Have you ever wondered what Jesus meant by be wise as a serpent? Matthew 10:16 says, ‘Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents…’ Why would the Lord use a term that represents the person who caused the fall of mankind? Well, when you understand what a serpent really is, you’ll understand.
The Greek definition of serpent means, ‘an artful malicious person.’ A malicious person is someone who wants you to suffer. In fact, they get enjoyment from it. They’re the type of people who will try to inflict harm on you for no apparent reason. Therefore, the reason Jesus said to be as wise as them is because He wants you know that those people are in the places He’s about to send you. He wants you to be aware of the true character of the people you’re about to come into contact with so that you don’t think that its you. Because typically when we go into new situations and are met with conflict, we second guess ourselves and think that perhaps we made a mistake and shouldn’t be there. Nope, you didn’t! You’re supposed to be there so don’t question or try to change your personality, though it could use some work. He’s sending you in there to be you; not to try to fit in or conform.
But would God really send you to be amongst people who’ll enjoy watching you suffer? Yes, He would. How do I know? Because He sent the disciples. Notice the verse says, ‘Behold I send you.’ I is Jesus which lets us know that He sent them, just like He’s about to send you only He’s giving you a heads up so that you’ll be able to quickly identify them. That way you’ll easily pick up on what they’re doing so that you’ll know how to maneuver and interact amongst them.
The thing about it, is that you may think these individuals will outright abuse or mistreat you, but that’s not the case. These artful individuals won’t. In fact, they’ll appear to like you and will even be helpful. But remember; Jesus said, ‘…I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.’ Meaning don’t get it twisted. They are wolves, and they will kill you. Not literally, but they’ll try to psychologically. But how can Jesus expect us to be around them? Because He did!
Jesus was around Judas Iscariot, the man who would ultimately plot to kill Him…daily…for three years. 3!!! Which means for 1,095 days, He knew that Judas really didn’t like him and would eventually betray Him. This lets us know that we must do the same; especially in work environments. Remember, Judas was Jesus’ accountant which means they not only did life together, they also worked together which means that there will be co-workers, Supervisors, and managers who will appear to be for us when they’re really not. Our Lord was able to be around someone that He knew was not only embezzling but hated and envied Him…and never showed it.
But what the Lord wants you to see is that Judas didn’t think Jesus knew. He thought the Lord was green which is why he continued to embezzle because he thought that if the Lord knew, He would do something. The Lord did know but He let him hang himself. Literally and no pun intended. And this is why the Lord is giving you a heads up about where He’s sending you. It’s because He wants you to let those people do the same; with the exception of the literal hanging, of course. Malicious people always put themselves in situations that were meant to take out their victims.
Before I let you go, I wanted you to know this. Just because you are a sheep doesn’t mean you’re not supposed to be there. Remember, both the sheep and the wolf live in the same habitat; meaning they’re apart of the same environment (neighborhood, company, field, industry, etc.) They both belong there. One was sent to, ‘steal, kill, and destroy.’ The other has a shepherd that protects them while they’re there. You have a shepherd and His name is Jesus who will protect you from the wolves and the serpents, so go into that place knowing you’re supposed to be there…among seemingly helpful serpents and destructive wolves.
Pray this with me: Heavenly Father, I ask You to help me to identify the serpents and wolves. I ask You for the wisdom to know how to maneuver and cordially interact with people who secretly want me to fail. I thank You for this promotion and for Your protection. And Lord, thank You so much for reminding me that You sent me and I belong here. In Jesus’ name. Copyright 2019 © Real Issues Publishing®. All rights reserved.