As much as I love to bask in the glory and peace of being in relationship with Jesus Christ, I have been on my journey long enough to know that everyday has not made me "feel" the glory and I have definitely had days where peace seemed to escape me. And reading today's verses raises mixed feelings inside of me. I mean, who wants to read about Jesus sending his disciples out to face the realities of rejection and ignorance and disapproval by neighbors and strangers, alike. Nobody wants to deal with all of that but for some reason, Jesus sends them anyway... He sends US anyway.
16 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
Jesus sends them anyway.
And Jesus sends them with a workable plan should they encounter any opposition. Now admittedly, it is not the kind of plan that we might come up with on our own as this plan does not utilize any physical weapons or strategies for revenge. This plan is pretty much contrary to our natural instincts of self defense and self preservation. But this is the plan Jesus gives to the disciples so that they might best represent the Kingdom of God as they spread the word on their way.
Be on your Guard.
Do not Worry.
The Spirit will speak through you.
Stand firm to the end.
You will be Saved.
Flee when persecuted.
Keep going until the Son of Man comes.
I think that sums it up....and honestly, these nuggets of wisdom can be applied to any and every situation in our lives. So, while at first glance, we might question why Jesus would send his disciples...US... out into places where we will encounter wolves, flogging, detainment, betrayal, rebellion, hatred, and persecution, one thing we know is that Jesus never sends us out without being fully equipped for the task. And our obedience to His wisdom is necessary, not just for our success, but for the Gospel to go forth.
So, my friends, do not be so surprised when you experience these kinds of situations in your own life. Jesus has forewarned and forearmed us so that we can KEEP GOING and so that the kingdom can keep growing! Just follow His advice and you WILL have glimpses of his glory and walk in His peace.
GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
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