Sermon on the Mount: Wolves in Sheep's Clothing
False Prophet - Someone who claims to teach God's Word, but who teaches something wrong or less than the whole truth
Lesson - Matt 7:15-23
15 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.Some people are like wolves who pretend to be sheep. They act and dress like the sheep, only to destroy the lambs once they are among them. Click for Larger picture of sheep and disguised wolf.
Jesus said that we can figure out which sheep are true sheep, and which are wolves. He said we'll know, because even if a wolf is dressed like a sheep, it acts like a wolf. A wolf can't baaa like a sheep, it can't chew cud like a sheep, it can't eat grass, or even smell like a sheep. Jesus said that a wolf can try to look like a sheep, but you can tell it apart by its actions.
Jesus also compared people like this to trees. If a tree has apples on it, what kind of tree is it? An apple tree! Will an apple tree ever grow pears? No - that's what a pear tree is for. Jesus said our actions are like fruit. If a man lies, he is a liar, no matter how often he says he isn't. A man can say he is a Christian, but if he doesn't act like a Christian, then you know he is false.
In fact, Jesus said there would people on judgment day that would claim that they had done great things for Jesus, and he would say: "I never knew you, depart from me, you who work iniquity." In other words, not only had they not done what Jesus wanted, they had done evil instead. These people may have thought they were pleasing God, but in fact they weren't. How do we find out what will please God? By reading the Bible.
SING: This little Christian Light of Mine
Activity: Matching game. Use two pictures of trees, a twisted, dead and black tree labeled Bad Fruit and a living, healthy, leafy tree labeled Good Fruit. On pictures of fruit, list good and bad traits. Mix up the fruit and have students sort them accordingly.
Describe several situations and have students decide whether a person who does this is a sheep or a sheep in wolves clothing. (You can give each student a picture of each to hold up, post a picture of each and have students stand before the appropriate character, or have students place tokens on the character on the table.)
Review Questions(can be used with gameboard) linguistic questions