This reading contains part of one of five discourses by Jesus which shape the structure of Matthew’s Gospel. These sayings were included in Jesus’ instructions to the twelve (vs. 5-42), but may have come from several sources rather than being a verbatim account of one message.
The disciples success was not guaranteed (vs. 24-25). Nor is it for any of us who would follow Christ now. As discomforting as this may seem to us, discipleship is always costly to those who remain true to their commitment. The remaining segment of the reading, however, does offer encouragement and a promise of reward for those who are faithful. The essential element is loyalty to Christ who gave his all for us.