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Mason Howard
Mason Howard

Be Wise As Serpents

Jesus told his disciples to be both innocent as doves and wise as serpents at the same time. We associate innocence with a childlike openness to the wonder of Christ. In the same breath, Christ exhorts his followers to be wise, a quality that one develops with maturity in Christ.

Be Wise As Serpents

Jesus told his disciples to be both innocent and wise at the same time. We associate innocence with a childlike openness to the wonder of Christ. In the same breath, Christ exhorts his followers to be wise, a quality which one develops with maturity in Christ.

Whereas Jesus was One with God, and he knew when he had to die, Paul was a human: he had to be wise as a snake in order to know he was finished trying to evade his executioners. Yet, he never lost his innocent and gentle stance.

As I carefully pondered the behavior of serpents, I understood exactly why Jesus used this example. This analogy applies to all of us in regard to our families, businesses, ministries, or any other opportunity God places before us in which we must implement His strategies in order to establish His victory on the earth.

It is very unwise and a waste of Kingdom resources of money and time to start fantastic projects without first understanding the challenges, risks, and dangers. Many people have been hurt because of someone getting in a hurry and acting too quickly.

When he tells them to be as wise as serpents, this refers back to the Genesis story of Eden, where the serpent is called 'subtle', but the Greek is the same both here and there (at Gen 3:1).[6] This wisdom entails avoiding danger, but only in ways consistent with their mission.[7] Their wisdom is to be for self-preservation, rather than doing harm to others as did the serpent of Genesis.[8] Augustine of Hippo saw this as an analogy in which Jesus was calling Christians to offer their whole body to persecutors rather than their head, as serpents do (they curl up their body around their head to protect it).[9] This is emphasized by pairing the commandment to be like serpents with a commandment to be like doves.

What the Bible says aboutWise as Serpents, Harmless as Doves(From Forerunner Commentary)Matthew 10:16Christ's mandate to us that we become "wise as serpents and harmless as doves" implies that we must develop discernment, the ability to detect motivation and the spirits that motivate. The gift of discerning the spirits will become increasingly important as we approach the end of this age because deception will be the hallmark of these extremely dangerous times.

Luke 16:9Jesus Himself interprets the parable for us. We ought to use spiritual wisdom just as shrewdly as the steward used his secular wisdom. He tells us we should "be wise as serpents and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16). "Unrighteousness mammon" signifies wealth or money gained by unrighteousness, that is, by sinful ways. Money becomes a power for evil in the hands of sinful people. James warns us not to make friends of those who are worldly and unconverted (James 4:4). We can make friends by means of money that the unconverted covet, thereby helping God to witness to them and eventually convert them.

This is how we are supposed to be! A few of the qualities of love mentioned in I Corinthians 13 are concerned with this. Christians should be willing to believe all things, hope all things, endure all things. This is why we are so gullible at times because we do not have a core of steel in our beliefs. We have allowed it to soften into a core of marshmallow, so that we are easily bent in the wind. Remember, we need to be wise as serpents and simultaneously harmless as doves.

Paul's advice comes in verse 19: "Be wise in what is good and simple concerning evil." In practical terms, this means that we do what is right and have nothing to do with what is wrong. In doing so, we are "wise." Wisdom has to do with how we act. It is very practical. Knowledge is mental, and understanding is mental and spiritual. But wisdom is both of those things and physical. It is what we do. It is what we say. It is how we live life.

If we walk in wisdom, then we do not trip, and we should not be tripped by anything that comes along to make us stumble. Paul says that we should be wise in what is good, meaning that wedo it! It is wisdom to do what is good.

The reason is drawn from the necessity of the case: for if they did not wisely exercise caution, they might be immediately devoured by the wolves; and, on the other hand, if they trembled at the rage of the wolves, or were incautious, they would presently waver, and would at length fail to perform their duty.

To proclaim in an effective way the excellencies of Jesus, we need a new personality that displays this unique powerful combination of being wise and humble, full of grace and truth, being strong and merciful, not afraid of men but at the same time not reckless, indifferent, or dismissive.

And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town. Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

Unless otherwise indicated, all content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Contact me: openbibleinfo (at) this page: Editor: Stephen Smith. Publication date: Mar 14, 2023. Publisher:

To be wise means to be marked by understanding of people and situations, to have keen and unusual discernment, and a capacity for sound judgment in dealing with people and situations. Prudent would also be an appropriate synonym.

In this article, I will give you several basic key verses pointing out some of the areas that God does not want any of us treading into. As you will see in the very first Scripture verse I will list below, the Bible is telling us that we are to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

These first three verses will perfectly set the stage in this area of spiritual warfare. The first two verses are from Jesus Himself. He says that we are to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves because He is sending us out as sheeps and lambs in the midst of wolves.

Put all three of these verses together and God is telling all of us loud and clear, that we have to be wise, smart, sober, vigilant and always on guard against Satan, his horde of demonic spirits, and all of the bad and evil people who are out there living this life on the dark side.

However, some of these other false doctrines, especially those of the New Age Movement, will try and tell you otherwise. They will try and tell you that you are not a sinner and that you do not need a Savior because you have the ability and potential within your own being to become a god yourself.

If Jesus had not spoken about the wisdom of serpents we may have overlooked the superior wisdom that they live by. However, because Jesus pointed out the wisdom of a serpent, all of us must pay special attention to these creatures and learn what we can from them. So, what is the wisdom of a serpent? What makes a serpent wise? Serpents Are Wise. It is not strange to any of us that men fear snakes!

Would you not want the wisdom that would make people fear you and treat you with proper respect? Do you not want the wisdom that will make you quietly accomplish all your goals in this life? I am sure you want this wisdom. Indeed, that is the wisdom of the serpent! That is why Jesus said we must be wise as serpents.

The wisdom of a lion makes us have a proper respect and fear for lions. But the wisdom of a lion has not enabled the lion to flourish and multiply successfully in cities all over the world. The population of lions is dwindling! Lions are becoming extinct! Snakes, on the other hand, are mysteriously found in every city and neighbourhood. In that sense, the snake is wiser than the lion because it has prevailed, flourished and prospered whereas the lions have become fewer and are nearing extinction.

It is commonly held in many cultures that among animals, snakes are especially wise and knowledgeable. As depictions of predators go, as opposed to more brutish foes, snakes' hunting methodology is seen as particularly sly and cunning. As such, it is quite common for works to present snakes (and serpent-associated individuals) as intelligent, meticulous, and very cunning, sometimes even to the extent of having them (or one of them) keep the secrets of forbidden knowledge itself.

This association stems from traits inherent to snakes. Their behavior and facial features certainly imply intelligence, with their unblinking lidless eyes that seem to be constantly and carefully surveying their surroundings and their slow casual manner, creating the impression that they are always quietly pondering and waiting for just the right moment to strike. Their stealthy nature allows them to seemingly spring up out of thin air when least expected. Likewise, their status as ambush predators easily conjures associations with a calm, patient opponent waiting for just the right moment to spring their trap.

The symbolism of a snake, slowly and silently slithering undetected towards its prey, only to strike in the blink of an eye once it's too late to escape, likewise ties well into the association of a cunning and extremely dangerous opponent carefully scheming until they are ready to spring the trap. Their potentially venomous nature, the hidden danger in a seemingly physically weak opponent, further adds to symbolism.

Another reason for the association is the fact that in many cultures serpents are often associated with longevity and immortality, thus tying into the idea of an experienced being that has acquired large amounts of knowledge and wisdom in its long life. It may even offer to share its expertise with those who seek it out, in spite of the danger. 041b061a72


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