Jesus said to his disciples “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.”
Reread that statement again, slowly! Not the most enticing of pictures – a vulnerable wooly lamb among ravenous meat eaters. Yet Jesus choose this image for us and an image which he modeled.
Nik Ripken writes about this image:
“Like Sheep among wolves. With that simple, startling phrase Jesus defined the identity of His followers: they are like sheep. At the same time, He clarified the identity of the people they would meet in the world: they are like wolves. It is not especially difficult to ascertain what will happen to sheep in the presence of wolves…sheep don’t normally survive in the presence of wolves! After setting this image before them, Jesus did not give His followers the opportunity to revisit their earlier commitment to Him. He did not ask them if, in the light of these new words, they were serious about following Him. After all, they had already answered His call, and obedience to Him was the necessary next step. With some notable objections, His followers obeyed. They went!…And ever since His followers have continue to obey and go!”
(Excerpt from “The Insanity of Obedience” by Nik Ripken p. 2f)
Last week we witnessed in Acts 5:17-42 the bold response of a few sheep to a wolf pack! They survived, were a faithful bold witness and rejoiced in suffering for Jesus. We too, at times, will be entering hostile environments and will have a choice to be obedient and faithful or compromise our convictions to avoid potentially fierce opposition. This is why we pray for boldness, because as sheep we need incredible courage to stand up for Christ and His incredible gift of New Life in an increasingly hostile culture.
Praying for boldness,