Sheep Amidst Wolves
Most people struggle when confronted with opposition or rejection. As Christians, occasional rejection should be expected. After introducing us to the reality that not everyone will accept the Good News, Jesus warned his disciples and us how difficult that rejection might be. There will be some who have benign attitudes and will ignore us and our message. There will be others with evil, vengeful attitudes toward the Good News and us who share it. How vicious? Jesus warns us in Matthew chapter 10 that we will be like sheep hunted by wolves. In our verse today, Jesus says two qualities are not only essential; they are commanded!
Friends, as Christians equipped and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are commanded to be strategic and wise. We must not let opposition surprise us or let our feelings direct our actions. Secondly, when harassed, criticized, or challenged, we must model Christ's likeness as people of character, patience, and peace. Even Saint Peter, known for his temper and rash judgment, came to understand and model these qualities. Peter said, "Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world" (1Pet. 2:12). We must be fearless but not foolish! Remember the world is always watching us, so be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
Onward and Upward!