And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. As you enter the house, greet it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Matthew 10:11-14 ESV
Jesus was preparing His disciples for a short-term mission assignment. He gave them very specific instructions on what to take or not take with them, the audience of their mission and how they were to interact with those they were sent to. But note that He also helps them anticipate various responses when they enter the villages – both when received positively and also when they are rejected. He is helping them by doing some scenario planning.
When Jesus sends the two disciples to get a colt, he again helps them anticipate a possible response to those who might think they are stealing it (see Mark 11:1-7). And it came to pass exactly as anticipated.
Now this is fascinating because Jesus knows the responses they will receive, but they don’t. Thus, He gives them some preparation so that they are not taken by surprise and have some forethought on how to deal with differing scenarios. Scenario planning that anticipates several possible future situations is not a lack of faith, but rather it is wisdom.
The enemy will always try to take your focus off the Lord and place it on our threatening circumstances. While paying attention to and planning for current and possible realities, always, always keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. Key your head up and your eyes fixed on Him.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV
Next we will address how to do wise scenario planning… stay tuned!