Pastor's Pen
Three Physical Miracles - Matthew 8:1-17
Jesus performed several miracles following His sermon on the mount. Why were miracles performed? Miracles described and validated who Jesus proclaimed to be. In the book of Matthew, Jesus is seen as the Jew's Messiah, King, and Savior. He is the One they longed for and is the Anointed One who is from the right family line to sit on the throne of David and fulfill of prophecy. He is the God-Man.
 
The Healing of the Leper (Jew). Matthew 8:1-4
Multitudes of people followed Jesus from the mountain. Among them was a leper who approached Jesus. Lepers were considered unclean and were isolated from society. No one would even touch them. The leper’s only hope was in Jesus. He made his way to Jesus, worshiped Him, and said, “If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” Jesus touched him in full view of the crowd. His healing was complete and immediate. He was unclean but now was clean by the power of Jesus’ touch. The leper’s first act was to worship Jesus. This is a good example for us to follow by praising God first with every answer to prayer.
 
The Request of a RomanCenturion (Gentile). Matthew 8:5-13
The centurion’s servant was ill. He showed unusual care and concern for his suffering. The centurion appeals to Jesus on his servant’s behalf. Jesus agrees to go to his house and heal his servant. He knew the Jewish law prohibited Jews from going into a Gentile’s house. Gentiles were considered unclean to the Jews. The centurion’s faith is seen in saying: “Just say the word and my servant shall be healed.” Jesus marveled at his faith, and used this as an example for the Jews. No where in Israel had He seen such faith (verses 10-11). He honored the centurion’s faith and immediately healed his servant (verse 13).
 
The Healing of Peter's mother-in law (Elderly Woman). Matthew 8:14-16
Jesus cares about the elderly. He healed her just by touching her. Her response was to rise up and serve others.
 
Jesus performed miracles to prove who He is and to validate Scripture. John 5:36: “But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.”
 
Jesus came to save the lost. Luke 19:10: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Our sin was dealt with on the cross.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.1/13/2022 9:35:30 PM

Why People Fail to Come to Jesus - Matthew 7:21-29
Matthew 7:21: “Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in Heaven.” Many religious people have been deceived into thinking that praying, being good, giving money to the church, etc., make them pleasing to God. They hear the Word preached but never truly come to God. They become religious, but they are not clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and they neglect the message of the Gospel.
 
In Matthew 7:21-29, we can see not everyone that claims to be a believer in Christ is a believer. How is it possible that so many can make this claim?
God has allowed it: In Numbers 23-25, Balaam prophesied good things about Israel, even though he was a false prophet.
Demonic activity: Jesus said in Matthew 24:24, “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.” They will speak things that sound good leading many astray.
Fakes in the ministry: The job of a pastor is to help mature the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:14 admonishes us: “Be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”  To be protected we must know God’s Word (doctrine), otherwise we are susceptible to the “sleight of men and their cunning craftiness.”

In Matthew 7:23, Jesus said, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Can you imagine a worse statement? Jesus compares the wise man to the foolish man in Matthew 7:24-29. Have you heard the Gospel but not responded? We can build our lives on Jesus Christ or on sinking sand. James warns us to not be “hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22).  

Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). How can I be compared to the wise man? Romans 10:9-10: “That if thou shalt confess with they mouth the Lord Jesus Christ, and shalt believe in they heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Many people do many works in the name of the Lord, thinking that this will earn them a place in heaven. Unless you truly know the Lord as your Savior and do His will in a manner ascribed by Him, it will all be in vain.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.12/30/2021 7:45:01 PM

False Prophets - Matthew 7:15-20
The Danger of False Prophets (Matthew 7:15a)
Jesus warned, “Beware of false prophets.” False prophets declare false messages or lies that may sound good, but they do not speak the truth. God’s people are not to hearken or follow these false prophets, but “walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him” (Deuteronomy 13:4). Jesus warns against falling prey to false prophets in Matthew 24:4-5, 24. They are smooth talkers, seem to have all the answers, and sound so right, but they go after weak and disgruntled Christians with their deceptions.
 
