MATTHEW 10 16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. 18 You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. 21 “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household! 26 Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.

Anonymous Ancient Commentator:

But let us consider this. Why did he say, on the one hand, “like sheep” and, on the other hand, did he not say “like wolves” but simply “wolves”? If he had called the former “sheep” for the sole reason of their gentleness, since by nature they were human indeed but sheep by gentleness, certainly he would have called the latter “wolves,” for they too, though like wolves in cruelty, by nature were human. For this reason, therefore, he called the former “sheep” but called the latter not “like wolves” but fully “wolves,” since people, who are God’s creatures, though they may be good, always have in them something evil according to the flesh. And one is called a sheep insofar as one is good; yet like a sheep, however, insofar as one is not fully good. For one who does not know God can have nothing good in himself. So one is referred to as a “wolf,” not “like a wolf,” because he has nothing good in himself and does not know God in himself.