Jesus was speaking His commission to the apostles. He told them to annouce the arrival of the kingdom of heaven, to heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons. Along with that He told them that they would be like sheep amongst the wolves and something else…
Ask the children…
What did Jesus say the apostles were to be like?
“‘So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.'” (Matthew 10:16)
Again, another strange thing to tell the apostles. Jesus had just warned them of the danger they would be facing, like sheep among the wolves. Here He takes the parable further and tells them that in this dangerous environment they are to be wise in their approach like a snake. They shouldn’t foolishly put themselves in harms way, but they are to assess the situation to determine the best way to bring the kingdom of God. Getting themselves killed for nothing is not wise.
On the other hand, they are harmless like doves. When doves go out and look for food, they don’t destroy anything. They take what God has provided. In the same way the apostles were not to destructively force their way into people’s lives, bu to find whom God had prepared and share with them.
Ask your children where they need to be wise when it comes to sharing the kingdom of God with others? For example, there may be restrictions about sharing about God with their classmates in their classroom, but not on the playground. Ask them if they have seen someone forcing their religious beliefs on others? This is not being harmless as doves. Have they seen opportunities to share their faith that God has provided? Pray with them about how to walk in wisdom with a sensitive spirit in order to move where God is moving hearts.
Feel free to share your own stories below in the comments section.
If you like what you read about ways to teach children the Bible, check out the children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website. It is great for parents and kids because it provides the Big Story of God’s miraculous plan for His children in all 66 books in the Bible. CHECK OUT A FREE SAMPLE OF CHAPTER ONE BELOW.