Shrewd? Cunning? Sly? Are these the qualities the Messiah wants for his followers? He is sending us out like “sheep among wolves,” and wolves are really scary beasts, but how are we to be “innocent as doves” in today’s jungle? Sounds awfully dangerous to me.
I’m thankful though that the Messiah didn’t leave us to be devoured like sheep in the face of men and women who act like wild beasts. Although some seem to think all we need to do is trust the Good Shepherd to lead us by still waters to lay down on grassy knolls where our gentle souls can’t be bothered by any of this subtle sneakiness stuff.
For the rest of us trying to fend for ourselves in a jungle of jerks, the Messiah wants us to deal with these nasty beasts by learning from the serpent who was “more crafty that any beast of the field” back in Genesis’ Garden. That old snake somehow knew his way around in the jungle and that’s who the Messiah wants us to consider.
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