Matthew 10:32

ESV So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven,
NIV Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.
NASB Therefore, everyone who confesses Me before people, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.
CSB "Therefore, everyone who will acknowledge me before others, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.
NLT Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.
KJV Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

What does Matthew 10:32 mean?

This statement by Jesus to His twelve hand-picked apostles is a clear and straightforward description of the gospel.

He has told the twelve to expect suffering and persecution as they preach His message to the world. That persecution may even include death at the hands of those opposed to the truth that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus has added, though, that the God who knows when sparrows die will also be watching them. They will not suffer and die in vain. As His representatives, they will be welcomed into eternity (Matthew 10:22–31).

Now He makes the point with clarity: Jesus will acknowledge to God everyone who acknowledges Christ to other people in this life. The disciples will acknowledge Jesus in the sense that they will affirm Him as the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God. They will point to faith in Jesus as the only way any person can come to the Father (John 14:6).

Jesus will acknowledge them to the Father by declaring them as His own and, in that way, guaranteeing their place in eternity with God. The picture is of a righteous witness at a trial vouching for the accused to the judge. The judge will take the word of His Son over the accusations of His enemies. In this way, being acknowledged by Jesus will be the difference between life and death, as the following verse makes clear (John 3:16–18; 3:36).
What is the Gospel?
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