“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. —Matthew 10:16-20
After reading Psalm 23 today, “the Lord is my SHEPHERD”, I find it interesting that our New Testament passage is this one from Matthew where Jesus(The Good Shepherd) is sending us (sheep) into the midst of wolves, to face all kinds of dangers. We are not to be afraid, for the Holy Spirit will speak through us. He is our Shepherd and will lead us, even if it means we go through the shadow of the valley of death.
C. H. Spurgeon preached a sermon in 1877 entitled “Sheep Among Wolves.” Here is the introduction (you may click this link to read the entire sermon.)
First, here is a tender and loving Shepherd sending His sheep into the most dangerous position—“I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves.” It is the part of a shepherd to protect his sheep from the wolves, not to send them into the very midst of those ravenous beasts! And yet, here is the Good Shepherd, “that Great Shepherd of the sheep,” actually undertaking and carrying out this extraordinary experiment of conducting His sheep into the very midst of wolves. How strange it seems to poor carnal sense. Be astonished, but be not unbelieving—stand still awhile and study the reason.
The next remarkable thing is, “sheep in the midst of wolves,” because according to the order of Nature, such a thing is never seen, but, on the other hand, it has been reckoned a great calamity that in some lands wolves are too often seen in the midst of sheep! The wolf leaps into the midst of a flock and rips and tears on every side—it matters not how many the sheep may be—for one wolf is more than a match for a thousand sheep. But lo, here you see sheep sent forth among the wolves, as if they were the attacking party and were bent upon putting down their terrible enemies! It is a novel sight, such as Nature can never show, but Grace is fall of marvels!