In Matthew Chapter 10 Jesus is preparing His disciples to go out and spread the message of Jesus Christ to the Jewish cities. He gives them specific instructions, as well as warning them what to expect, and briefing them on the reaction they will receive because of Him. He declares to them “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
Symbolism, object lessons, and metaphors for life and character prevail throughout nature. In the animal kingdom, we find aspects of ourselves. Jesus used these examples to declare the kingdom of heaven, and to clarify the state of the world. The world is full of predators. Many religious leaders would oppose the disciples and the message of Jesus Christ. The disciples were sent out in to this environment. Jesus tells them, “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are not to close our eyes to the evil in this world. God has not called us to naiveté, but to wisdom. And yet even as we see the ugliness in the world, we are not to take part. In the midst of darkness, we are to shine as light, to be as innocent as doves. We are not to overcome evil with evil, but to overcome evil with good. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are able to shine with purity in the midst of a dark world. It is only through relationship with God through His son Jesus Christ that we are able to maintain innocence and remain spotless while clearly seeing the wiles and schemes of the enemy. It is this dichotomy of wisdom and innocence that witnesses to the goodness of Jesus Christ. It is only in Him that we are able to both clearly see and remain innocent. Today, may you be granted wisdom that comes from God, and may your innocence before men bring others a view of Jesus Christ.