And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech betrayeth thee.
My aunt’s family received a couple of students on an exchange programme live with her for a while. The two Europeans easily bonded with Naa, her daughter.
Months later, you could easily tell that a number of things had rubbed off on the little girl. Though she was about 14yrs old and already spoke with a Ghanaian accent, you could begin to tell it was being “tweaked” a little bit. A number of things too about her kept changing even without her permission 😃.
Peter had been with Jesus for about 3yrs and so much had rubbed off the Master that apart from the fact that Peter was Galilean, he speech easily gave him away, as one who had been with Jesus. Probably the kind of jargons or the manner in which he responded to those who interrogated him, just betrayed him… which was a good thing in itself, save the denial.
Many of us have hanged around influential servants of God, fellowships and prominent institutions for long but have absolutely nothing to show for. In fact, when you state your claim to having known and lived with them, people around you can’t help but only wonder. You have been a Christian/believer for this long yet your deeds can’t back this claim, be careful, you may just be on a time bomb.
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
One of my favourite parables of Jesus is the parable of the Sheep and the Goats. I love it simply because of the the way it ends; “since you have done it to the least of my brothers, you have done it unto me.”
A lot of us lose sight of the fact that all our “spiritual or religious acrobatics” we do each day all boils down to this point, where there will be separation of sheep from goats. What’s the point in putting in any effort at all if you will at the end be classified a goat? Hell no!!!
You see, according to this parable, even if cast out demons and did mighty works, they don’t matter if you failed to uphold simple compassion to your neighbour. No amount of spiritual gimmicks is greater than serving the needy and doling out the love God has for humanity to humanity.
We need to dispense the love God has filled us with to others and that is what He desires most. All others are just a bonus. Feed the hungry and thirsty, care for the sick and dying, clothe the naked. These are mightier works.
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Even as a Christian, sometimes I wonder whether we are really in the end times now or we shall even get closer than we are.
When I contemplate on all these signs Jesus predicted in Matthew 24, I already see a good number of them manifesting already. Many signs and wonders that are even capable of deceiving the elect are out there. False prophets claiming to have one-on-one encounters with Jesus and all. Diseases that threaten to end human existence, etc, etc, etc…
I can’t but imagine we are really close and can’t know what the next couple of years may even hold for us. A lot of figurative speech is employed by Jesus, such as the sun and moon losing their light and stars falling. I won’t pretend to understand all that nor just think He spoke literally.
Whatever manifests in your time, Jesus implies that the servant who is prepared has no need to worry about them. So be prepared. Be prepared at all times. Be prepared anyday. Be prepared always. Be prepared!
Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
If there is any one person who feels people should be judged by their motives, that person should be me. In my walk with the Lord, I’ve come to appreciate, many times, to look beyond actions and dig deep for real motives.
More than twice, I have made that clear in the posts I make of my reflections. However, today, I see that even in our motives, the evil one is still capable of finding a way, and this is why we need to be extra vigilante. Even when we have a very clean motive, we could still be doing the devil’s bidding.
Peter had the best of intentions when he pulled Jesus aside to rebuke Him for making such “suicidal” comments. “Why would He want to die? Has He forgotten He just confessed being the Christ? Would God die?” Indeed Peter’s motives were clean, but Jesus’s response makes deeper revelations.
Even when our intentions are pure, it is always good to run them by the LORD. We must be vigilante especially in these times when the enemy is craftier than ever.
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.
 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.
One of the challenges most believers face is having to deal with the many voices, opinions, comments, etc. from the people around us. Indeed, some of these comments are able to get to us, no matter how grounded or strong we are.
Jesus made his disciples aware that, irrespective of what they did, people were always going to talk. So He used His cousin John and His own self as examples. John’s life was a secluded one, given to fasting and prayers while Jesus’s looked more social and responding directly to the needs of the people. Yet… people had issues with both.
So Jesus would liken them to children who’d neither dance when cheerful music is being played for them, nor mourn when a dirge is on. So there you have it, criticisms didn’t begin with you or your ministry!
Very recently, I’ve learnt a great deal about handling critics, back stabbers and very close confidants. I wish all believers would come to appreciate such experiences and learn from them. Jesus has given many templates in such moments. Read, learn and apply them in your own situations.
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?