The Deceitful Nature of False Prophets (Matthew 7:15b)
False prophets “come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.” They are smooth talkers claiming to speak for God, but instead are seeking personal gain and popularity. False prophets will lure people by pretending to be someone else. They use the right terminology to fit in and deceive their prey. 2 Timothy 3:13: “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
 
Identifying False Prophets (Matthew 7:16-20)
“Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Verse 16). What they are and what they believe will be revealed through careful observation. The importance of knowing doctrine helps believers to identify false prophets by what they say and what they don’t say. They are often revealed through their personal actions.
 
The Future Punishment of False Prophets  (Matthew 7:19-23)
Jesus said, “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire” (Verse 19). They will spend eternity in the lake of fire. They may deceive many on earth, but they will not deceive Jesus Christ. He will say, “I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
 
People will go to hell for rejecting Jesus Christ. John 3:18: “He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the nameof the only begotten Son of God.” Are you trying to look like a Christian? Are you following a false teacher and neglecting the Word of God? We must determine to know what God’s Word says, so that we will not be seduced by false prophets.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr12/17/2021 2:33:54 PM

The Path That We Choose - Matthew 7:13-29
Each day we make hundreds of choices. Everything from the mundane to those that become life-changing choices. Choices that can either destroy us or make us. The most important decision one can make is their response to the claims of Jesus Christ. This decision not only affects their lives here but also throughout eternity. Jesus said, “Follow Me.” This is a life-style built upon our relationship with Him.
 
Two Gates (Matthew 7:13-14):
The Strait Gate. “Enter ye in at the strait gate.” (Verse 13). This is written in the imperative. Jesus makes it clear that He is the only way through the gate. John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” Acts 4:12: “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” This gate has its difficulties and requires hard work and self-denial (Matthew 16:24). The strait gate requires repentance, which is a turning away from sin and turning toward God.
The Wide Gate. This is the way of the world, and many are going this way.
 
Two Paths (Matthew 7:13-14):
The Broad Way is loved by world. It is an easy, well-worn way with few rules or restrictions and allows one to do “what is right in their own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)
The Narrow Way requires agreement with the standards found in the Bible. Be sure you are following the way of God and His standards. 1 Timothy 6:12, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called.” You will have a desire to live a godly life and to be in His house.
 
Two Destinations (Matthew 7:21-23): The choice we make on earth determines our destination in the next life. Have you chosen heaven or hell?
Heaven: In John 14:1-2, Jesus says: “Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father's house are many mansions (dwelling places) if it were not so, I would have told you. I go go prepare a place for you.”
Hell: 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9: “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” This does not mean total annihilation but eternal suffering.
 
Two Groups (Mathew 7:13-14):
The Many: It is easy to follow the Broad Way. Many are following it.
The Few: Few in number choose the Narrow Way compared to the multitudes on the Broad Way. You may think that the Narrow Way has too many regulations, but there is only one: “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matthew 22:37). May we determine to enter the Narrow Way and walk with Christ.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.12/3/2021 4:46:50 PM

Put Into Practice God’s Love - Matthew 7:7-12
Jesus had been teaching about God’s standard for living. He pointed out the difference between a man’s attempt at religion without receiving the righteousness of God and a man who is righteous before God. Example: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them.” (Matthew 5:44). Also, a righteous man must be careful of judging others without “first casting out the beam out of his own eye.” (Matthew 7:1-6). The question is: How do we deal with people and love them without being self-righteousness? If it is impossible to love some of our family members, how can we love our enemies? There is a way.
 
We must go to God in prayer (Matthew 7:7). Ask, seek and knock are in the imperative mood. This means we are to ask and continue asking. Praying is asking. We cannot help and love others without asking for God’s help. Often we are not doing bad things to others, but we are also not doing good to them, even when it is in our power to do so. Love is more than the absence of hatred or ill-will. It is wanting to help and love others. James 4:17: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” We must go to God first when we need help in relationships or with the issues of life (James 1:5).
 
God promises to help (Matthew 7:8). “Ask, Seek, Knock,” and He will open the door to help. Be careful not to ask amiss or with wrong or selfish motives (James 4:3). Ask that the Father may be glorified (John 14:13-14). Ask for His will to be done. For example, ask: “Lord, help me to love my enemies, bless them, do good to them, and pray for them.”
 
