AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #22
Be Wise as Serpents
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16).
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Jesus has finished teaching His disciples and He calls them together for final instructions. He gives them power against unclean spirits to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and disease. Jesus is telling them to use discernment, to be intelligent, wise and prudent, mindful of their interests because wolves are the cruel, greedy, rapacious, destructive men and women they will encounter as they go.
In the midst of His final instructions, Jesus warns them “I am sending you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. He tells them to “be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves”. The imagery is unmistakable.
JESUS IS SPEAKING TO HIS DISCIPLES THEN
TO HIS DISCIPLES TODAY
They are warned to beware of men who will hand them over to the courts and scourge them in their synagogues; and they will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.
They are warned that they will be hated because of Jesus, but if they endure to the end they will be saved.
Being shrewd as a serpent means they are to know the tactics and methods of the enemy so they will be able avoid or counter their attacks.
Being innocent as a dove is to remain unstained by the influences of the men and women of the world they will encounter. They are to remember Jesus’ instructions to not return evil for evil but to overcome evil with good.
Jesus is saying to His disciples – both then and now – stay on mission. Do not be distracted or discourage by the politics, social upheaval or by the evils of men and women.
Just speak the Truth of the Gospel Message. It will be given you what you are to say. For it is not you who will be speaking, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” “Whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.”
THIS IS THE DAY
THESE ARE OUR MARCHING ORDERS
– PREPARE –
Now it is your turn:
HOW MUST YOU DO IT? _____________________________________________
HOW YOU MUST TEACH IT? _____________________________________________
This is our calling – together we will prevail! Your Brother and Friend,