Sheep in the midst of Wolves!!!
Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes….. Matthew 10:16-23
In our previous Study, we see Jesus sending His Apostles out to only the nation of Israel and giving to them instructions concerning what to preach and how they are to conduct themselves. We also noted that We cannot take our commission here as Christians because it was only limited to the Nation of Israel for that time. We also noted that Jesus changed the instructions given to them at the Last Supper when He was to send them to the whole nations of the world. Here we see Jesus giving instructions on what their attitude should be towards Persecution. And we can also learn from this for We as Christians are also told to prepare for persecution.
Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves: The Ministers of God are to be Like Sheep. Those whom the Lord selects to carry the message of the gospel of peace are to be as gentle and harmless as sheep. Those who have cherished the Doctrines of Christ in their hearts are being transformed into such Meek nature. Compare to those of the world who are wolves by nature. Those who have not responded to the salvation that Jesus offered are like wolves who are always seeking for what to steal, kill and destroy. They are just like the Devil who happens to be their Father. We are not to be wolves sent to the sheep looking for what we can get for ourselves from those whom we minister to. Yet Christ choose to Send His Disciples out Sheep in the midst of these wolves. It looks unkind of Christ to do such. Sending sheep out knowing that wolves are around!!! Christ did this so that we can learn to depend upon Him. He sends us out as sheep so that we may learn not to put confidence in our own abilities but in Him who has called us. So because we find ourselves in the mist of people who seeks to harm us and take advantage of us, what should our attitude be? We are to be Wise as Serpent and harmless as Doves!!! These are two characters that are to be found among us as Disciples of Christ. We are to be Wise not gullible. There is no virtue in being easily deceived and fooled by other people. Be Wise and sharp in Your thinking!!! Don’t be easily deceived by people who claim to accept the Lord but with a wrong motive. Don’t be deceived by people who are just interested in your money or in your financial help. There are many who respond to what we preach and teach not because they want to live a Godly life but simple because they know we will give them money out of a generous heart. Be Wise in committing Yourself to someone. Jesus did not Commit Himself even to all those who believed in Him(John 2:23-24). Hear the word of the Lord, “Be Wise as Serpent!!!” And at the same time, Be Harmless and innocent as Doves. In other words, our wisdom is not that which desire to hurt others. We are to be innocent concerning Evil. Innocent as far as evil is concern. We are to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is Evil(Romans 16:19).There is no wisdom learning what is Evil in order to preach against it. Let us therefore seek to be innocent as a Dove but Wise as a Serpent for We are going out as sheep in the midst of wolves.
Beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles: Notice that Here, Jesus was talking about Gentiles(Non Jews). This is how we know that these verses is also applicable to Us as Christians. Even though earlier He said to them not to go in the way of Gentiles. So these verses Looked beyond the present commission given to the Apostles. Indeed All those who seek to live godly in Christ Jesus will face persecution(2 Timothy 3:12). The Lord told His Disciples right from the Beginning that they will be Persecuted. He did not promise them a Life where there will be no persecution. He stated clearly to them the cost of following Him. All those who will follow the Lord must learn to sit down first and count the cost(Luke 14:28). These persecution is going to come from Religious Leaders in the Synagogue because what we preach and teach exposes their hypocrisy and seeks to set those whom they have kept in darkness free. Persecution is going to come from those in Government because the system of this world is contrary to the Kingdom of Heaven which we proclaim. Persecution is going to come from our own family and relatives because We are standing for the Truth even at Home. The whole world is going to Hate us because we chose to Stand for the Name of Jesus Christ. Indeed, those whom the Lord Loves, the world hates(John 15:18-19). If we desire to be accepted in this world, then we are not fit to be called Christ’s Disciples. If you want acceptance by the people of this Evil world, Don’t waste your time following the Lord, Go and Do Politics!!!
when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you: There are many who have Misinterpreted this statement of Jesus by standing up to speak in a Church meeting without preparation. And they end of wasting people’s time because they are not prepared. Jesus is not saying ” Don’t worry about how and what you should speak when you want to preach”, rather Jesus was speaking about when We are brought before Court or religious people when Persecuted. In moments of persecution, You don’t have to plan ahead of how You will defend Yourself. Don’t become anxious about it for the Lord will give you supernatural wisdom at that time, provided You have walked with God before. You cannot expect to receive that word if you have lived in the Flesh all your life and expect to have a word during persecution. But if we have lived in the spirit, we shall have a word at that time to defend ourselves. The Holy Spirit will always give us words if we have walked with Him in time when there was no persecution. So Let us prepare beforehand and learn to wait upon the Lord when we are to speak in a meeting but in time of persecutions, we need not, for God Himself has promised to put words in our mouth.
When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes: There is no wisdom staying in a city when You are being Persecuted. We read concerning Jesus that “He did not walk in Judea because they sought to Kill Him(John 7:1)”. He did not want to expose Himself to Danger unnecessarily when His time has not yet come to Die. So when they Persecute You in one city, flee to another one so that you can live to proclaim the Gospel. But if You are faced with a situation where You cannot flee, then glory to God!!! Die as a Martyr. But don’t expose Yourself to unnecessarily Danger in trying to get Honour that You are Persecuted for Jesus’ sake or you covet to Die as a Martyr. So I repeat “Flee to another City!!!”. Run for Your Life as Jesus did. But when His time came, He rode triumphantly to that place where He was Persecuted because He had a leading to do that by the Holy Spirit. And finally, He told the Apostles that they will not have gone through the cities of Israel finish before the Son of Man comes. Here He was referring to the coming of Christ in Power through the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. That before they could go round the cities of Israel, the power of God and the Kingdom of Heaven would have been established on Earth through the Holy Spirit. So this statement was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost.
Dear Friend, All those who seek to Follow the Lord will suffer Persecution. For We are Like Sheep in the midst of wolves. If you are not being Persecuted for Jesus sake even if it is in little areas, then maybe you are probably a Wolf and you don’t know it. Those who belongs to the world, the world Loves but those who testify that the world is Evil, the world hate(John 7:7). So count the cost and make up your mind now. For only those who endured until the end will be saved. Only those who continue in Love until the end will be saved. May the Lord make us Wise as serpent and harmless as Doves. May He fills our Hearts with Love to endure and even Love those who Persecute us(Matt 5:44). May the Holy spirit give us strength to rejoice greatly even in the midst of Persecution(Amen). God bless you. Have a blessed day.
#Everyday with Jesus
Sheep in the midst of Wolves!!!