I am always inspired whenever i hear the stories of people who have shown great courage and bravery in the face of danger and death. With those kind of stories, I sometimes wonder if I would do the same if I were in their shoes.
In Matthew 10:16-23, we hear Jesus giving His instructions to the Twelve disciples, saying: “Remember, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be cunning as serpents and yet as harmless as doves”. This imagery and what followed in the passage will certainly make us shrink if we were to imagine that it would really happen to us.
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.
21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. Matthew 10:16-23 New International Version (NIV)
I am certain many of us won’t find it worth going through all this. But, can there be another way out, in that we just live our lives quietly and have just some faith to do good to others? Jesus says, the man who stands firm to the end will be saved. It is only when we stand firm in the face of difficulties and danger, that we will be rewarded.
To be a true disciple of the Lord is not going to be that easy but let us stand firm in whatever trials and tribulations we may face on earth. Eventually when we are reunited with God our Father, He will wipe away every tear from our eyes. May God be your strength.
Peace and Joy
Written by Rev. Fr. Courage Dogbey