Food for ThoughtMatthew 10:16 Wisdom
Food for Thought
An all-creatures.org Guide to Kingdom Living. True Christian living requires us to live according to Kingdom standards which bring Heaven to earth

By Marni Montanez

Matthew 10:16 Christian Standard Bible

16. Look, Im sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves.

When Jesus sent out His disciples, He knew they were ready to take the next step toward ministry after sitting under His teachings.  He knew their character and abilities and knew what kind of people they were.  He called them sheep; followers who submitted themselves to the good Shepherd.     

Sheep are not predator animals and cannot survive in the wild if there are predators around.  Their natural tendency is to run from danger not face it and they gravitate toward one another as a stratgy for safety. 

On the other hand wolves are predatory animals who attack and kill for the purpose of survival. They can be dangerous in certain circumstances.   Jesus is warning His disciples in the moment and throughout the ages that wolves referred here are those who have made themselves the enemy of christianity. They are diabolical and can be meanspirited.   Their goal is to devour us with their keen ability and hate or fear of us. 

When Jesus is describing us as sheep, it is not to say that we are dumb or vulnerable but that we need to be completely dependent on God like the sheep are dependent on the shepherds.  When we are dependent on God and listening for His wisdom in any given moment, we are given the ability to speak the right words and do the right and loving actions even when we are under heavy fire. Christians have been depicted as these sweet angelic beings who speak softly and graciously commit to serving others.   This depiction is only one part of Chrisitanity.  God Himself is telling us to be shrewd.  In these words He is giving us a strategy to stand our ground boldly and with wisdom.  We can be wise and speak truth to those who come against us and still maintain our kindness.   

This is not a personal mission where we make our agenda known. This is God's agenda and as we go out in His name, we must keep ourselves focused on Him and His will.  We are not told to prove ourselves to anyone.  We are to walk in God's strength and power which allows us  confidence in the Holy spirit's leading and in His covering.  Our purpose is about and for God.  He will give us what we need along the way. 

Challenge:  When God sends us out in any capacity, we are going as a representative of Jesus.   We must go in the wisdom and leading of the Holy Spirit. 

God bless

Marni

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lamb-rightThe purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.