If a liar and deceiver comes and says, “I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,” he would be just the prophet for this people! Micah 2:11
Bo Giertz, when bishop of Gothenburg, Sweden, once said that these were the three great lies in the area of religion: There is no God, there is no devil, and everyone can be saved in his own way.
False prophets not only teach lies but also make deceiving promises – promises of things people crave for an enjoyable life. Besides the drinks Micah mentions, these things are also luxuries: large homes, miraculous cures, and sudden riches. If people want religious leaders who ignore God’s Word and instead promise sensuous and materialistic things, they will have such prophets. These will come, not as a promise but as a punishment, in keeping with the words of Saint Peter, “It is time for judgment to begin with the family of God” (1 Peter 4:17). People get the kind of leaders they deserve.
Lies, falsehoods, distortions, unfounded accusations, false hopes – all these marked the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin and the tribunal of Pontius Pilate. The devil, who is a murderer and the father of lies, was certainly at work, as our Lord said to His enemies: “This is your hour – when darkness reigns” (Luke 22:53). All that the Swedish bishop mentioned was fulfilled here: the denial of the divine sonship of God (and thereby also the denial of God as such), the rejection of His way of salvation in preference for works righteousness, and without realizing it, full obedience to Satan.
Carnally minded people had rejected Jesus long before His final trials. They had wanted an earthly messiah capable of enriching them and serving them as a bread king. Our Lord would have found a great welcome if He had promised full tables and cups overflowing with wine. But His was not that kind of kingdom, not that kind of earthly rule.
We thank God that Jesus Christ, His Son, was not sent to be this kind of a provider. He had come to supply abundantly what we so desperately need – the bread of life and the living water of salvation. He had come to give His life a ransom for us, and this is what He did when he went to Mount Calvary to be crucified.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, keep on supplying Your church with faithful leaders. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)