Persecution Will Come
16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
Here the Lord is telling us that He is sending us out as timid, vulnerable, and helpless animals. (a) An animal that is always in need of a shepherd to survive. Sheep put their whole trust of their lives into that of their shepherd. If the sheep falls over they cannot get themselves set up right and will die. They have very limited defense abilities meaning they cannot fend for themselves. Yet that is the very animal our Lord says He is sending us out as. Not only is He sending us out as sheep, but He is sending us out into the midst of wolves. Wolves a social, all terrain, dominating predator, ready to make prey of you (John 10:12). Wolves are very social, with tight bonds between members of their pack. (b) Now that is what we (sheep) are being sent out into the midst of.
So be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves—Wonderful combination this! Alone, the wisdom of the serpent is mere cunning, and the harmlessness of the dove little better than weakness: but in combination, the wisdom of the serpent would save them from unnecessary exposure to danger; the harmlessness of the dove, from sinful expedients to escape it.
17 Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues,
If we follow after Jesus, denying ourselves we will be delivered over to courts, we will be flogged within their Churches. We read in Mark 13:11 which says - And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.
18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles.
Why would we be dragged before the local and national leaders for His sake? So that we would bear witness before them and the Gentiles. That He would bear testimony to the Truth, that Jesus is the truth, the way and the life.
19 When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.
When we are set before leaders as the scripture says we do not need to fear of what we will say. The Bible tells us that in that hour we will given the words to speak. Proverbs 3:5 tells us that we are to trust in the Lord with all of our heart and lean not on our own understanding.
20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Praise the Lord, if we trust in Him in these times it will be His words that will speak through us. The one thing that we want to make sure we do not miss in thus section of text is that His words will always speak of Him, drawing men to Christ.
21 Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death,
After reading this verse I want you to take a look around our world today. Do you not see this verse happening today? What are we willing to change in our lives to have peace in our families and homes?
22 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
- Will you endure until the end? Will you endure being hated for the His name sake?
- Will you be saved?
23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
Instead of mellowing out and refraining from proclaiming the word of God, stand up. If it gets to be to much, flee to the next town, and if there in the new town it gets to be to much, get up and flee that one. Keep going preaching the Gospel message until the Son of Man comes.
24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.
We are not above Jesus our teacher, our Master. If the teacher, the Master experienced this lifestyle what makes you think you will get our of being persecuted for the sake of Christ?
25 It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.
As we learn from the Teacher and share with others the things that we learn we will be persecuted. If we serve the Master in His business we will be persecuted in this life. The Bible tells us that we will receive persecution for standing for, believing, and proclaiming Christ. However if we become idle and do not share this treasure with no one we will be held accountable.
- What are you doing with that talent (coin) that God has placed within you?
- Are you investing that treasure into others or are you burying it within yourself?