Yesterday a friend texted me that a neighborhood app had shown that there was a sighting of two wolves near my neighborhood. She was just letting me know so I would be careful with my three pound yorkie, Duke. We do not let him out alone because a hawk could pick him up. But with this advisory I would look outside before any of us open the door. Within the hour I had a text from our home owners association stating that there had been two coyotes by the pond in the front of our neighborhood. I realize these animals are being pushed out of their "homes" from all of the building but I do not want them in my neighborhood.
Matthew 10: 16, "Behold, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." When Jesus says, "behold" he is telling us to listen up! This is important. Jesus was sending the disciples out on a short term mission with instructions but His message is for our long term mission. When Jesus sends us out to witness He does not send us out strong! When we are weak we will focus on Him and let Him guide us.
When we are sheep sent out among wolves our lives depend upon the Shepherd. We are not smart enough to do what is right and we cannot protect ourselves. We have to rely on the Shepard to guide and protect us. The disciples were going to have to rely on Jesus. Jesus tells us that we will be treated the way wolves treat sheep in this ungodly world. Sheep are the most helpless and dependent of all domesticated animals. A shepherd has to keep them alive and healthy, along with protecting them from predators. We are vulnerable like sheep.
Since we are like sheep among wolves, Jesus tells us to be wise as serpents. When the wolf comes at us we are to get out of the way like a serpent does. When they open their mouth we do not jump in. We do not give them any legitimate reason to accuse us of immorality. We try to keep our reputation clean!
We are also to be as innocent as doves. We are to be different from the world. We are to be pure and true to God's Word. This characteristic of knowing when and what to say has to be developed by Christians. It is not easy to hold our tongues but a must to achieve the highest goals for God!!
Jesus is sending His sheep into the wolf pack because that is where He can use us for His service. This is the cost of discipleship. Acts 20: 29, "I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock." Matthew 7: 15, "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves." We are to be vulnerable, without hostility, sheep-like, courageous witnesses without any ill treatment. Colossians 4: 5: "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity."
When we are witnessing we have to trust Jesus because the Good Shepherd knows what He is doing. He also knows what our purpose is. With Jesus as our Shepard, we are more powerful than a pack of wolves!