Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
It is not easy surviving a world filled with wolves. However, Jesus gives the solution: “be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove“.
After Jesus gave his disciples power, he sent them out telling them something very interesting. He said behold “I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves”. The essence of what Jesus was communicating to His disciples was that the majority of those that they would meet when they go out could be classified as wolves, meaning people with evil intent. That is important to note as very often we make the mistake of thinking that because we think a particular way, those that we meet share similar values. Jesus’s guidance to his disciples is a reminder that nothing could be further from the truth. The world is full of wolves, expect to meet them.
Jesus ended his guidance to his disciples with two suggested approaches to survive a world filled with wolves. The first is that they should be as wise as a serpent. Genesis 3:1 tells that the serpent was wiser than all the beasts of the field; therefore, the instruction to be wise as a serpent represents possessing a superior level of wisdom than the wolves that you will encounter on a daily basis. The only way to possess that superior wisdom is to depend completely on the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Your wisdom most certainly will fail you. The second instruction was to be harmless as a dove. The dove is known for its purity and compassion, so the instruction to be harmless as a dove is to show love with pure motives. The natural instinct is to respond to the hostility of wolves with hostility, but it is through the show of love that Christ is revealed and transformation takes place. It was with this in mind why Jesus said in St. Luke 6:27 “love your enemies, do good to them which hate you.”
Life Application: You cannot undo the mistakes of the past, but you use the model that Jesus gave to live as a victor in the midst of wolves.
Prayer: Lord, equip me with the right tools and motives to operate in a world filled with people with different mindsets and beliefs. In Jesus name, amen.