Home Sermon Matthew 10:16-20; The Charge!
Matthew 10:16-20; The Charge! PDF Print E-mail

Welcome to our church's home page.  If it is your first time visiting or you frequently visit our site, we appreciate you sharing your time with us.  If you are looking for more information about the church, we invite you to visit the various articles within this site.  We hope they will answer your questions about Stone Gate Bible Fellowship. Our Sunday Worship service starts at 10:30 am and finishes before 12:00 pm. We are located at 904 Rancheros Drive, San Marcos, CA, Suite M. What you will find below is an overview of the Scriptural portion of the message given last Sunday, October 12, 2014.

 

As we have talked about the previous two Sundays, it was Graduation Day for the disciples. They were in the process of “graduating” and in this process they were moving from just "learners" to "doers." At many of the graduation ceremonies that I have been to either the keynote speaker or the valedictorian gives the graduating class a final charge or instruction. And so it is here. Jesus gives them their final charge. Remember that this is a historical narrative that Jesus gave to the twelve disciples. He was talking about their future, not necessarily ours. But what we also find is that His preparation of the twelve disciples applies to us as well. Jesus gives the disciple the final charge and 7 directives to fulfill His charge in verses 16-42

 

The charge is in verse 16 –

Matthew 10:16 16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.

 

The word "be" is in the imperative verb form, which means it is a command. According to the Friberg's Greek Lexicon (FGL), shrewd means "as relating to the quality of one's thinking resulting from insight wise, intelligent, sensible (MT 7.24), ... opposite (foolish, stupid) and ... (foolish, senseless)." Also, according to FGL, innocent means "literally pure, unmixed, as wine; figuratively in the NT, of a character marked by integrity and innocence of evil, pure, sincere, harmless ... ."

 

Jesus was telling them that they were to be shrewd. This means that they were to be be wise, intelligent and sensible. Within the context, they were to be prepared for those who want to prey upon them and devour them. At the same time they were to be innocent. This means that they were to have an absence of malice or hate or evil in dealing with those who would devour them.  Another way of saying this is that they were to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. They were to be calculating, which means to be thinking and planning but with no malice or evil motives. As France states, “Disciples under threat are not to be helpless and gullible, but must maintain the initiative …  The disciples’ cunning is to be directed not to harming their opponents, but to their own survival and commendation of the gospel. They need the cunning of snakes without the venom.” 

 

So Jesus' charge to His disciples was that they were to be as shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. So how were they to fulfill Jesus’ charge? By following the next 7 directives.

 

1. Directive #1: Be aware that there are people who will want to stop us and hurt us and be prepared to be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves.

 

17"But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues;  18 and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 

 

The verb "beware" is also an imperative. According to FGL, beware  means "as turning or holding one's mind to someone or something; (c) as a warning when followed by ... , (from, of), , (not) plus an infinitive, or ... (lest): watch out for, beware (of), be on guard (against), take care."  The disciples were to watch out for or be on guard against those who will do them harm. But we also see that the persecution that awaits them is also going to turn out for the greater spreading of the gospel. In verse 18  we find that persecution serves God’s purposes and that it is to bear testimony of Jesus to the leaders. This is part of being wise. Wisdom can see beyond the immediate to the bigger picture. Wisdom can see how what is happening in the immediate context serves the greater purpose.

 

2. Directive #2: Trust that God will give us the words to say so do not worry about what we are going to say.

 

19 "But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say.  20 "For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you

 

In verses 19 and 20, Jesus encourages them not to worry for God's Spirit will give them the words to say. Their confidence was to be in God and in Him alone. He was with them and He will empower them.  Two other New Testament references that demonstrate this truth is in 1 Corinthians 12:3 and in Peter’s sermon found in Acts 2:22-28. In 1 Corinthians 12:3, Paul makes it clear that to testify of Christ requires the Holy Spirit. We see the testimony of Christ and the power of that testimony in Peter's sermon in Acts 2:22-28. The disciples were not to worry for God was with them and He would tell them what to say. They were to trust in God.

 

In the same way we are not to be anxious about the possibility of being called before the authorities because the Holy Spirit will be with us and He will give us the words to say. It is comforting to know that God has not left us alone, but will equip and empower us in those particular circumstances.

 

So how does all this apply to us. While we, here in the US, have been insulated from persecution, it is not so with other believers in the rest of the world. In many parts of the world, believers in Christ are suffering for their faith in Jesus. He is calling us to be His disciples and in that call we are to be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves. We need to understand that persecution is real and can be in our future. There are those who hate Jesus and as such will hate us and do whatever they can to silence the messengers. The reality of persecution can become real to su by becomeing aware of the persecution that is going on right now. Secondly, we need to develop wisdom that can see the bigger picture. We need to understand and really believe that persecution leads to growth and the proclamation of the gospel. The third thing is that we need to grow in our confidence (trust) in God. This is done by developing our relationship with God such that love for Him replaces our fear. Praise God we have a Savior Who is actively at work calling us, equipping us, growing us and sending us. To Him be the glory.

 

"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (R), Copyright (c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org"

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 October 2014 09:09
 

Contact Information

Phone Number: 760 803 8598

Email Address: pstrito@stonegatebible.org

 

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