16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Matthew 10:16-20
Is this passage descriptive or prescriptive? In other words, is it just a narrative or is it something we should take to heart and practice?
To those living in persecuted lands, they will tell you that it’s definitely prescriptive because they’ve said to the authorities what He told them to say and lived to tell about it.
Part of the reason we have a hard time with this passage is that we in the West don’t believe that we’ll ever be persecuted.
I read something recently that jarred me.
“The history of civilization is one of oppression. We in the West right now are the exception to the rule.”
Unfortunately, we’re not able to see beyond our ease and comfort to appreciate just how fortunate and blessed we are as a nation in America. In fact, we are sheltered from seeing how the rest of the world lives.
So, while this passage may not apply to us yet, it very well could.