But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. – Matthew 10:19-20

*   *   *

Again, we are directed toward living prophetic ministry, this time in the words of Jesus. But he adds new twists to the instructions:

*   *   *

I am sending you like lambs into a pack of wolves. So be as wise as snakes and as innocent as doves. … But when someone arrests you, don’t worry about what you will say or how you will say it. At that time you will be given the words to say. But you will not really be the one speaking. The Spirit from your Father will tell you what to say. – Matthew 10:16-20 (Contemporary English Version)

*   *   *

On top of it all, now the “the wise as snakes and innocent as doves” counsel presents its own challenge in all of our daily actions!

After the accounts in Mark and Matthew, Luke weighs in on the sending forth the disciples, adding even more detail and revealing just how dependent they are on the guidance of the Holy Spirit:

*   *   *

See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this house!” And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your grace will rest on the person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and the people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” Luke: 10:4-9 (NRSV)

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