16“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.17But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues.18You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me.19When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time.20For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21“A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed.22And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.23When you are persecuted in one town, flee to the next. I tell you the truth, the Son of Man will return before you have reached all the towns of Israel.
24“Students are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their master.25Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the gprince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names!
Notice what we, as Jesus followers, can expect of this world: wolves, persecutions, trials, torture, betrayal, homelessly fleeing from one place to another. And how are we to act in response to all this? We are to be shrewd as snakes, and harmless like sheep and doves. This is one of the many things that separates Christians from non-believers. We do turn the other cheek.
I have this conversation with myself, and others, so often. I look at my actions in a situation and I try to justify that cruel word or the angry tone by thinking, “but he said…to me” or “he did … to me”. What Jesus is teaching, is that how I am treated has nothing to do with how I am to act. I am to bear the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. That should describe me even if I am being shouted at, wrongfully accused, lied about, cheated or…crucified.
Lord Jesus, change me and purify me. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so the fruit of Your Spirit is the only thing in me, then it will be all that comes out of me. Help me to be like You and bless those who curse me and love those who crucify me. Beginner’s Online Bible Study *obbs*