“Woe to you when all people speak well of you,
for their ancestors did the same things to the false prophets.”
It’s sad really, isn’t it, that those who are evidently false prophets were admired and adored and adulated even though they were false. People generally want to hear what they want to hear (2 Timothy 4.3). People want to hear that they’re doing ok, doing well even, and that things will turn out ok in the end. Throw in some new, exciting, and previously-undiscovered knowledge, add a dash of pizzazz and charisma and you’ve got a recipe for the kind of teaching most people want to hear. Sad.
Jesus here is saying that when His kingdom is brought into its full and wonderful reality that this kind of false prophet who pronounces peace when there is no peace, who says that everything is alright when really it isn’t (Jeremiah 6.14), will eventually come to woe.
The choice for you and me to become false prophets in order to gain the approval of those around us may seen extreme. Surely, nobody chooses to be false as a mechanism for approval? Sadly, this is often a slow and slippy slope and one that if we are not careful, we can all head down.
Just think today – am I being consistent in my character, actions, and reactions despite how others may feel about me?
Am I living my Christian life to the best of my ability rather than worrying about what other people think of me?
Am I concerned, generally, with pleasing people or with pleasing God?
I think Paul had it right when he wrote to the Galatians (1.10), a great thought for us to carry into the day:
“Am I now trying to gain the approval of people, or of God?
Or am I trying to please people?”