“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake ... When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. ... the one who endures to the end will be saved. [Matthew 10:16-18,20,22 ESV]
The imagery of being a sheep in the midst of wolves is a very scary one.
Wolves eat sheep - ungodly leaders persecute and kill heavenly ambassadors.
The stakes are serious and Jesus instructs them (and us) to:
- be wise - use our heads and embrace the wisdom of our hearts;
- be innocent - live from our heart and have pure motives;
- beware men - be on the alert in our dealing with men of ill-will;
- not be anxious about what to say - rather trust the Holy Spirit to give the words;
- endure - so needed when trials and persecution come our way.
It is in times like these that we need to remember Jesus' instructions to his disciples.
Our lives may be different than theirs but Jesus words are no less effective when we heed them.
I need you Lord. Bless me with grace to be wise, innocent, alert, trusting and enduring.
... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.