The people of the book called the Bible, some good Christians, most preachers would effortlessly identify the title “Sheep, Wolves, Serpent and Doves” with the verse quoted by the Son of God himself.
As it is written in Matthew 10:16 – “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves”
This verse acts as a prelude to the context Jesus was setting in the verses that follow.
Matthew chapter 10, is unique in its contents – There are beautiful gifts that Jesus promised to his DISCIPLES, valuable instructions, words of caution and tit-bits of prophecy. (Take time to read Matthew 10 carefully, to see what God has to say to us – no amount of man’s interpretation can compensate for God’s word)
In the entire chapter the verse 16 has a lot of wisdom to offer that we can use it in our own lives when we call ourselves Christians (Disciples of Christ)
Whom does Jesus call Sheep and Wolves?
Sheep – His Disciples
Wolves – We may think in our world, that non-Christians are wolves, or the ones who dont know Christ. But surprisingly in verse 5&6 in the chapter it says – “These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel “.
Jesus is saying my children who are called to be disciples, go to your own fellow men who are ferocious wolves. No.. No.. It can’t be so, I can’t tell my own family people about whats wrong and whats right, how can I tell other Christians that they’ve lost their way?
Jesus are you kidding me ?? Its easy for me to share the word of God with a non believer, distribute a track to a stranger, go to church and sing loudly, preach generally and be a silent spectator.
Jesus, “are you asking me to a bakra amidst those cunning wolves, who’ve lost their way”? No Jesus, I’m sure you want me to be comfortable and you’ve asked me to lay all my burdens onto you.
Ain’t it easy to say we pray, and gossip about issues and think they will be solved! Duh..
Alright, what about the Serpent and the Dove.
Here’s a great principle of balance that Jesus is teaching – “Be shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves”
Shrewd means “having or showing sharp powers of judgement”, innocent isn’t ignorance but “not being harmful”
Putting all the pieces together, Jesus is saying to us his children who are called to be his disciples, to go to the wolves and make them his disciples and be wise in our judgments and innocent in our actions.
How do we do that in our ever increasing complex world
Apostle Paul, helps convert Jesus advice into practical tips for living in his awesome chapter to Romans. (Romans 12:9-21)
Let love be genuine.
Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
Love one another with brotherly affection.
Outdo one another in showing honor.
Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Live in harmony with one another.
Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.
Never be wise in your own sight.
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good