Daily Devotional – Matthew‬ 10:16-17‬ – December 2, 2023

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues.”
Matthew‬ 10:16-17‬

The verses above are part of the instructions Jesus gave to his disciplines as he prepared to send them out into the world. When Jesus sends us out to bear witness to the world today, his words to the disciples still ring true. The world then and even today can be hostile towards Christians, very much wolf-like. Wolves are intentional about the harm they inflict upon their prey, and while we may not see wolves hunting sheep as frequently today as they did 2000 years ago, the principle is still the same. As predators hunting their prey, wolves inflict pain and death to their prey. So as sheep being sent into a world of wolves to spread the Gospel, how are Christians supposed to protect ourselves, how do we persevere to share the Good News?

Jesus taught his followers to be as shrewd or sharp as a snake, but as harmless as a dove. Jesus does not call his people, Christians, to become more like a wolf or another predator. Instead, he encourages his followers to find power in their wisdom and innocence, rather than the raw power associated with the brute force of a wolf. We must be wise as Christians when we take the word to the “wolves” of society. We must have the wisdom and open eyes to see the snares set before us, and not to be so gullible as to think everyone in the word is on our side.

Jesus himself modeled his own life with the shrewdness of a snake and the innocence of a dove. Jesus was wise and able to discern his audiences while teaching. He was wise in his ability to know when his enemies, the Pharisees, were lying traps for him. Yet, he was not hostile. He did not inflict pain, or ever let his character model that of a predator. He was innocent, gentle, and lived a pure and blameless life. No one who challenged him could find fault in him, even Pilot found Jesus innocent in the last hours of his life.

The verses above give a hard, but truthful insight to evangelism. Yet, Jesus still calls Christians to go into the world and share the Gospel, no matter the hardships we will face.


Lord, help me to be a sheep in a world full of wolves. Give me the wit and wisdom of a serpent, while helping me to maintain the innocence and peace of a dove. Above all, Father give me the courage to share the Good News with the wolves of the world, and lead them to you, the good Shepherd.
In Jesus’ Name,

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