Who Should be Glorified? | Matthew 15:29-39

29 Jesus departed from there, skirted the Sea of Galilee, and went up on the mountain and sat down there. 30 Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them. 31 So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel. 32 Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” 33 Then His disciples said to Him, “Where could we get enough bread in the wilderness to fill such a great multitude?” 34 Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven, and a few little fish.” 35 So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. 36 And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude. 37 So they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left. 38 Now those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 And He sent away the multitude, got into the boat, and came to the region of Magdala.

Jesus once again takes care of the needs of a multitude of people; needs both great and small. He heals them of all manner of sickness and crippling diseases and then feeds them with what is at hand. Miracles abound and miracles amaze, but I would draw your attention to one small clue. He does not do it to bring attention to Himself.

Notice in vs 31 that the people glorify "the God of Israel". Jesus did not allow them to assume that He was the source of the power he was displaying or the miracles he was performing. He did not take any glory for Himself but instead directed their attention to the God of Israel; His Father in Heaven.

I ask myself the question; "If God were to give me power to heal, would I take the glory for myself?" I think the temptation would be great. People would want to "glorify" me as the source of a miracle; it is in their human nature, so there would have to be a diligent effort to make sure that they did not praise me or exult me in any way.

When you think about the so-called miracle healers of today, what do you see? Do you see humbleness of spirit, glorification of God and God alone? Simple love for others? I don't. I see greed. Self exultation. Wealth accumulation. Self love. Take, for instance, Benny Hinn. Do you see humbleness? Do you see true love for others? Nope. In him I see only self love. He uses the right words, but sets himself up to receive the glory. He is a charleton, a blasphemer, and a lying devil. He is a false Christ and he should be shunned and ignored.

Turn to God. Turn to the Creator of the Universe; the source of true power and true love and true humbleness. The Creator of the Universe was willing to come down to this sinful planet, take off His robe, and wash our feet! He was willing to receive scorn, malice, mockery, and physical punishment to help us. He loves us unconditionally. Knowing all this, we would dare to give even a moment of our time to someone like Benny Hinn?! Turn away from men like this and start to follow the true God of the Bible. Learn of Him from His Word. Stop listening to these lying spirits and listen to "the God of Israel" who loves you so much.


Dear Lord,

My prayer today is that you would open the eyes of those who are blinded by the pomp and circumstance of men who for themselves seek the glory that belongs to You. Help me to never seek glory for myself, but to always remember that You are the source of all power; the source of life itself. Give me a humble spirit. Help me to love others as You would.

Thank You for all that You provide in my life. Help me to never forget that You are the Great Provider. Be with my children and keep them safe. I love you Lord. Amen.

Even Dogs Eat Scraps | Matthew 15:21-28

21 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”23 But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. [NKJV]

Jesus almost seems to be testing this woman. Goading her on to help her to demonstrate her faith. At first He ignores her request which seems to feed into the very strong prejudice that the disciples had towards Canaanites. The disciples rebuke her and urge Jesus to send her away. Then when He does answer her it is on the verge of being insulting, almost feeding into the prejudice; yet she persists through it and eventually Jesus reveals to her and the disciples that she has demonstrated "great faith", thereby facilitating her daughters healing from demon possession.

Are we persistent when requesting something from our Lord? This moment in time was actually nothing new to our Lord. Jacob wrestled with God to the point of physical injury before he was finally given the blessing he sought. (Gen 32:24-30) The Sidonian woman to whom Elijah came (1 Kings 17:18-19) and the Shunammite woman with Elisha (2 Kings 4:28-30) laid their need before a prophet and would not take no for an answer. God answered their prayers with a yes.

Does this mean we should be persistent with every request we make of God? I don't think so. Sometimes we need to rest on the promises He has made to us.

When I consider my own prayers, I realize that I pray more for those things that are already given to me by God (protection, care, finances, etc) and less for the things that I truly desire. (The healing of my autistic son, the return of my daughter to God) It is almost as if I have given up hope that God will ever answer those prayers that would truly bless my life, and instead my prayer life has become powerless and repetitive like the Pharisee on the street corner. I must stop and consider. Do I really believe that God can make a difference in my life, and what does my prayer life reveal as an answer to that question.

My Prayer Today:

Dear LORD,

Please let me start by apologizing to You LORD for being so shallow and unworthy of You. Forgive me of my sins and make me clean. Help me to see Your power; help me to believe it. You are the Almighty; the Creator of the Universe. You have always been and will always be. Who am I to deny You the power to heal my son or to save my daughter. You have already proven that you will go to the utmost to save even one person; You've proved that in my life, by saving a wretch like me. Lord, please heal my son, and let it be to Your power and Your glory that it is done. Save my daughter from the darkness of the world. Help her to see Your light.

I thank You Lord for all of the answered prayers in my life. I ask for more faith. I ask for Your help in teaching the lesson this coming Sabbath. I thank You for Your providence in my life. Help me to be a good steward of what You have given me. Amen.

Blind Leading the Blind | Matthew 15:10-20

10 Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “Listen,” he said, “and try to understand. 11 It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.”
12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?”
13 Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, 14 so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.”
15 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Explain to us the parable that says people aren’t defiled by what they eat.”
16 “Don’t you understand yet?” Jesus asked. 17 “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. 18 But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. 19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. 20 These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”

Observation:(What do you see when you read this scripture)

Jesus is teaching multiple lessons. First, he starts with a lesson that the food that enters your body is not what defiles you but it is what comes out of the heart or mouth. The mouth is the "spokesman" for the heart. This lesson is taught as a response to the Pharisees attack on the disciples concerning the following of man made traditions. Again, Jesus is making a common teaching a matter of the heart and not a matter of outward show.

