Day 10: Genesis 25-26; Matthew 10:1-25

Shrewd as serpents, innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16)

If, as Matthew Green contends in his commentary on Matthew, Jesus' presence is divisive (remember Herod, the Chief Priests and the Magi - what will you do with Jesus, Matthew 2:1-12?), then it follows that those opposed to Jesus will be opposed to Jesus' followers. It happened in Jesus' day and it happens today. We cannot control how others act and react to us, but we can control (by God's grace and His Spirit within us) how we respond to others. Jesus' words in Matthew 10:16 are captivating. When it comes to dealing with the world, use worldly wisdom. Take advantage of what is afforded you and apply what you know to deal with those who oppose you because they oppose Jesus (for me this is one reason Christians get involved in politics and use the law to advance justice and righteousness - see Luke 16:8-9 for a similar word). However, note well that Jesus called for balance. Jesus is the most balanced Person ever! Just because we use worldly wisdom does not mean we embrace worldly values. Remember the context of Matthew 10 is mission. We are always on mission! Character matters! So, the strange balance to serpent-shrewd is dove-innocent. Jesus said everything with deliberate precision. The dove is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. He infills, empowers, purifies, and instructs us in living like Jesus. Everything we do is to come from pure motives and reflect holiness. For this, we must have help, we need The Helper, the Holy Spirit to keep our mission front and center, and our motives pure and beyond reproach. Even in opposition, we want people to see Jesus in us (1 Peter 3:13-17). For, our mission is about eternal life and it is a matter of life and death. And, the big win when facing opposition is not to beat them at their game, but to welcome them into the family of God. We win when the opposition embraces Him as Savior and Lord! So, God help us to exercise wisdom balanced with holy love...then we will be like Jesus.
Photo by Raphael Renter on Unsplash.
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