Reading: Matthew 10: 1-23
Verse 16: I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.
Jesus is sending out the twelve to “drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease”. In this passage today, they are being sent to fellow Jews. Jesus calls these the “lost sheep” – tying back to why He had compassion on the crowds in Matthew 9:36. The twelve are first to preach that “the kingdom of heaven is near” and then to heal diseases, raise the dead, and drive out demons. The authority Jesus gives them to perform miracles will lend credence to the message they bring.
As we go out into the world, we go for the same reasons. We go to share the good news of Jesus Christ as we work to heal a broken world. Each of us who knows Jesus as Lord and Savior has a story to tell that will be good news for others. Each of us can love and serve others too. We may not be able to work miracles, but by caring for basic needs and by giving of our time and talents we do bring healing. It is through our loving acts of service that we too gain footing to share Jesus with the lost.
Jesus warned the disciples: “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves”. There is a defenselessness that comes to mind with this statement. It requires trust in the Shepherd. He goes on to advise them to be on guard against men. Jesus warns them that persecution is going to be a part of the journey. He also tells them that the Spirit will be with them. The Holy Spirit will give them the words to say. And then Jesus encourages them, stating that “he who stands firm to the end will be saved”. Keep the faith, I am with you.
We too are sometimes sent to people or places that make us feel like sheep among wolves. We too must trust into the lead, guidance, and protection of the Holy Spirit. In those uncomfortable or outside our comfort zone times, if we keep the faith the Spirit will give us just the right words to say as well. May we be like the twelve, trusting He who sends, going forth to share the good news and to bring healing to our broken world. May our light draw others in to Jesus Christ – the One who saves.