“Jesus said to his Apostles; ‘Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.’”(Matthew 10:16)
With these words Jesus sent out His disciples as “sheep among wolves” with the mission to speak for “the Spirit of your Father.” The message they were asked to carry from God was one of redemption through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. They certainly knew that this would be an unpopular message among many of those whom they would encounter! I wonder what thoughts went through their minds as they listened to Jesus?
Those old enough may remember a TV program called “Mission Impossible.” If you are younger, you may recall a more recent movie of the same name. Both productions used the same format, which presented an extremely difficult mission to a group of people. They were told the circumstances and then were asked to accept the mission. Of course, they always did or that would have been the end of the program!
It doesn’t appear that the disciples were asked if they would accept this mission, but I am certainly glad they did or the message would never have reached any of us! It must have sounded like an impossible mission to them. They knew all about sheep and wolves and how they interacted! Wolves are vicious predators and sheep are rather silly. When danger appears they are helpless. The only thing they can do is run — and they aren’t built for speed! They need a shepherd to rely upon for protection!
The disciples relied upon their Shepherd as they accepted this mission, and we are being asked to do the same. The words of Jesus were not just meant for this group of Galileans, but they are directed at us as well. We are being asked to witness for Christ in a world that may present us some seemingly impossible obstacles. The mission is not impossible if we remember to rely upon our Shepherd! Jesus has told us not to fear for He is with us … are we with Him?
Wayne M. Muth
Friend of Avera,