January 22
‘My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice.’ Ezekiel 33:31a
Bible reading: Matthew 7:13-27 (Go to the Bible passage)
‘Watch out for false prophets’, said the Lord Jesus (:15). But how do we recognize these prophets?
First of all: What is a prophet? Prophets are messengers from God; they are the people who preach God’s word. So, besides those who announce themselves as prophets, they can also be ministers, priests and other clergymen. On the outside the false cannot be distinguished from the true prophets. For Jesus said that they will come in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ferocious wolves, who do not intend to serve, but to devour. They pretend they belong to the flock, only to attack even easier.
‘By their fruit you will recognize them’, said Jesus, ‘for a good tree cannot bear bad fruit’. But what are good fruits? Not pious words. ‘Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, (…) but only the one who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven’. But what is that: to do the will of the Father? Jesus does not specify that. But He does warn us that those who prophesied in His name, drove out demons in His name and performed many miracles in His name, could be evildoers who belong to the false prophets.
But then, nonetheless, the distinction is clear!
For the good fruit is not to be found in outward things, but in what the believers put into practice (Ezekiel 33:31). The true prophets are people who have learned to live in close relationship with the Lord and to acknowledge Him in all their ways. They are people who fall silent to listen to His voice. Not to hear beautiful words in order to repeat them, but to let those words affect their lives deeply, so that others may see in their lives how precious it is to obey God in everything!
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