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OVERCOMING THE PITFALLS OF LIFE

March 4, 2015

Wednesday

 

Matthew 10:16

 

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
 

LESSON

 

Jesus proceeded to elaborate on the dangers the apostles would face and how they should

deal with them. In His descriptions of the opposition His disciples would experience, Jesus looked beyond His death to the time of tribulation that would follow. Then, the disciples would have the same message—and the same power—as they did when He sent them out here.

The narrow road leading to the kingdom led through a period of tribulation and persecution for the disciples. They did not understand that Jesus would have to die and experience resurrection before the kingdom began, even though this is what the Old Testament revealed. Jesus was beginning to prepare them and their successors for these events and the persecution they would experience as His followers.

When Jesus sends us to bear witness to him in the world, he does not send us out as dominant and strong, but as weak and seemingly defenseless in ourselves. Vulnerability, not stupidity, is the point of calling us sheep. Be like snakes, not sheep, when it comes to being smart. I take that to mean that snakes are quick to get out of the way. They go under rock. So both the snake-intelligence and the dove-innocence are both designed to keep the sheep out of trouble. Jesus does not mean for us to get ourselves into as much difficulty as possible. He means: Risk your lives as vulnerable, non-combative, sheep-like, courageous witnesses, but try to find ways to give your witness in a way that does not bring down unnecessary persecution.

 

Memory Verse: Romans 12:2

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