Matthew 10:16-23 NRSVue
16“I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues, 18and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the gentiles. 19When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you at that time, 20for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21Sibling will betray sibling to death and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, 22and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23When they persecute you in this town, flee to the next, for truly I tell you, you will not have finished going through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
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Some thoughts on this scripture
You are not trying to lure me with sweet promises, Lord. You guarantee persecution and hatred to those who follow you. You do not try to seduce us, as advertisers do, with promises of pleasure and success. If we are true to you, we will meet opposition and worse. Freedom from criticism belongs only to the bland and spineless, who say and do nothing, and keep their heads below the parapet.
Commitment to Jesus Christ is long-term. In difficult times his help will be there, and our convictions about him may lead to conflict even with those closest to us. We are compared to sheep - these find their way even among wolves if they follow the shepherd. We keep our eye on the Lord who guides our way.
How often Jesus wishes me peace and tells me not to worry! He knows that there are things that weigh me down. I think of what they might be and listen to him speak to me of them.
The Spirit of God speaks through me: I try to keep that in mind as I accept the faith that God has in me.