On today’s Bible Answer Man broadcast (08/04/21), Hank picks back up in his series on the Gospel of Matthew in chapter 10, verse 16. Here Jesus instructs His disciples to “be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16 NIV). By and large, people fall into one or the other of these two camps. They are either shrewd as snakes, or they are as innocent as doves. Here, however, Jesus tells his disciples to be both. Because apart from innocence, shrewdness may well devolve into manipulative scheming; but without shrewdness, innocence may well lead to gullibility. Jesus goes on to warn His disciples, “Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues.” “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, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Matthew 10:17, 19-20). We must not take our Lord’s words here to mean that we should not heed Peter’s exhortation to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). We must study to show ourselves approved. However, when we are taken captive to stand before kings and rulers, we can rest in the assurance that the Holy Spirit will equip us with the words that exceed human wisdom.

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