Jesus Doesn’t Cry Wolf
There was once a young shepherd boy who tended his sheep at the foot of a mountain near a dark forest. It was rather lonely for him all day, so he thought upon a plan by which he could get a little company and some excitement. He rushed down towards the village calling out “wolf, wolf,” and the villagers came out to meet him, and some of them stopped with him for a considerable time.
This pleased the boy so much that a few days afterwards he tried the same trick, and again the villagers came to his help. But shortly after this a wolf actually did come out from the forest, and began to worry the sheep, and the boy of course cried out “wolf, wolf,” still louder than before. But this time the villagers, who had been fooled twice before, thought the boy was again deceiving them, and nobody stirred to come to his help. So the wolf made a good meal off the boy’s flock, and when the boy complained, the wise man of the village said:
“A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth.”
Source: Aesop (1867) Aesop’s Fables
You’ve probably heard that story many times before and the lesson still rings true. A person who does not consistently tell the truth cannot be trusted, even if they do at times choose to tell the truth.
Now, contrast the story of the young boy who lies with our God:
God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?
Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, He confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.
If God does not and cannot lie, then He must be able to be trusted. Too often we find ourselves in the position of the rich young man from the book of Mark, chapter 10. This man encountered Jesus and wanted to be His follower, but the story didn’t end with him following Jesus. Instead, he walked away sad. Jesus challenged him to give up everything he had on this earth in order to come follow after Him. Because he was a man of great wealth he left sad and without Jesus.
If we dig just a little deeper we see that Jesus offered this man the promise of treasure in heaven in exchange for his earthly treasure. The problem for the man, and often for us, is that we don’t really believe that what Jesus says and promises is true. If the rich young man really believed what Jesus said was true, he would have not only given up his wealth but probably would have told every person he knew about the offer so they could get in on it too.
We know that God is not a liar. So what is our problem with following Jesus and obeying His commands? Why do we continue to struggle by choosing the promises of this world over the promises of Jesus?
The problem is not with Jesus. The problem is not that He isn’t trustworthy. The problem is that we don’t believe Him. Instead, we all too often believe the lies of the enemy.
Who do you choose to believe? According to Scripture, Jesus is not crying wolf and He never will.
Dave Nicodemus is the Communications & Creative Arts Pastor and has served at Grace Polaris for over nine years, seven and a half of those as the High School Pastor. Dave joined the Grace staff after serving at a church in eastern Pennsylvania. Prior to that, he studied youth and family ministry, minoring in art at Grace College (2001) and completing a masters degree from Grace Theological Seminary (2003). He’s the husband of Carly and father to Jack, Henry, Emilia, and Charlie.