Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. Matthew 7:15
Some of my younger friends, those who are parents of little children have become very cautious when they pick out toys for their children. The recent scares about lead paint have made them apprehensive about purchasing toys that are made in other countries.
It all goes to prove you just can’t be too careful. It also proves that a toy that looks safe may not always be safe.
For example, last week, Reuters News Service carried the story of children in Amsterdam who were playing with a large metallic object in a city park. Apparently it was quite an attraction, as for months, children kicked, hit, rolled, and played with the toy.
Parents and children alike enjoyed the fascinating object until someone commented: “That looks like a military shell.” Others agreed. Eventually, authorities were called in to assure the questioners that things were perfectly safe.
The explosive truth is this: for months the children had been having fun with a high-explosive, undetonated World War II bit of munitions. The police called in a bomb squad, which detonated the shell in a protected location. Things that look safe may not always be safe.
If World War II munitions had been around at the time of the Savior, our text for today’s devotion might have read: “Beware of false prophets who come to you looking like toys, but who are really unexploded military shells.” Since there were no such weapons back then, the Savior warned, “Beware of false prophets who look like sheep, but, in reality are wolves.” The meaning is the same.
The Christ wanted us to realize Satan, the spiritual seducer, doesn’t always attack God’s people head on or face to face. Sometimes, to accomplish his purpose, the devil will put on disguises to confuse and confound. It is a method that he has found to be most effective. Indeed, Satan has been so successful, the Psalmist was inspired to write: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” He wanted everyone to know God’s Word alone should be trusted to give direction to the lives of the redeemed.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that You will let me trust in Your Word and Your Word alone. Grant me discernment, so I may follow the Good Shepherd, and not trust myself into following other sheep who may be disguised wolves. This I pray in Your Son’s Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries