Thoughts for the Day

Tuesday, 14th May 2024: Wolf in sheep's clothing

Warning Matthew 7 Jesus Christians

Reading : Verses from Matthew, Chapter 7

Wolf in sheep's clothing

‘Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.'

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


The story of 'Little Red Riding Hood' is well known in many countries. It tells of a little girl in a red hooded cape who walks through the woods to deliver food to her poorly grandmother. A wolf goes to the grandmother's house and gains entry by pretending to be Little Red Riding Hood. He either swallows the grandmother, or in some versions, he locks her in a cupboard and waits for the girl, disguised as the grandmother. When Little Red Riding Hood arrives, she notices the strange appearance of her "grandmother", and exclaims, "What a deep voice you have!" and then, "What big eyes you have!" and "What a big mouth you have!" Sanitized versions of the story have the grandmother and Little Red Riding Hood saved by the woodcutter, rather than being eaten by the wolf. The point is that Red Riding Hood is suspicious because although the wolf looks like her grandmother he does not display the same manner, his voice is too deep, his eyes are too big, and his mouth is too large.

Jesus wanted his followers to be wise and while we pass on the Gospel message and welcome all people, we are to be aware of those who are "wolves", if not in red capes, then in "sheep's clothing". We are to know people by their fruit, that is by their actions, not just by their words. If love is in their heart they will show evidence of that love.

As well as this we must watch out that we are not wolves in sheep's clothing, seemingly one thing but actually another. For example, we may talk of loving one another, but internally hold negative views of others, perhaps because of their ethnicity, sexuality, age, or gender. Do we stop and ask ourselves "What would Jesus think and do?" He put people at the centre of his world, over and above the Law of Moses! Or are we so blinded by prejudice that we go on to compound our thoughts by wrong actions? This too will be seen in our actions.


Lord Jesus Christ,
help us to realise that it is not just others
that are wolves in sheep's clothing,
but that we too hide our objectionable side
to appear acceptable to society
as well as to the Christians community.
Forgive us our prejudices, and our sin,
and help us to learn to look at the world
through the lense of love,
seeking to take Your message of love to all.

Follow Up Thoughts

This short blog by Greg Laurie looks at the subject of how we are known:

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