Be on your guard against false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So you’ll recognize them by their fruit. (Matthew 7:15-20)
Pastor John’s Notes:
A prophet is someone who speaks on God’s behalf, but not everyone who claims to be doing so is genuine. The same is true today. There are many people who claim to be speaking on God’s behalf, but instead, have other motives. Sometimes it takes a trained ear to discern whether God’s true Word is being distorted. But Jesus has given us an easy way to discern, whether someone is worthy to be a leader among God’s people. Do we see their personal life in order or disorder? Do their children know God or rebel against God? Are they known by others to be exemplary in their personal lives or is there some hidden vice? False leaders can do a great deal of damage, and Jesus is warning us to be careful about whom we invite into leadership.
Lord, Give to your people a discerning heart about who is worthy to lead. Let your Holy Spirit call worthy people into leadership. Put a barrier between your people and those who are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Give to us all a discerning ear to listen for how your Word might be distorted.