Although Jesus is speaking directly to His disciples in this passage, we know that His words apply to all those He has sent out—including us. As followers of Jesus, we are called to be a part of Christ’s compassionate ministry throughout the world—engaging with and caring for the lives and needs of those around us at all times, just like Jesus did while on earth. In a world that believes we were created by random accident or chance, God tells us that we are His unique handiwork, created for good works that He has prepared in advance for us to do (see Eph. 2:10). As followers of Jesus, we have been called by God, gifted with His spirit, prepared for ministry in His name and sent forth to carry it out. Because of this, everyone is called to play a role in the compassionate ministry of Christ—corporately and individually, both within and outside of the church.

How can we be gentle and kind with those who believe differently, yet never compromise or gloss over difficult truth? Based on what we have read today and what we know about the life of Jesus, what “marching orders” do you think He would give you specifically as you go forth into the world this week?

 PRAYER – Lord, help us be on our guard against the enemy’s schemes in the world, acting as shrewdly as snakes, but as innocently as doves, pointing all in our community to Jesus. Thank You, Father. Amen.