God knows what we need far better than we do (Matthew 7:9-11). Remember that God’s plan for our lives may be different than our own plan. If caring earthly parents provide for the needs of their children, shouldn’t we have confidence that God will care for us? He has promised to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He hears our prayers and has the power to answer. The same God that created the stars and the universe, created us and cares about us (Psalm 147:4).
 
We must determine to love others (Matthew 7:12). Romans 13:8: “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” We are commanded to love one another (1 John 3:23-24, John 13:34-35). The mark of true Christians is their love for one another. This type of love will bring forth fruit and good works (John 15:16-17).
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr. 11/18/2021 9:00:16 PM

Judgment vs. Discernment - Matthew 7:1-6
We have all heard, “Judge not that ye be not judged.” This is a wrong assessment on judgment, because we all make judgments throughout the day. We have to decide everything from the mundane to the more serious issues affecting our lives. Therefore, is it true we are not to have judgments, absolutes or convictions, or are we to be all inclusive so as not to offend anyone?
 
Should we judge or not judge (Matthew 7:1-3)? When we read the Bible, we need to pray and ask God for insight on how to apply these verses. We need to look at the context of these verses and compare them to other Scriptures. Jesus was speaking to a group of people, including the Pharisees. He was instructing them on God’s standard of true religion compared to being hypocritical. Some Scriptures on judging: Matthew 7:15: “Beware of false prophets.” This requires a need to make a discerning judgment. Matthew 18:15-18 gives instruction on discipline and forgiveness. A necessary judgment has to be made. 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 reveals the need to use judgment and discernment with those involved in immorality. Galatians 1:6-9 shows the need to have judgment and discernment toward those who pervert the Gospel.
 
Clearly, comparative Scriptures do not say: “make no judgments.” How do we reconcile Matthew 7:1? We do this by looking at the language and grammar. The word “judge” comes from the Greek word “krino,” which means to separate or to determine. Romans 14:13: “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.” Do not judge, but judge!  The imperative is that we are not be judgmental, but discerning so we do not become judgmental. To keep from being judgmental, we need to be good listeners (Proverbs 17:28, 18:13). It does not mean we have no standards or convictions.
 
Why shouldn’t we be judgmental? God says to stop being judgmental and do not assume His position of judge. It is God’s job to be the judge (James 4:11-15). The standards by which we will be judged are in Matthew 7:2: “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Self-righteous judgment always leads to consequences. A hypocritical standard brings damage to ourselves and others.
 
Judgmental people fail to see things from God’s perspective (Matthew 7:3-4). Jesus wants us to be discerning and deal with our own sins first (Matthew 7:5). His final warning is found in verse 6. There is a time for us to speak the truth. Then we must step back. We must be discerning but not harsh. We cannot force people to respond. It is God’s business.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.11/5/2021 1:58:17 PM

Dealing with Anxiety - Matthew 6:25-34
We have all experienced times of being anxious and fearful and feeling paralyzed over events happening in our lives. We can see the tragedy coming and realize we have no control and are without any hope. Yet, the Word of God tells us not to worry or let fear take over our lives. Our relationship to and with God helps us during trying times.
 
1.  It is not necessary for Christians to worry, because we belong to God. “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” (Matthew 6:25). God says we are “to take no thought” or stop worrying.  This is a command. Most of what we worry about, we cannot control. When we look back, we can see God has provided. Remember He is in control, we are to rest in His care for us.
 
2.  It is not necessary for Christians to worry, because worry changes nothing. God provides for even the birds and flowers (Matthew 6:26). Matthew 6:27 has nothing to do with our height, but actually with the length of our lives. God is in control of our life. He provides for all our needs, and we are to be content by recognizing that what we have belongs to Him (Matthew 6:27-32). We are to rest in the fact that God promises to supply what we need (Philippians 4:19).
 
3.  It is not necessary for Christians to worry, because our future is with God. Matthew 6:33-34: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” 1 Corinthians 15, the resurrection chapter, assures us of our resurrection and future with God. Colossians 3:1-4: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.”
 
We need to learn the difference between the use of common sense (cautious planning) and worry. We must trust God with our circumstances, remember He is sovereign in all things, and be thankful for blessings He provides. May we do the best with what we can control and not be consumed by worry. Trust God and let Him carry the load. He is our security.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.10/21/2021 7:19:55 PM