“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
Wolves are intentionally hostile to sheep. They do not hide their hostility. They do not disguise it. They are predators. They do not care for the welfare of the sheep -- in fact they disdain it. The world can be a hostile place -- full of wolves.
"Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made." Genesis 3:1a
If a snake doesn't want to be seen, it won't be seen. If necessary a snake will fight, but usually it just leaves when there is a threat.
"and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son;[a] with you I am well pleased.”[b]" Luke 3:22
The example of Christ:
"a bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory;" Mathew 12:20
Jesus as a dove is easy to picture.
"When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick."
32 Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” Matthew 15:32
You gotta be gentle in speaking about Jesus. Gentleness is strength when used correctly (not by being a doormat).
Innocence of Christ
46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” John 8:46-47
37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him." John 18:37-38
The wolves were always after Jesus.
'The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.'
"And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” Mark 10:2
"And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk." Mark 12:13
At first he tried to share the word with the Pharisees, but they refused to listen.
Jesus's response to the wolves? Wisdom.
10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand." Matthew 13:10-13
How were the disciples sent?
"And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. " Mathew 10:1
Jesus gave them power to do what He does. He gave the opportunity to minister. His power is a threat to the world. We are not to go out as conqueroring warriors.
7 And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’[c] 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers,[d] cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. 9 Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, or two tunics[e] or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. 11 And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. 12 As you enter the house, greet it. 13 And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. 15 Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town." Matthew 10:7-14
The wise part = if they don't receive you, just leave. Walk away. Do it Jesus's way. Use Discernment. There are places where no one will listen. Just leave then. Be blameless.
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain." Philippians 2:14-16
Why do stars shine? Because they're in the darkness. Gotta be different than the darkness to shine, to be seen.
2 Do not be conformed to this world,[a] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.[b]" Romans 12:2
Let your love abound.
9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God." Philippians 1:9-11