In the episodes of an old television show, the veteran police lieutenant always said this to the young officers on their way out to the street for their day’s assignments: “Be careful out there!” It was both good advice and a word of compassion because he knew what could happen to them in the line of duty.
Jesus gave His followers a similar warning, but in even stronger terms. Luke 11 ends ominously with these words: “The scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things” (v.53). In the continuation of this account, Luke says that Jesus compassionately instructed His disciples to “beware” (12:1) but not to worry or be afraid (vv.4-7,22).
Jesus was promising to guard, protect, and care for them as they went out into the world. He assured them that because He cared for simple things like birds and lilies, they could be certain that He would take care of His “little flock” of believers (vv.24-32).
We cannot know the future. But we can know this: No matter what comes, we are under the loving, caring, watchful eye of our great Shepherd, who also happens to be the Son of God!