Monday, February 02, 2009

Don't Mistake Innocence for Ignorance (Part 1/3)

In Matthew 10:16, Jesus has his disciples gathered around explaining to them that there will be false teachers (of the Gospel) whose purpose is to stumble the advancement of the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus offers this counter: "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." Another translation mentions being as cunning as a snake - and I think this is important for understanding the message that I'm trying to present.

You see, the world has a way of thinking - that in order to understand something you have to experience it firsthand. But Jesus mentions we should be wise about what is around us - but not necessarily indulge ourselves in it. For example, we see in Jesus's ministry that he has a great, redeeming compassion for the tax-collectors, prostitutes, lepers and worse of sinners during his ministry. Yet, he never was any of these during his lifetime. Certainly during his life he was exposed to these type of people and the treatment of them. Bottom line, he was not ignorant of these people or about their condition. Further more, he looked deeper into these people's souls and situations to bring out the rawest, most beautiful parts of them - true faith.

So I commission and pray for you to understand that situations around you and not to be ignorant. You don't have to be depressed to help the suicidal, you don't have to be the drug dealer to redeem the addicted, and you don't have to be a doctor to heal the sickly.

Please, don't mistake innocence for ignorance. Jesus is so much bigger than that.

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