“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves." Matthew 10:16 NLT
We've all seen the signs, that word DANGER bold white letters circled in red. They are usually followed by words underneath l, like "High Voltage" and "Do Not Enter." The reason they are there is for our safety. Even if you have good reason to enter, say you are a National Grid worker entering a substation site, you must proceed cautiously. It doesn't stop us from entering, but we remain aware of our surroundings.
In Matthew 10, Jesus sends the disciples out in pairs into a world of metaphorical danger signs. There would be potential harm awaiting in every city and synagogue they entered. They were to be cautious, as sentient as snakes and gentle as doves, yet still do their jobs. Without going into those dangerous places, people would never hear Christ's message of salvation.
The same warnings apply to us today. In the United States, we may not face physical abuse in sharing the faith, but it is nonetheless dangerous. We are continually at battle with the forces of spiritual darkness. Our message of God's love and compassion is often rejected by a world content to live in hate and oppression. God's rule of righteousness is attacked because it opposes the world's normative standard of sin.
As committed disciples of Christ, we must continue to carry his good news of deliverance in the face of danger. So many have never heard or need to listen to the reminder of God's love. In the words of Paul, "But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?"
Father, thank you for the words of Jesus Christ that prepare us for witness. Grant us the courage to share the good news in the face of danger. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.