Jesus uses the images of a bad tree and wolves to warn his hearers of false prophets. Discernment is needed because false prophets may not be easily detected. A tree is judged by its fruit. The credibility of any teacher or preacher is tested through the quality and the authenticity of the life s/he lives. Some may seem to look like “good tree,” but a tree is always judged by its produce.
False prophets could come looking harmless like sheep when in fact they are hungry wolves ready to prey on sheep. “Wolves” was the very name by which false rulers and false prophets of Israel were called. A true prophet, instead, is like a good shepherd who protects the flock from the wolves with his life (Jn 10:11).
GOSPEL • MATTHEW 7:15-20
Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.”
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.