“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.” (Matthew 10:16)
Why? Why would anyone send their best friends out to be abused and killed? The reality is, the message the disciples would carry would irritate the world and bring resistance. It would transform people’s lives out of darkness into children of God for eternity. Their message was much bigger than the inconvenience. It was an unstoppable message meant to win back the world for God. Jesus warns His followers many times that the world and its sinful nature would not be happy with them, as they are not happy with Him. Persecution is the promise of Jesus to His followers. It is as true today as it was then. The truth always hurts those living in falsehood and they do not like to be exposed. It is Jesus and the Christian character which will expose the sinful underbelly of society.
What have we experienced from the wolves? Have we been shunned, criticized, made fun of, ignored, because we lift up Jesus? If so, we rejoice and are glad because they are signs of our faithfulness to Him. Along with our joy is a great sadness, however, for those who continue to resist His love. Yet, how long can they resist the message of love? Jesus and His Spirit will do their work of breaking down resistance as they always have. Many will come to know Him as we faithfully move among the wolves.
Heavenly Father, keep us steadfast in our witness as we walk among the wolves of the world. May Your Grace keep us steadfast. May Your Grace break down the barriers of unbelief that we encounter, thus, expanding Your Eternal Kingdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.