to go out on their own into the world and preach His message about the coming of His kingdom (Matthew 10:1). He is warning them that it will be dangerous. They may not know it yet, but Jesus is pointing forward to a time of great persecution of Christians after His death, resurrection, and return to heaven. He said in the previous verse that persecution will include being flogged in the synagogues by the Jewish religious leaders after being tried before a Jewish court (Matthew 10:17).

Now Jesus adds that substantial persecution will come from the Gentiles, as well. His followers will be "dragged" before governors and kings for His sake. These would include Jewish religious leaders (Acts 4:1–22), but also secular Jewish government authorities (Acts 12:1–4) and, eventually, Roman rulers (Acts 14:5).

This persecution before these authorities would serve a specific purpose, however. When standing trial, Jesus said His followers would continue to represent Him. In this way, they would have the opportunity to tell the message of Jesus to those at the highest levels of power, both Jews and Gentiles. The coming persecution would allow the good news of salvation through faith in Christ to reach even those who were doing the persecuting.