Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.
There is some fascinating information about the governor’s custom at the time of Jesus death.
Now it was the governor’s custom each year during the Passover celebration to release one prisoner to the crowd—anyone they wanted. 16 This year there was a notorious prisoner, a man named Barabbas. 17 As the crowds gathered before Pilate’s house that morning, he asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you—Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Matthew 27:15-17
Jewish Law suspends all court matters during Passover, and every year Pilate promotes fake compassion and fake mercy at a time when God has commanded his people to solely focus on HIM. It is no coincidence that this political figure has made a way for the center of attention to be on him during a time of year when MANY people are in his town. The “Governor’s Custom” is to disregard the One True Living God entirely.
This little nugget of insight is wisdom in how we relate to government. Politicians love attention and they love power. That will never change. When Jesus talks about us being “innocent” as well as “shrewd” it is the preamble to a conversation he has with his disciple about the government.
You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me.
The politicians are not on the side of Believers. No candidate or office holder will ever truly share our convictions. Jesus has warned us ahead of time that we might not receive justice from them, but that the purpose of our interaction with them is to tell the unbelieving rulers about HIM! This isn’t disturbing news because... (keep reading)
When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. v.19
This isn’t disturbing news because... the One who has warned us is also our DEFENDER!
Thank you for preparing us in every way for how to live with you in this world that rejects you. Help me and my believing brothers and sister not worry about what will always be a corrupt system. Help us never fall into the trap of relying on human help, and thank you especially for your promise to be our defender. I love you and pray in your name, amen.