My Daily Journal:
In Matt 10:16, Jesus is telling those He is calling into the mission field, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
What does it mean to be as shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves?
Shrewd means having or showing sharp powers of judgment; astute. It is awareness, perspective.
A snake has an amazing ability to perceive, particularly using their tongue. When a snake flicks out its tongue it is catching chemical particles. Very similar, but even more sensitive to the way we smell things. When they draw back in their tongue, these particles are processed through the Jacobson’s organ to give the animal incredible awareness to their environment. Because their tongue is forked, it even has the ability to overlay direction onto this perception providing the equivalent of a 3-D image of the minute smells and chemical properties around them.
Jesus tells His followers to be aware, to take in information about those around them, to see things from their perspective and listen and relate to them at that level.
Paul personified this in 1 Cor 9:20-22: To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.
But Jesus also admonishes His followers to not become soiled in this endeavor. It is one thing to be able to see and understand the sin and fallen nature of those we are to help bring to Christ, but it is another to sin along side them. Touch them, heal them, help them. See their perspective and be aware of the opportunities, but stay innocent and pure.
Jesus also called us to shake off the dust. This is hard. I don’t think I’m alone in my fault of reliving failures over and over again. It think it is this fear, the fear of carrying this baggage around with us for years, that keeps some of us from being more bold with the spreading of the gospel. In other words, it isn’t the fear of being rejected, it is the fear of having to live with that rejection and relive it over and over again in our mind. But Jesus has a simple answer for this. Shake it off. It isn’t your dirt. It isn’t your fault. It doesn’t have anything to do with me or you. There are no “what if’s” to carry around. Those we talk with have the same free will that we do. If they decide to accept the gift then they are our brothers and sisters. If they decide not to, then that is their choice and their decision. It is their dirt – shake it off.
to the lost sheep of Israel, not to the Gentiles or any town of the Samaritans
Jhn: We worship what we know, salvation is from the Jews
Matt:Go, make disciples of all nationsActs:power… Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the Earth
Rom:Not ashamed… 1st Jew then Gentile – does not show favoritism
Proclaim Kingdom of Heaven has come near, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse leprosy, drive out demons, do not take payment, no provisions, if not welcome, walk away
Freely you have received, freely give
challenged by family to be more generous, pray more, teach more, evangelize, love, lead, heal
all believers, all who accept the call, all who accept the power
be as shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves
It is not about me, ever. It is all and only about Him. I am only using His power and authority, not mine. I am a witness, held accountable for my witness, not sales with a quota