Thursday, July 8, 2010
BE PRUDENT LIKE SERPENTS – JULY 9TH FRIDAY (Mt 10: 16-23)
1. The Lord’s people and messengers are exposed to a world of evil people (wolves). Therefore they are to do two things.
Be wise or shrewd as snakes. In facing danger, the snake acts wise..
• It tries to escape
• It takes shelter out of sight if possible
• Is quiet
• Does not expose itself needlessly
• Seeks preservation first of all
Be innocent or harmless as doves. The dove is
• Mild and meek
• Bears no ill or hurt
• Is innocent, harmless and inoffensive
• Is a symbol of peace not of war
2. We often find the claim borrowed from ancient literature that the snake when attacked coils up and protects its head with its body. In the same way clever Christians should protect their head, Christ.
3. Be on your guard
• Do not naively entrust yourself to men
• Do not without good cause make them angry
• Do not fall into the traps of their catchy questions
• Do nothing that might enable them to bring a valid change against you
4. God’s spirit would speak through the messengers. It does not mean believers do not have to prepare to present the gospel. We are to make carefully prepared thoughtful statements.
Thomas Aquinas appeals in warning that God’s promise is valid for the preachers only if he has no time for preparation. He must not tempt God when he has time for reflection.
5. Opposition from the family: Nothing hurts more than having our own family oppose us when we make a decision to follow Christ. When our families oppose and persecute us, it hurts us deeply. In some cases the most severe opposition comes from family members. The reason is two fold
• They feel their influence should be respected
• They feel that the whole family is affected by what its members do.
All of us can learn a great lesson from this gospel passage. We need to be prudent and this does not mean being diplomatic in our approach. It is the attitude that differentiates prudence and diplomacy. A well reputed religious person, who goes to a bar daily to console and help an addict, will surely be misunderstood by those who see him. Having good will alone is not sufficient; we should also be shrewd as serpents.
Hermeneia - A critical and historical commentary on the Bible
Life Application N.T. Commentary
The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible