Pastor's Pen
Walking on Water - Matthew 14:22-33
Jesus had more lessons to teach His disciples. He wanted to give them further proof that He is God and worthy of their worship. He told them to get in a ship and go ahead of Him to the other side. Jesus then sent the multitudes away. It was evening, and He went up into a mountain to pray.
 
Meanwhile, the disciples were in the middle of the sea. Suddenly they were being tossed about by high waves and strong winds. They had labored all night and feared they would not make it safely to land. Matthew 14:25: “And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.“ He knew where they were and arrived at just the right time. When it is the darkest and most scary, Jesus knows where we are, also.
 
The disciples saw Him and thought it was a spirit. This made them even more afraid. What a relief it must have been when they heard Jesus speak: “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid (Matthew 14:27).” Peter wanted to be sure. He said: “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water” (verse 28). Jesus said: “Come” (verse 29). Peter, as a risk-taker, was willing to leave the safety of the boat and obey Jesus’ call to step out in the water and go to Him. He had no problem when he focused on Jesus, but when he felt the wind around him, he began to sink. He cried out: “Lord, save me” (verse 30). Often, we are called to get out of the boat (or our comfort zone) and follow Jesus. Jesus wants us to come to Him and serve Him and others. There will always be dangers, but He is there to help and save us when we call on Him.
 
“And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (verse 31). It is so easy to be overtaken by fear and doubt. May we learn to recognize Jesus’ voice, be willing to obey and follow Him, and keep our eyes on Him. He is always near to hear and save us.
 
Jesus and Peter got into the boat, and the storm ceased (verse 32). “Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God” (verse 33). Jesus proved by His power over nature that He is God. Has He proved it to you?
 
Jesus Christ came as the perfect sacrifice to die on the cross for our sins, be buried, and rise again for our justification. Whoever calls out to Him will be saved (Acts 2:21).  He wants us to keep our eyes on Him and to hear His voice. He will guide us and help us. May we confidently say, “Of a truth thou art the Son of God” (Matthew 14:33).
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.10/5/2022 11:16:12 PM

Jesus Feeds the Five thousand - Matthew 14:13-21
After the death of John the Baptist, Jesus sought a place of solitude and rest. It was not long before a great crowd followed Him (Matthew 14:13-14). He saw the crowd and was moved with compassion, and He healed the sick. The word for compassion here has a deeper meaning: “a moving of the heart deep within Jesus’ soul over their needs.” So, why did the crowd follow Jesus?
 
Many who followed had physical needs and illnesses. Although this was not their greatest need, Jesus healed them. The spiritually needy followed Jesus, because they understood something was missing in their souls. They understood only Jesus’ words would truly satisfy. Everyone has a spiritual need. In John 6:68, Simon Peter said: “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” Many who followed Jesus were thrill seekers looking for a show of miracles. They had no concern for their physical or spiritual needs and could care less about Jesus’ message.
 
A large, hungry, and exhausted crowd had gathered. It was time for the evening meal, but they were far from a source of food (Matthew 14:15-17). The disciples wanted to send the crowd away, but Jesus challenged them to provide what was needed. The disciples were only able to come up with five loaves and two fish. Even though Jesus had desired solitude, He willingly met the people’s physical and spiritual needs.
 
No one in the crowd could provide all the food required. The disciples had no idea as to how to provide food. All they had were five loaves and two fish. They had no financial resources and no food source. The crowd of 5,000 men, plus women and children could have totaled over 25,000. Jesus was the only one who could provide (Matthew 14:18-21). When the disciples obediently gave Him what they had (five loaves and two fish) and followed Jesus’ instructions, all were fed. Not just fed but filled and satisfied, and there were twelve baskets of food left over.
 
Jesus knew that He would soon be going to the cross, and He wanted to use this event to prepare His disciples for their responsibility to feed and meet the needs of the people. Are we willing to give what we have and let God bless it to supply our needs and to serve others as well?  What do you have in your hand that can be used for God? Give Him your whole heart. He has a job for each of us who are willing to be used. Be faithful, and God will multiply your ministry.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr. 9/22/2022 3:14:49 PM

True and False Conversions - Matthew 13:24-30
Jesus’ teaching in the parables was to prepare the people and His disciples for the Gospel and the Church Age. The parable of the tares and wheat is in Matthew 13:24-30, which represents what the harvest will produce.
 
Matthew 13:24-25: “The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.” The desired harvest was wheat, which represents a true conversion. While the men slept, the enemy (Satan) sows tares among the wheat. These tares make the crop less productive and rob the soil of nutrients needed to nourish the wheat. The enemy (Satan) afflicts the Church, Israel and all mankind. I Peter 5:8: “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, like a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour.”
 
One of Satan’s methods is deception.
 We see Satan’s deception first in the Garden when Eve was deceived. Satan caused her to doubt God’s Word (Genesis 2:15-16, 3:1-6). He is still successful at implanting doubts about God’s goodness and His will for our lives. So often, we allow ourselves to go along with Satan’s deceptions.
 
Satan is a master deceiver. He likes nothing better than to sow tares among the wheat in the church. These tares appear to be believers, but they are not. They refuse to believe they are lost and are deceived into thinking they are saved. They are religious but not righteous.
 
One of Satan’s methods is to be intentionally deceptive.
The tares and wheat may outwardly look alike. We have all heard of people who were part of a Christian organization, but in time they were revealed to be tares. We may not always discern the tares from the wheat. That is God’s job, and He will do it in His time at the harvest (Matthew 13:28-30). God knows who are tares and who are wheat.
 
One day we will all stand before God and give an account of what we did with Christ. Examine your heart. Are you religious but not righteous? Do you want to hear: “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21)? When people die, where will they go if they do not believe in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection for their justification? Hell is prepared for the devil, his angels, and those who reject Christ. The tares are gathered in bundles to be burned (hell). The wheat is gathered into God’s barn (heaven).
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr. 9/8/2022 10:37:05 PM

The Parable of the Sower and the Seed - Matthew 13:1-23
The parable of the sower and the seed is the first of eight parables in the Book of Matthew. Jesus used parables to teach the multitudes spiritual truths. Matthew 13:1-9: “And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow” (verse 3).
• “Some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up” (verse 4).
• “Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away” (verses 5-6).
• “And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them” (verse 7).
• “But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold” (verse 8).
In verse 9, Jesus said: “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Jesus was imparting to them a spiritual lesson and was not just speaking about sowing seeds.
 
Jesus explains the parable (Matthew 13:19-23):
• “When anyone heareth the word of the kingdom and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one (Satan) and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side” (verse 19). Beware of false teachers and reasonings which attempt to undermine God’s truth.
• “But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended” (verse 20-21). Are you guilty of having received the Word joyously, appearing to be a follower of Christ, but you fall away for lack of roots? Be sure your roots are planted deep in Christ.
• “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful” (verse 22). We must not allow anything to choke out God’s Word and draw us away from Him.
• “But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty” (verse 23). This is where we should desire to be.
 
What kind of ground describes the condition of your heart toward God? Could Jesus say this about you: “But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears for they hear” (verse 16)? God wants us to bear fruit and tell others about Christ. Do not allow stones, thorns, and the cares of this life to take you away from Christ.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.8/25/2022 2:56:10 PM

Obeying the Word of God/Hearing the Word of God - Matthew 12:38-45
There is a difference between being religious and being righteous. On the surface, those who are religious may look and even live right, but they are relying on their works, keeping of the laws, etc., to get them into heaven. Those who are righteous have called upon the name of Jesus to be saved. The Pharisees were religious but not righteous. Jesus had just told them that they would be accountable for every idle word. Yet, they continued to challenge Him and His character.
 
“Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee” (Matthew 12:38). Jesus knew the heart and motive of the Pharisees. They were not looking for a sign that they might believe in Him, but so they could mock Him. They really wanted to belittle Him and were already plotting to kill Him. Jesus said He would not give them the sign they wanted except the sign of the prophet Jonah (verse 39).
 
Jesus quoted from the book of Jonah (Matthew 12:40-41). Jonah had been told to go and preach to the people of Nineveh. Instead, he ran away and took a ship going to Spain. A great storm arose, he was thrown overboard and swallowed by a great sea creature. Jonah was in the belly of the creature three days and three nights before being cast out up on the shores of Nineveh. He then obeyed God and preached throughout Nineveh. The entire city repented and turned to God.
 
Just as Jonah was three days and three night in the belly of the creature, Jesus would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. His greatest miracle would occur at His death, burial, and resurrection. Yet, the Pharisees refused to believe. It is the same for people today. If you respond and repent as the men of Nineveh had done, you will avoid judgment and condemnation. You have a choice. What are you trusting in?
 
Matthew 12:42 gives another witness against the Pharisees’ self-righteousness and unbelief. “The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.” Jesus is referring to Himself: “A greater than Solomon is here.” The Pharisees had the Word but refused to believe. They had rejected one greater than Jonah and one greater than Solomon. All of us have a choice to make. Rejection of Jesus brings judgment and condemnation.
 
Matthew 12:43-45 tell the dangers of refusing to believe in Jesus. When you refuse to believe on Him, you turn yourself over to believing a strong delusion. 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.”
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.8/11/2022 8:26:58 PM

Words, Words - Matthew 12:22-37
Matthew 12:37: “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” In Matthew 12:22-23, we see words to prove Christ’s deity. He healed a man who could now see and speak because of Christ’s miracle. The people were amazed, and said: “Is not this the Son of David?” Christ’s miracles and lineage were proofs of His deity, but the Pharisees were quick to oppose Him.
 
Matthew 12:24: “But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.” The Pharisees knew the prophesies of the Old Testament. They knew of the lineage of Jesus and what it represented. They had seen His miracles and heard His teachings and were determined to trap Him. They chose not to believe but to mislead others. They misused their power, their leadership, and their words. They even accused Jesus of being the devil himself.
 
Jesus responds to the Pharisees (Matthew 12:25-37).
Their attack is absurd (verses 25-26). Jesus knew their thoughts. If they accuse Jesus of being the devil, why would he want to defeat Himself and cast out demons?
Their attack is hypocritical (verse 27). The Pharisees practiced exorcism. Without being hypocritical, how could they accuse Jesus of being a devil for doing what they themselves practiced?
Their attack was rebellious (verse 28). The Pharisees had witnessed Jesus’ miracles. They knew the prophesies of the Old Testament and Jesus’ lineage, but their rebelliousness led to their unbelief and their rejection of Him.
Their attack was blasphemous (verses 31-32). The unpardonable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost and occurred during the time Jesus was on earth. The Pharisees chose to reject Jesus’ teachings and willingly mislead others. They also orchestrated His crucifixion.
 
Jesus spoke about words. Our tongues reveal what is in our heart.
Fruit (verse 33). A tree is known by the fruit it produces whether good or bad. It is the same with our tongues. What fruit does your tongue produce?
Vipers (poisonous) (verse 34). The Pharisees were known for their evil words. Jesus called them a generation of vipers.
Good and evil (verse 35). Our character is revealed by the words, thoughts, and actions which proceed from our heart. Does good or evil come out of your heart?
Idle words (verse 36). We will have to give an account and be judged for every idle word we speak.
Condemned or justified (verse 37). By our words, we are either condemned or justified. Romans 10:9: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” What do the words from our hearts reveal: condemnation or repentance, confession, and justification?
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr. 7/28/2022 10:18:39 PM