Wolves: A Dim View Of People
If you have read more than one of my blogs, you probably have noticed a particular tone in my thoughts towards humanity. Some might even call me a misanthrope. If we are being honest with each other, I would say that this distrust or less than favorable view of humanity comes from the people that have hurt me. Is it wrong of me to let this taint my view of other people? Well yeah, but that’s one of the problems I am neglecting to deal with.
We should always think the best of people. I agree with that. If we don't give people the chance to surprise us, the chance to change their spots, the chance to get help, then we doom people to be stuck in a box of expectations that never get delivered.
But why don't people surprise us when we give them that chance? Why don't people change? Why does it seem that people are out to get us? Or is all that just me and my pessimism (I call it realism but whatever)?
"Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves." - Matthew 10:16 ESV
Jesus even warned His disciples that He was sending them out as sheep among wolves. For whatever reason, when I read the Bible verse I get the image in my head of one sheep in a pack of wolves rather than a huge heard of sheep verses a pack of wolves. Either way at least one sheep will probably get eaten unless there is a shepherd to protect them. It is significant that Jesus did not tell them to hide or to avoid people, but that Jesus Himself was sending them out to be with the wolves in order to spread His message. People are so important to Jesus that He sends His flock out to bring more flock in.
Who are the Wolves?
“Sean are you paranoid that everyone is a wolf?” Yes. I am a wolf and you are too. Everyone is potentially a wolf and I think that potential is more inclined to be than not to be. Some people are wolves on purpose and some people just happen to be that way at certain times. Either way, we are surrounded by wolves. If that seems too harsh or a bad perspective to have, you might be right. This is why Jesus does not leave His statement at being among wolves but continues on telling them how they must be in light of the wolves.
He tells them to be wise and innocent. He does this by marrying the images of a deadly serpent and a weak dove. It seems as if Jesus is telling them that they must be able to know the wolves from the sheep to avoid the danger that comes along with being around wolves but also not to be dangerous themselves. How can we tell people the great and wonderful news of what Jesus has done if we are just as vicious and wounding as the wolves?