firm to the end will be saved.When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next. I tell you the truth, you will not have passed through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
“Clever as snakes and innocent as doves.”Jesus instructs the disciples on how to deal with the atten- dant danger and persecution of their mission. The disciples must be as cunning as the snake and gentle as the dove. Jesus is aware of the difficulty and dan- ger that come with the mission of proclaiming the Reign of God. He foresees them and would of- fer the disciples some help to conquer their fear. Jesus sees the combination of cunningness (or shrewdness) of the snake and gentleness of the dove as vital to carry out the mission.It is wise to develop these qualities of cunningness and gentleness. The modern world has not become a better place to live. Violence, abuse and exploi- tation of fellow humans and the natural world remain. Humans have simply become more so- phisticated in doing them. There is a need to be clever in iden- tifying causes of abuse and of social and economic injustices. There is a need to be critically smart in identifying things that corrupt morally, things that dis- tract us from what really matters and from what really is essential.
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