“Behold I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpent and harmless of dove….. And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.  But he who endures to the end will be saved”.  Matthew 10:16, 22

 

The theme for this week is all about the fact and reality of persecution, suffering, and troubles to be encountered by the Ministers of God and Christians in general from the Gentile world.

 

Also the theme clearly explains our position as Christians (i.e. sheep) and the position of Gentile world (i.e. wolves)

 

The theme is meant to prepare our minds for the forthcoming sufferings and persecution because of the terrain we are operating. Furthermore, in our focal passage, Jesus prescribes strategies and the way out to all these challenges.  We should not forget that Matthew chapter 10, is like ordination exhortation or commissioning for the Disciple of Christ as regards the challenges involved in their ministerial assignment.

 

The chapter can be sub-headed as follows:

The general Commission and the names of the Disciples (vs. 1-4)

The instructions that Christ gave to His Disciples concerning the service they were to render (vs. 5-15).

While vs. 16ff deals with the sufferings and troubles they were to undergo.

They were told what they should suffer, and from when the suffering would come. It was in this latter part of the chapter (i.e. vs. 16ff) that Christ taught His Disciple how to expect and prepare for the challenges ahead even though He was still with them physically.

He forewarned them of the impending sufferings (troubles) after he might have left. He thereafter prescribed the anti-dotes to those sufferings and persecution.

The sufferings are stated in the following order:-

False accusation, flogging (beating) and persecution before the Gentile Councils (vs. 17-18)

Hatred for His name’s sake (vs. 22

Death vs. 21

Discomfort (sword & Division) (34,35).

As part of the solution to the aforementioned challenges, Jesus instructed His Disciple to be wise as serpent and harmless as dove.

At this juncture, Jesus knew that the sheep needed a shepherd to protect and lead them. In the same way, people of God need God to care for them and give them the right leadership in life (John 10:11, 27, I pet 5:1).

This can be achieved through divine wisdom and direction.

It is mandatory for us, if we must work successfully as people serving like sheep among wolves, to posses the Holy Spirit of God.

This is because wolves are within and without in this Christian race and assignment so that we may not fall victims or prey for the Devil (John 10:10; 1 Pet. 5:8)

May God bless you all.

 

Very Revd Adewale Adebiyi Ph.D

The Provost

Leave a Reply