I am currently reading through the third book in the Apprentice series. These books are some of the most intelligent and practical formation books around. Referring to my previous post, I can say that the series helps people to actually embody actions in formation. The books follow a basic pattern. Firstly it challenges a false narrative we have about life in general or God. It then deconstructs the false narrative. After the deconstruction people are invited into community where they engage in a soul training exercise and report back on a weekly basis.
In the past week I’ve read chapter 2 “The hopeful community” which explores evangelism. In the chapter the author mentions the famous verse in Matthew 10 where Jesus commands his disciples to,
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
Jim Smith (the author) then recounts how someone once asked him what Jesus meant when he said we should be wise as servants. He confesses that he had no clue.
“Well, have you ever seen a snake chase someone?” I answered no. He said, “That is because the wisdom of the serpent is to wait until someone comes to them”.
Jim then says that Jesus uses the metaphor of the doves to cancel out any thoughts of killing or biting. He ends the chapter with some very practical exercises. So what are your thoughts on Jesus’ use of the snake metaphor?