Oct 19, 2018


Context | Matthew 10:16-23

Verse 16 marks a transition in Jesus’s instructions to the disciples. Matthew 9:35-38 outlines why Jesus called the 12 to follow him. Matthew 10:1-4 introduces us to the disciples and highlights the authority he gave them for their mission. Verses 5-15 outline the disciples’ mission and how they are to carry it out.

In this next section, however, Jesus prepares his disciples for persecution. This section goes from vs. 16 to vs. 39, and thus Jesus talks about this more with his disciples than anything else in Matt. 10.


  1. Take three minutes and think about a time that you have felt persecuted for your Christian faith. At the end of three minutes, please share with the group what that was like.
  2. Read the first part of vs. 16. What do you think that means? What do you think Jesus wanted his disciples to understand by using this imagery?
  3. Now read the second part of vs. 16. What is Jesus telling his disciples here? Why do you think he’s telling them this? (Hint: for an accurate understanding of “wise as serpents”, read Gen. 3:1)
  4. Read vs. 17-20. What does Jesus tell the disciples will happen to them? Why do you think these men will do these things to the disciples?
  5. What are the disciples to do when this happens? How will these men’s evil actions impact God’s plan for the spreading of the Gospel? Why do you think God allowed this?
  6. Vs. 21-22. What does Jesus warn the disciples about here? Why do you think this happens? How do you think the disciples felt about this statement?
  7. Vs. 23. What does Jesus command his disciples to do in this verse? Why do you think he command them to do so? (Hint, read Daniel 7:13-14).
  8. How is Jesus speaking to you through this passage?