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Lambs Among Wolves


Jesus told his disciples, “I am sending you like lambs among wolves” (Lk 10:3). According to the popular belief and nature of animals, the wolf is cruel, cunning, and powerful, whereas the lamb is harmless, innocent, and vulnerable. A lamb is a baby sheep that cannot defend itself from wild animals. The disciples might encounter false prophets who are “in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Mt 7:15). Paul, in his farewell speech at Miletus, warned Christians, “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciples away after them” (Acts 20:29-30).

Matthew gives more details of this teaching from Jesus, who assured the disciples, the divine support during their persecution. “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of people, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Mt 10:16-20).

By the time the Gospel was at a completion stage, the early Christian community faced persecution. The members also experienced divine providence and strength in suffering for the Church.


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