My Youversion.com account • dennismpapp
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Here's what hit me today...
Matthew 10 contains several lines from Jesus that people find confusing.
I have long had strong affection for Matthew 10:16-20
16“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves. 17But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. 18You 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. 19When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. 20For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
1. Jesus says, "Guys, don't be naïve...be shrewd!"
Many people equate being a Christian with the word "nice" in a rather wimpy, naïve sense. Nice has its place, but not that kind of nice. Jesus says that He is sending His followers out among wolves. Wolves! That's not very nice, is it? I appreciate that He warns them not to see the motives and actions of others one-dimensionally. You need to be reptilian and dovish at the same time. Be shrewd (having or showing sharp powers of judgment; astute). I love that.
2. He makes clear in verse 18 that what may seem like a bad thing for us is often a good thing for the Gospel. Being put on trial gave Jesus, His disciples and all followers ever since the opportunity to present truth to power in a way that would not have happened outside of what seemed like an unfortunate situation.
3. Verses 19-20. Don't worry about what to say...the Spirit will use your mouth to spread His message! The Spirit speaks through us, I mean, how cool is that?