Arulvakku

09.07.10 WARNINGS

Posted under Reflections on July 8th, 2010 by

 "Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of people, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. (Mt 10:16-23)

 

The warnings given by Jesus to the apostles are quite shattering. Any shepherd will know how it would be between wolves and sheep. There will never be an amicable situation between them. Sheep will remain always sheep and the wolves always so. The apostles have to be shrewd but they should never lose their simplicity. The apostles are called to be sheep and imitate doves. Never retaliate and never react but they have to be shrewd.

Being a witness to Jesus would also bring them to courts and in front of judges.  They would be cross questioned and they would be asked to answer things which they would not have known. Worry should never overtake them. Man of worry is a man of disbelief. A believing person would always find God guiding him and the spirit would reveal to him about what to speak.


A follower would always have problem with relations. Believing and following varies from person to person. Hence this would put one against the other. In a worst of situations, a relation would hand over the other to be punished and so on.  The hardest statement is that one would be hated by all for his name sake. Yes being a follower and adhering to his name brings the only reward of being hated by all. Endurance in belonging to his name is the only test of time. 

08.07.10 MISSION

Posted under Reflections on July 7th, 2010 by

 As you go, make this proclamation: 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words– go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the Day of Judgment than for that town. (Mt 10:7-15)

 

The instruction which Jesus gives to the apostles seems to be totally unique. No leader who wants to form or propose a movement would give such instructions. The instructions tell them to be healers, restorers, and people of hope. It does not give any status to the apostles and they are in no way to make money out of their work. Their journey should in no way be seen as provided. That is they were not to carry anything (even a sack which probably a beggar would carry)  

About the arrival into a village and the related rules are still interesting. They were not to be like religious leaders who visit house after house sharing a new God experience. They were not to visit the villages with new teachings. They were going into the villages to announce the arrival of the kingdom and keep moving. Their mission was urgent.


Their message and their mission were to announce the message that new life was dawning in Jesus. It was a life of peace. If they accept it, well and good. Otherwise it would be like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19, 24-28). So the mission of the apostles should be such that it has no relation to what the contemporaries would be doing. It was totally a new way of approach. 

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