Sunday, May 24, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 79

Matthew Chapter 10- Part 3

Warning regarding persecution and to exercise caution while working for the kingdom (Matthew 10:16-23)- Jesus did not want his disciples to have high expectations regarding acceptance of their message. He was sending them as sheep in the midst of wolves (for sheep, provision, protection and guidance comes from the shepherd and sheep rarely retaliate)(on the other hand wolves are predators-them who would violently reject the Gospel). Jesus wanted his disciples to be wise as serpents (serpents slither away speedily on sensing danger) and harmless as doves (not retaliating, gentle even while exhorting or rebuking). Perilous times were ahead. Persecution awaited them in the form of betrayal (even from family) and scourging and bodily harm. They were to bear witness for Jesus before governors and kings and not to worry about what they would speak before high human authorities, for the Spirit of God would strengthen them at the right time. Hatred from people would be common to them and endurance was needed for the work to be finished. Fleeing from one city to another for survival would also be wise rather than accepting martyrdom before time. Seeing the future, Jesus also said, "You shall not have gone over all the cities of Israel, till the Son of man comes." (several explanations for this-The disciples would not have finished going over all the cities of Israel- Till the resurrection/Till Pentecost/Till the judgment came on Israel with the Roman invasion in A.D.70)

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