Matthew 10:16-20 – “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. 18 You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 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; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” NKJV
We know that “perilous times” are coming to our world and in many respects are here now! The Bible foretold this, and Jesus emphatically warned His followers of that time. The Bible closes with the dire situation of the Book of Revelation, so we know that no matter if we have heard it all our lives – The Time is Much Nearer Than When We First Believed!
I find Jesus’ statement quite interesting and revelatory in verse 16 – He is sending us, His followers, into the world as “sheep” in the midst of “wolves.” We all know that wolves devour sheep whenever they have the opportunity. Sheep for the most part are defenseless creatures that willingly follow their shepherd and are in total dependence upon him for their protection. So, Jesus is telling us that danger is in the world that He is sending us into, and we need to be fully aware of that danger.
However, He followed up that statement with one that furthers the imagery, at least for me by saying we are to be – “wise as serpents and harmless as doves”. I guess other than the display of cunning that I find in Genesis regarding the serpent I have never thought of a snake as being particularly wise, but the point is well taken. He is telling us that those that come against us are coming in the wisdom or cunning of the diabolical one – the devil.
ThenJesus brings it home in a much more visual way and one that we can wrap our heads around when he says in verse 17 – “But beware of men….” Now we come to the clincher. It is human flesh that we are going to have a problem with. It is human beings operating under the influence and often control of the devil that will be the problem. They will attack us because of our faith! That day is already upon us to some degree but will intensify as the time of the Coming of the Lord draws even closer.
Finally, Jesus gave us an incredible word of comfort when he said in verses 19-20that we don’t even have to give it a moment’s thought about how we will answer them because The Holy Spirit will speak for us and through us! That is incredible! We can face the coming pack of ravenous wolves with a calm assurance that nothing they do or say can ultimately harm us “eternally.” Oh, they may kill these bodies, but they cannot touch our souls! Hallelujah! We are Children of the Most High God and our Eternal Destiny is Heaven!
So, as you see the days growing darker and darker do not lose heart or fret. God is not finished with us yet. God is still God and as long as He is God, I refuse to live my life in fear, fret, or worry! I AM FREE! Free in Jesus!
May God be with you as you go through your day!