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Gottesblog

A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

Thoughts on a Mixed Metaphor: Trinity 8

Jesus opens with talk of wolves in sheep's clothing, and the only way you can figure out if your dealing with a wolf or a sheep is looking at a tree to see if it has good or bad fruit. So wolf trees will bear wolf fruit and sheep trees will bear sheep fruit. Capiche? Yeah, I thought not.

Instructive is this little line: "who come in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves." Ravenous wolves devour. They are parasites and leeches. They are hypocrites, play-actors, dressed up to look like one thing but inwardly are another altogether, who in the end can't hide who they really are. In the end, they must show their true colors. For their works, their words, their fruit will be known.

They are ravenous. And so they will eat. They will devour. They will take and take and take. Their sole purpose will be to prop themselves up, to make themselves look good, sound good, and feel good. Everything will be about and for them. False prophets always lead to idolatry, away from the Lord and his Words (Deut 13:1-4; Rev. 16:13; 19:20; 20:10). For their fruit is rotten, poisonous and when digested takes from the body, causes the body to decay along with it.

True prophets aren't ravenous. They don't take. They give. They give of themselves for the benefit of others. They care not for themselves but for others. Their fruit nourishes, feeds, and fills you up. True prophets sacrifice themselves.

The true prophet is Jesus. And only those who live off of Him, who live from Him, whether pastor or hearer, shall live and be full. All else with be devoured.

They will be devoured either by the wolf who by his demands for works that God has not commanded, or for works that God has commanded but for a gain He has not promised. He will feed off their insecurity, their uncertainty, their doubts. He

Or they will be devoured by the fruit that doesn't give nourishment, that doesn't give life, but rather poisons and brings death. The fruit that would have them believe that in doing this or knowing that, they will finally be like God. The fruit that doing this or knowing that, they will finally have God's wisdom. The fruit of destruction that leads us into works of the law to gain and merit salvation, to make us like God, and to give us wisdom. Instead the true fruit, the fruit that gives life is given, is shed from the tree of the cross and given in bread made His body and wine made His blood unto everlasting life, to join us to God and Him to us, and to open our eyes, our minds, our hearts to the Wisdom of God and our lips to glorify His Name forever.