TEXT: Matthew 10:16: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”
On last Sunday, we began a new series that continues the theme of what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. In this series, we are looking at Jesus’ words to His disciples in Matthew 10:16-42 as He sends them out on a missionary journey. Jesus Christ makes it clear to them that they will face trouble, conflict, and difficulty, and then He tells them how to handle the conflict that they will face. The first thing He says is, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves…”
What did Jesus mean when He called us sheep? First of all, we saw last week that being a sheep in the midst of wolves means being calm despite the conflict. When we are faced with conflict, the response of the Christian should be to have peace in the midst of the storm because our peace is found in God, not in our circumstances.
Today, the second thing we notice is that being a sheep in the midst of wolves means following Jesus amidst the frenzy. Jesus said, “I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves.” As I mentioned before, sheep are followers. At first, that may sound like a bad thing, but it is not. There is nothing wrong with a sheep being a follower as long as he is following the right leader. Who is the leader that we should follow? Our leader is the Great Shepherd — Jesus Christ Himself.
Being a follower of Jesus Christ means conforming our lives to His life — not only in words, but in actions. Our fast-paced world can be a very confusing place. If you are not careful, you can be sucked in by opportunities and attractions that will lead you off the straight and narrow path. This world can be likened to Vanity Fair in Pilgrim’s Progress. John Bunyan wrote, “At this fair are all such merchandise sold as houses, lands, trades, places, honors, preferments, titles, countries, kingdoms, lusts, pleasures; and delights of all sorts.” There is nothing the devil would like to do more than get Christians sidetracked by entertainment, pleasure, and easy living — which are just wolves dressed up to look harmless, but that bite nonetheless.
Amidst the frenzy of our crazy world, amidst the cries and howls of the wolves of this world, Jesus Christ calls us to faithfully follow Him, and to humbly and unquestioningly obey His will for our lives. A sheep sent out amidst the wolves is not on his own. Rather, he has the best guide on the journey of life. He has the Good Shepherd who will lead him through the valley of the shadow of death to the place of still water.
There is a famous prayer written by a monk named Thomas Merton which embodies the spirit of the following lamb. It says, “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end… Lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”
No matter what kind of persecution, hatred, harassment, or slander you face because of your Christian faith, always remain committed to following Jesus Christ. No matter how attractive the world’s path may seem, no matter how carefree those who reject Christ may appear to be, no matter how hectic a day may become, be a sheep who follows the Good Shepherd.
MUSICAL SELECTION: “When I Rose This Morning” by the Mississippi Mass Choir and “The Storm is Passing Over” by John P. Kee
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in twenty-three foreign countries. He is the author of thirty-four books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts, The Prayer Motivator Devotional and the Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report and the Second Coming Watch Update. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, and a Master’s degree in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for twenty-five years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.
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