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Matthew 10:18

And you shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
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George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
For a testimony to them That is, that by suffering with fortitude and constancy, you may bear testimony of me, as men must know, that it is not any vain thing for which they see you are prepared to die. Or the sense may be, that this may be for you a testimony against them in the day of judgment, and may render them inexcusable, since they will be unable to say that they have not heard the gospel. (Menochius) ...
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Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
Hom. in Ev., xvii. 4: For he who undertakes the office of preacher ought not todo evil, but to suffer it, and by his meekness to mollify the wrath of the angry, and by his wounds to heal the wounds of sinners in their affliction. And even should the zeal of right-doing ever require that He should be severe to those that are placed under Him, His very severity will be of love and not of cruelty, outwardly maintaining the rights of discipline, and inwardly loving those whom He corrects. Too many, when they are entrusted with the reins of government, burn to make the subjects feel them, display the terrors of authority, and forgetting that they are fathers, rather desire to be thought lords, changing a station of lowliness into that of lofty dominion, if they ever seem outwardly to fawn on any one, they inwardly hate him; of such He spoke above; “They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” For prevention whereof we ought to consider that we aresent as she...

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
The wolves indeed are all such as should pursue the Apostles with mad fury. He first attempted the softer sex, allured her by hope, and promised a share of immortality. Do you in like manner seize every opportunity, look well into each man's nature and inclination, use wisdom of speech, reveal hope of good things to come; that what he promised falsely we may preach truly according to God's promise, that they that believe shall be like to the Angels. Who will endeavour to extort from you either to be silent or to temporize. And by this their testimony not only was all excuse of ignorance of His divinity taken away from their persecutors, but also to the Gentiles was opened the way of believing on Christ, who was thus devotedly preached by the voices of the confessors among the flames of persecution; and this is that He adds, "and the Gentiles.” ...

Jerome

AD 420
He calls the Scribes and Pharisees who are the clergy of the Jews, “wolves.”. The harmlessness of doves is shown by the assumption of that form by the Holy Spirit; as the Apostle speaks, “In malice be ye children.”
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
Hom. 33: Having removed all care and anxiety from the Apostles, and armed them with the miraculous powers, He proceeds to foretell the evils which shouldbefal them. First, that they might know his knowledge of the future; secondly, that they should not think that these things befel them because of the want of power in their Master; thirdly, that they might not be amazed if these things had come upon them unexpectedly; fourthly, that after hearing these things, they might not be dismayed in the season of His cross; and lastly, that they might learn a new method of warfare. Their consolation under their hardships was the excellent power of Him who sent them; wherefore He puts that before all, “Lo, I send you.” Be not dismayed, though you be sent into the midst of wolves; for I am able to bring it to pass that you suffer no hurt, and that ye should not only prevail over the wolves, but be made more terrible than lions. But it is good that it should be thus; hereby your virtue is made brig...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
O how great is the power of Him that speaks! How great the self-command of them that hear! For indeed we have great cause to marvel, how they did not straightway dart away from Him on hearing these things, apt as they were to be startled at every sound, and such as had never gone further than that lake, around which they used to fish; and how they did not reflect, and say to themselves, And whither after all this are we to flee? The courts of justice against us, the kings against us, the governors, the synagogues of the Jews, the nations of the Gentiles, the rulers, and the ruled. (For hereby He not only forewarned them of Palestine, and the ills therein, but discovered also the wars throughout the world, saying, You shall be brought before kings and governors; signifying that to the Gentiles also He was afterwards to send them as heralds.) You have made the world our enemy, You have armed against us all them that dwell on the earth, peoples, tyrants, kings. ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Some may object, saying, “How then will others come to faith, when they see on our account children being slain by their fathers, and brothers killing brothers, and all things filled with abominations?” How could this sort of warfare work out? Will not we be treated as though we were destructive demons? As though we were a plague and pests to be driven out from every quarter? Won’t they see that the earth is filled with the blood of kinsmen fighting kinsmen? Even so our sole purpose is to bring peace into their houses, even amid so much conflict. And this peace is beautiful. Suppose there had been some great number of us, not merely twelve! Suppose we had been wise and skilled in rhetoric, trained orators rather than “unlearned and ignorant.” What would have come of our proclamation? Suppose we had been kings, in possession of armies and an abundance of wealth? Would we have been thereby more persuasive in proclaiming this kingdom of peace? When we despise our own safety, why do they p...

Rabanus Maurus

AD 856
The serpent moreover seeks out narrow chinks through which it crawls to draw off its old skin; so the preacher passing through the narrow way lays aside the old man. That by the wolves above He intended men, He shows when He adds, “Take heed ofmen.”
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Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
Beautifully the Lord bids the preacher have the wisdom of the serpent; because the first man was beguiled by a serpent; as though He had said, The foe is subtle to deceive, be ye therefore wise to rescue; he commended the tree, do yealso commend the tree of the Cross. The Lord unites these two thing; because simplicity without wisdom might be easily deceived, and wisdom is dangerous unless it be tempered with simplicity that does no man hurt. ...
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Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
. You see, this is what it means to be wise: beware not to give cause to those who would afflict you, but to conduct yourselves wisely. If the persecutor wants money or honor, give it to him, that he have no cause against you. But if he would take your faith, then guard your Head. Christ intends to send the disciples not only to the Jews, but to the Gentiles as well, which is why He says, "for a testimony against them and the Gentiles," that is, as a reproof to those who do not believe. ...
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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