SOM Part 22 found here.
I am going to be honest and say that this will be a post that I will struggle with immensely. I think about the ideas of truth and absolute truth, and do I really know the truth? There are so many different takes on what is truth and which truth is really the truth. I want to believe that I have a good grasp on the truth, but I know that so many others do as well. I want to take these words to heart, to beware of the wolves in sheep's clothing, but I also do not want to make a mistake when it comes to who I find to be a wolf and who is really a wolf.
Jesus does give some help here. He says that we will be able to recognize them by their fruits. So it is not necessarily their words, or just their words that will reveal them as wolves, but it is also their actions. I look at speakers like Mr. Joel Osteen. To me, he is an easy one to pick out as a wolf, although again, I know that there are many who would disagree. But I look at both his words and his fruits. His words are slick. He does not want to commit to words that would alienate some of his flock. He is accepting of things that I believe Jesus would challenge head on. His actions are not much better. He does not live the lifestyle of a disciple in my opinion. His handling of money, of people, of Scripture, etc. are scary at times. (But then, so are mine! Which makes this type of judgment so challenging.) Sometimes his words are awesome. I have seen some great quotes from him posted by folk on Facebook. But words alone are not the sole piece of evidence that must be taken into account. Yet I also know that no one is perfect other than Jesus. So where does someone like Joel, or his disciples fall when it comes to being sheep or wolves? I stand by my choice that he and so many others like him are wolves, but each one must choose for themselves.
The Bible says that there are those who are false apostles. Those who disguise themselves as ministers of Christ. And why wouldn't they, since even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light? (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) So I know that I need to be on guard. I cannot turn a blind eye to someone who would deceive me and say it is their fault. I have been warned. I look at the audience of Jesus. Surely as He scans the crowd, He sees sheep and wolves. Sheep, those who are lost and vulnerable. The masses, who are searching for truth, for salvation, for a Messiah. And wolves, those who would prey upon the sheep for their own gain. Perhaps many of them among the Jewish leaders, who were so enamored with themselves that they could not even see themselves as wolves. But their fruit would reveal them, as they would seek to trap Jesus in His words, and ultimately would consent to His crucifixion.
Take Away: There are those who would deceive me. Who would use Jesus and whatever else they can for their own gain and at the cost of my soul. They will be held accountable. But so will I. I have been warned, and if the wolf comes in and kills the sheep, the sheep is still dead. The instruction calls for the sheep to beware of the wolves. Be aware, perhaps. Know that not everyone has your best interests at heart. So I just pray for awareness. And perhaps a bit of fortitude should there need to be a confrontation with a wolf. Or just pray that my shepherd will protect me when the time comes.