The disciples, also being concerned with outward appearance, tell Jesus that he may have just "offended" the Pharisees by what he just said. They may be feeling still that they need to gain the respect of the local leaders and influential people for their ministry to grow; they do not yet see Jesus' true ministry.

Jesus next uses common judgement language by saying that any plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted. He is saying that the Pharisees will be judged like everyone else. Following this he speaks to them being blind guides leading the blind; both falling into a ditch because of it. Finally He explains to the disciples what He meant by not being defiled from what goes into your mouth but what comes out of it.

Application:(What have you learned and how can you apply it to your life?)

The overall lesson from Jesus here is clearly that spiritual matters are matters of the heart. This is where true spiritual battles are fought and then won or lost. He knows this. He is trying to lead his disciples and anyone else that is listening to this understanding. It is only through a heart change that we can be saved. Outward show only fools those who do not read the heart; God reads the heart. "Listen," He said, "and try to understand." Do you understand?

Secondly, I see a lesson here regarding listening to false teachers. Ignore them. Don't give them your time or a foothold in your life. The disciples were afraid of offending the Pharisees. Maybe they even wanted Jesus to "tone it down"...but Jesus kept it a matter of the heart and a matter of truth. He was not willing to turn from His path; to turn from truth to avoid offending those who were blind teachers. Do we concern ourselves too much with how others might see us? Do we avoid "conflict" in order to "keep the peace" and in so doing never help anyone? Jesus made sure it was heard, even in the face of criticism and with no concern for how others might view him.

Prayer:(Let the Lord know what your thinking.)

Thank You Lord for Your love and for Your willingness to come down here and teach us. Thank You for bringing us back to truth. You have made Your Kingdom one that resides in the heart. It is YOUR Kingdom. Please build it in my heart. Change me from the inside, where it matters and where is can help others. Outward show is of no use to You or to me. Help me to seek to please You with my thoughts first.

Forgive me for having a sinful heart. Cleanse my heart of all unrighteousness and make me more like You.

Lord; my daughter, as you know, is in a pickle. She needs guidance and counsel. I ask that you can help her to make the right decisions in the weeks ahead. Help me and my wife to give her good counsel that will be pleasing to You.

Thank You for all that You provide. Thank You for listening to my prayers. Help me to share Your love with others. Amen.

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Man or God - Who's Command Should You Follow? | Matthew 15:1-9

1 Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, 2 “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”
3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— 6 then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 8‘ Thesepeopledraw near to Me with their mouth,And honor Me withtheirlips,But their heart is far from Me.9And in vain they worship Me, Teachingas doctrines the commandments of men.’
(Matthew 15:1-9, New King James Version)

Observation: (What do you see when you read this scripture?)

Once again the Pharisees challenge Jesus because of something that his disciples are not doing "right". Before it had been "working" on the Sabbath by rolling wheat in their hands and eating it. Now they are being accused of ignoring the traditions of their fore fathers or elders by not washing their hands before they eat.

The Pharisees, by practice, believed that by following the traditions of the elders before them they were accessing a repository of knowledge of the wise men who preceded them.

Notice that Jesus does not defend the disciples lack of hand washing but instead turns the questioning back on the Pharisees by asking them why they transgress the law of God by keeping the traditions of men. This was a common practice of rabbis to answer a question with a counter question. Also note that Jesus answers his own counter question starting in verse 4. Jesus is here referring to a loophole that the religious leaders had created regarding the law to honor your father and mother. They had made it possible to set aside possessions and wealth for "sacred" use only, thus nullifying the requirement to use it to care for ones parents.

Jesus is not "easy" on them. Why? He is so tender with others...what makes him so hard on the Pharisees? My personal opinion; it is their hypocrisy that is such a vile thing to Jesus. Hypocrisy has such an evil influence on the person "practicing" it and also on those around them. The hypocrite is not allowed, by his/her own devising, to see their own sinfulness because it is hidden under hypocrisy. Hypocrisy, boiled down to it's finer point, is the worship of God without really worshiping God. Ultimately you end up paying homage to a God of your own making, thus only worshiping with your lips and not your heart. It leads to following man's law and not God's. It is a matter of the heart; so check your heart!

Application:(How does this scripture effect you today?)

David understood this potential in all of us, especially himself. We find in Psalm 139:23-24 one of his most important prayers; specifically dealing with the state of his heart.

Psa 139:23  Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Psa 139:24  Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

So how do I apply this to my life? In my opinion, the first line of defense is to plead with God to control your life. The second is to listen to your conscience regarding yourself. Don't lie to yourself.

Jer 17:9  "The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?

Then, repent and ask for forgiveness, plead the blood of Christ and seek to do God's will. Rest in His protective arms, learn to love and know Him. Rely on the solid Rock!

Prayer: (Let Him know what your thinking.)

Dear Lord,

Thank You so much for being willing to deal with my wicked heart. Help me to not be a hypocrite, but someone who truly seeks to do Your Will. Forgive my wicked heart and remove those things from my life that offend You. Thank You for Your depth less mercy!

I ask that You protect my children. I thank You for Your providence and love. Help me to share You today with someone. Amen.