Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come.
Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. (Luke 10:1, 3 NASB)
Jesus told the seventy disciples that he was sending them out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Of course, he was speaking metaphorically, so it will help us understand the metaphor to look at the difference between lambs and wolves. First, a lamb is a young sheep. It's still a baby and not yet fully matured. It still has growing to do. Sheep in general, and lambs in particular, are not capable of caring for themselves. They need a shepherd and for these particular lambs, that Shepherd was the Lord, Jesus Christ. Lambs graze as they go. They need clean water and green pastures.
Wolves, on the other hand, are beautiful creatures, but they are carnivorous. They hunt and kill their prey. A lamb, alone and without its shepherd, is an easy mark for a wolf. When "wolf" is used as a metaphor for man, it usually refers to a greedy, cruel, destructive person, always on the prowl for more prey to devour.
These "faith lambs" were heading into "wolf territory", Jesus told them. They would find themselves in the midst of people who were not lambs. They were not innocent and dependent upon the Good Shepherd. Some of those people would try to devour their faith and destroy their testimony if they could. The journey might be hard. The journey might be dangerous. Go anyway. Speak anyway. Try anyway.
Our Lord, who knew that death and destruction awaited Him here, came anyway. He came to earth as God wrapped in a little baby to save us from our sin. In fact, there is far too much "wolf" in all of us and He came to change wolves into lambs. How incredible is that? The first thing that must happen to be a "sent one" is to allow our Divine One to change our own wolf to a lamb. When we are purified, cleansed, changed to become like a little lamb, willing to be led where He goes, willing to be fed where He provides, it is only then that we can be useful on the journey. The innocence of the lamb draws the wolf, but oh how amazing it is when the innocence of the lamb draws the wolf straight to Jesus!
Dear ones, what about the wolf in us? Have we submitted it to Jesus, allowing that divine work of transformation to make a lamb of the wolf within? Are we willing to go, then, where the wolves dwell to draw them to Jesus? It won't be easy. In fact, we are promised that the way will be hard and the work will be dangerous, but it will be worth it, and we will not be alone. Are you willing to be a harvester? Will you be a lamb?
The new book, The Waiting: When the Answer to Your Prayer is Delayed and Your Hope is Gone, as well as The Clay Papers and The Road to Bethlehem (an advent devotional guide) are now available at http://www.leannahollis.com/online-store/ Get your copy today.
Here's the link to last night's post: http://leannahollis.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-fat-goat.html