Luke 10:3 says this: “Go your ways. Listen, I am sending you out as lambs among wolves.”
Jesus told his disciples to go—or more accurately, “as you are going.” Yet we usually ask people to come. “Come to our church,” “Come to our special meeting!” Even in our house churches we ask people to come.
Why did Jesus tell us to go? If we go, we are the ones who are crossing the cultural barrier. We are the ones to get uncomfortable. Think about it: What is it like for someone who has never been in church to come to one of our meetings? It is a total culture shock! We may ask them to sing songs they don’t know, to listen to a monologue or take part in a discussion they know nothing about. There are reasons we are told to go.
Jesus may send us to places where we don’t naturally feel comfortable. But Jesus was known as a friend of sinners. He was willing to mix with people whom the upright religious people of his day refused to have anything to do with. He was comfortable with tax collectors and prostitutes. Notorious sinners hung around him (Luke 15:1-2). Are we willing to risk going to places where “sinners” hang out if Jesus asks us to?
Then Jesus tells us that our going is like throwing lambs to the wolves! Dinner time!
What kind of shepherd would do that? Send his lambs to the wolves?
What is the protection for a lamb? As Neil Cole likes to point out, it’s not their superior intelligence, their sharp teeth, their camouflage or their speed. They have no natural defense but their shepherd. When we go to spiritually dangerous places, Jesus Himself is our protection.
Some years ago, when our daughter, Becky, returned from YWAM, where she had been for a couple of years, she sensed the Lord wanted her to go and work downtown in our bar district. We thought about it. We had two questions: Would she be safe, and what would our Christian friends think. As we prayed, we had a peace about her doing this. About 6 weeks later she threw a party and 40 of her friends from downtown came—bar-tenders, bouncers, tattooed and pierced. The result: A Bible study formed, and several of them found the Lord.
When we go as lambs, we are also vulnerable, weak. People are instinctively more attracted to someone who is willing to admit their imperfections. They identify with us more when we don’t have all the answers. Are we willing to go in this way?
Adapted from Felicity Dale‘s blog, Kingdom Women. Felicity Dale is an author and an advocate for women in the church. She trains people to start simple, organic house churches around the world.