The Sheep and the Wolves

We in Christianity love to talk about being ‘more than conquerors’ and being members of God’s victorious army. But in Matthew 10:16, Jesus says something that I think I need to keep in mind.

As he’s commissioning his followers to travel to nearby towns and preach the good news about the coming of God’s kingdom, he says this to them: “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves…”

We are called to preach a Gospel of peace in a violent world.

To share a message of self denial to a hedonistic civilization.

Challenged to bring words of life into a culture of death.

There are people who will reject light in favor of darkness, who will view the news of God’s love as weakness.  Yet it is not our job to destroy such people.

We must not become God’s wolves in our drive to expand his kingdom. The crusaders who took up arms and the street corner preacher who damns his listeners to an eternity of suffering have missed the point.

As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

Our mission is to be about the restoration of all things, to help return them to their original design. It is meaningful to hear the clarion call of Isaiah in 11:6 where he foresees a time when “The wolf will live with the lamb”.

We will not conquer this world. That is the work of the Lord himself, and he has guaranteed that it will occur. It is our job to be innocent of the ways of this world, that everyone would know that there is another way: To trust in a shepherd instead of relying on that which we can take for ourselves through force and violence.

God is not looking for wolves. He is looking for those who seek to emulate his son, the Lamb who was slain.