Serpents and doves

My title is from Matthew 10:16
But today’s Devotional is in
Matthew chapter 12

Jesus sends His Disciples out
As sheep among wolves

And we can learn a major lesson
If we realise this as the truth
And adopt the demeanour
Of being as harmless as doves
And yet having the attitude
Of being as wise as serpents

We are presenting Jesus to the world
As we are His sheep
And sheep are gentle
Just like doves
Harmless

But some of the people we meet
Are NOT harmless
And only want to confuse us
Trip us up and harm us

So we need to have the wisdom
Of this world
And be as wise as serpents

Now why do I say all this
And draw out this explanation?

Because that is how we see Jesus
In Matthew chapter 12 verses 9 to 14

Jesus went into the Synagogue
And there was a man there
Who had a withered hand

But before He could do anything…

Now STOP!

Why would I assume He would do…
ANYTHING?

You might say,
“Because He is Jesus”
But that would take us back into
The discussion of Jesus being
Different from us
For we would NEVER think of
Doing anything…

Take some time
And think about that for a while…

Again, back in Matthew chapter 10
Jesus said:
“as you go, preach, saying,
‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Heal the sick,
cleanse the lepers,
raise the dead,
cast out demons.
Freely you have received,
freely give.”
(Matthew 10:7 – 8)

And Jesus said this to the twelve
Disciples He was sending out

Jesus expected His Disciples to:
Preach
Heal
Cleanse
Raise
And give…

Why?
Because that is what He did

So here in Matthew 12
My expectation is that Jesus
Is going to DO something

After all He had gone into the
Synagogue
The Jewish equivalent of our
CHURCH
The place were preaching
Takes place

But the difference between us
(On the whole)
And Jesus and His twelve
Disciples
Is that they did MORE than
Just preach

Even the Pharisees knew that
“And they asked Him, saying,
“Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
—that they might accuse Him.”
(Matthew 12:10)

The expectation of the Pharisees
Was that Jesus would HEAL
And they hoped to TRAP Him
As it was the Sabbath

So Jesus HAD to be wise…

And He was wise
As He didn’t answer them directly
But answered with a question
Of His own

“What man is there among you
who has one sheep,
and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath,
will not lay hold of it and lift it out?
Of how much more value then
is a man than a sheep?
Therefore it is lawful to do good
on the Sabbath.”
(Matthew 12:11 – 12)

Jesus then didn’t wait to
Discuss the point further
But rather addressed the man
With the withered hand…

““Stretch out your hand.”
And he stretched it out,
and it was restored as whole
as the other.”
(Matthew 12:13)

So what are we doing…?
How do we live our lives…?
As Disciples of Jesus…?

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