And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.
 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?
 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?
I’m reminded of a movie I watch sometime last year, titled “What men want,” where the main character Ali got the power to actually hear the thoughts of men after drinking some concoction a psychic gave her.
This movie, though hilarious, probably portrays how humans would behave, if blessed with such godlike abilities. We are humans and limited! I can imagine the look on the faces of the Scribes as Jesus spoke these words while they were having those thoughts about what he had just done… jaw dropping moments!!! 😅 “You think it is easy to say eh,” how about this, “take up your mat and go home.” …TKO!!!
Jesus knew their thoughts! He knew they were wondering why He thought He had power to forgive sins, so He addressed their thoughts by even doing the harder task of healing, not just mere talk.
Jesus was not just human, but God too and verses like these tell how much of a different stock He was: God-man, none in His category or division. Never compare myths like Hercules, Perseus or Thor to Him, never a wise thing to do. Jesus is God incarnate and He came to save the lost.
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Where does one actually draw the line? In an age where the media is so powerful and varied, where does one draw the line between giving from a genuinely generous heart AND giving to win the admiration of others through publicity?
I see a lot of Christian bodies donate millions of cash and assorted items on camera for public viewing. I’ve seen many believers put up the numbers of their charitable deeds on social media. Are they seeking the glory of men as Jesus put it here in Matt 6:1-2 or are they doing that to encourage others to pursue the same Cause?
How can we as a people, as believers, ensure that the latter is the case and not the former? How can we make these words of Jesus make sense and yet encourage others to follow suit?
Today, I’d love read your comments on this very subject as we divide the Word of Truth together. Where do we draw the line? Are Jesus’s words still relevant in our time?
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Last Sunday I found myself at Christ the King Church in Accra and having listened to the sermon by Rev. Fr. Anthony Agnes Adu-Mensah, from the same chapter I read this morning, I feel obliged to share one point he hammered home.
Jesus in His sermon on the mountain redefined adultery and most other sins by extension from a point of mere action to the more complicated thought process as well.
So in the eyes of Divinity, you didn’t need to do the do to be guilty, you could just think it and you were equally in need of mercy! This more or less defines God to us in another way; the One who is able to judge thoughts and intents and is a discerner of actions. Imagine critically what this means.
At this level, I dare to say we even sin more than we actually know and are aware of. So though you may wear a “pious” title around the neighbourhood, you know what time it is: Time to get on your knees each day and ask Him to forgive and purge your thoughts. Sins go beyond actions.
Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
Wikipedia defines Astrology as a pseudoscience that claims to divine information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the movements and relative positions of celestial objects. So that those who study the heavenly bodies and their movements are able to predict what happens on earth.
Until proof became an issue, astrologers were revered and their work was considered scholarly and scientific. Some have said that, students of Prophet Daniel, the master interpreter of dreams, might have been the originators of astrology, so trace its roots to the prophet himself. 🤔
Whatever be the case and whichever argument is true, one thing is certain… that the “wise men saw His star in the East”. I believe one of the imports of this is that nature responds one way or the other to divinity.
So in literal terms, your star may be shining so bright that those who are able to perceive such may want to either align with you, like the wise men did, or bring you down like Herod wanted. May His angels protect us, so we live to see the manifestations of our shining stars.
And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the Lord of hosts.
 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it ! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord.
I have always struggled when it comes to getting a gift for a “big” man.
I know very well that is must be something that befits his status, whether he is a humble man or not. Usually in such scenarios I’d consult another person, most often a lady, I tend to believe they have good taste and an eye for these things 😊.
The prophet Malachi, had to call his people, post-exile people, to order! The quality of their offering to God had gone from bad to worse, signifying how much they regarded God at the time. The defective animals would not even be given to their governor, how much more the King of Kings.
Lukewarness is seen in many areas of ones spiritual life, not just in the visible externals, but also what we give to Him in secret. Go all out and do your best for Him. Honour Him with quality!
Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE Lord ; and the pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar.
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase, “The day of the LORD?”
The term has been used quite extensively by many scholars, as has been used too by prophets of old. For the ancient Jews, everything that was dedicated to the LORD for use in His temple, was considered Holy, and these included personalities like priests and levites. They even wore labels to depicts this.
However, prophet Zechariah declares that on the day of the LORD, even horses and ordinary pots in homes will be made sacred. Those who are not even Jews will find themselves adopted and grafted in (v20 & 21). So like Paul the apostle will say, we all become partakers… Isn’t this wonderful?
“Behold, the day of the LORD cometh and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.” Be prepared! Be prepared!! Be prepared!!!
And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord… I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.
…  that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:
Last time I had a discussion with someone on the spate of mushroom churches in our neighbourhood, the intention was to get in touch with them to mobilize their youth for some communal work.
It didn’t turn out too good. The discussions waded into uncomfortable areas and some of the pastors/prophets started getting the stick. This apathy towards prophets and the prophetic ministry by a section of the masses is not entirely blameable on the latter.
Indeed, prophets have been getting the stick since the days of old, but such has usually been from the LORD Himself. Through many other prophets, God has and will continue to judge fake, quack stomach-prophets who bring dishonour unto His Holy name, He doesn’t really need your help to do that.
Don’t make your business identifying who is fake or not. You can know some by their fruits and others by discernment. Spend more of your energy working out your own salvation and leave the LORD to deal with his own weeds in His vineyard.