Does The Bible Teach Capitalism?

Matthew 20:1: For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.

Matthew 20:2: And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

Matthew 20:3: And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,

Matthew 20:4: And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.

Matthew 20:5: Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.

Matthew 20:6: And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?

Matthew 20:7: They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.

Matthew 20:8: So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

Matthew 20:9: And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.

Matthew 20:10: But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.

Matthew 20:11: And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,

Matthew 20:12: Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

Matthew 20:13: But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?

Matthew 20:14: Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.

Matthew 20:15: Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?

Matthew 20:16: So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

This passage is often used to justify capitalism and reject communism. While we all know the ill effects of communism and how it brings equal misery to everyone in society, to use the above passage to justify capitalism is ridiculous. This passage doesn’t teach capitalism at all. This couldn’t be further from the truth and an insult to scriptural revelation.

This passage concerns the kingdom of heaven and the harvest regarding this kingdom down through the ages. The main character is the householder, the good man of the house. This same householder, also in connection with the kingdom, is mentioned in three other places in the New Testament in the Book of Matthew.

Matthew 13:27: So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

This householder wasn’t a capitalist but he suffered loss due to sabotage by enemies who sowed tares in his field. He didn’t even retaliate against those saboteurs.

A capitalist would immediately cut loss or take remedial action to correct the situation to preserve shareholder value of the enterprise. He would not sit idly by ignoring opportunity cost and allows his investment to be affected by his competitors.

Matthew 13:52: Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

This householder could be anyone instructed in the kingdom of heaven and he is not any kind of capitalist at all.

Matthew 21:33: Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:

This householder has a vineyard. Having trouble collecting the fruits of his vineyard, he even sacrificed his son in the process. This is not the work of a capitalist.

Back to the passage in Matthew 20, the householder in question did not exhibit any trait of a capitalist. A capitalist is a profit maximiser and a cost minimiser. In fact, everyone in general is a profit maximiser and a cost minimiser.

He had contracted the first batch of workers for a penny a day. For the other batches of workers, he only promised them what was right compensation for them. Came payment time, those who worked for only one hour received the same compensation with the first batch of workers who toiled through the entire day.

If he were a capitalist, would he compensate this group of workers who worked only for an hour the same wages with those who worked the whole day? Haven’t capitalists been moving jobs to lower cost countries to maximize profit? To force this passage to teach capitalism is to strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

More importantly, this way of teaching scriptures distorts very important truths this passage has to reveal. Though this passage concerns harvest time only for a day, the kingdom of heaven does not imply only a one day harvest. The general truths of the harvest includes first fruits, the general harvest and the gleanings.

The first batch of workers entered the work to harvest the first fruits. Then followed by other batches reaping the general harvest. Finally, it was left with gleanings for the last batch of workers.

The first batch of workers enjoyed the first fruits of the vineyard. This was joyous time indeed. Then followed by the rest of the workers labouring in the general harvest. Harvest was plentiful and rewarding and not too difficult though labouring longer hours in the vineyard.

Come to the gleanings, there were not much left to harvest. It could be rather discouraging. The happy joyous fruitful harvest is long gone left with some fruits here and there, a rather pathetic sight. This makes harvesting more difficult and discouraging.

Towards the tail end of the harvest, productivity is rather low. Yet, the householder rewarded these workers just the same as those workers who worked the whole day. This does not seem fair. This is definitely not the practice of a capitalist.

This gives rise to comparison. The first batch of workers were bellyaching. They expected to be paid more when they realized those workers who worked for only an hour received a penny. They started to compare themselves with this group of workers. They didn’t compare themselves with those who worked only three hours less who also received a penny. This is the trait of fallen human nature.

Everyone would compare and exaggerate to his advantage and benefit. In fact, everyone is a profit maximiser and a cost minimiser and a capitalist at heart. Their sense of fairness is man-centric. The starting point is myself as a basis for fairness. Self entitlement mentality is very strong.

They would never think how good the householder is who rewarded those who worked only an hour so much more than they deserved. They would never praise the good and generous nature of the householder but wallow in self pity and misery.

Indeed the householder did not cheat them at all. They had all agreed to labour for a penny a day. The rest did not get a contract but trusted the householder to reward them.

This is a double-edged sword. Their trust in the householder could be misplaced and get cheated. There was no contractual obligation for the householder to reward them a penny like the first batch of workers. They could get considerably less than this first batch of workers and there would be no recourse for them.

So if the rest of the workers get very much less in remuneration, the first batch of workers would be happy and count themselves fortunate who have a contract to fall back on to demand just compensation. This is another evil trait of the fallen human nature. They would not rejoice with those who get more than they deserve but would be happy for all to suffer in equal misery, better still if others suffer misfortune.

Hence, the rest of those workers who entered the work based on faith and trust that this householder would not cheat them were rewarded. So it comes down to the attitude of these men when they were hired into the work. Those who left only an hour to work could have found the work left to perform not very lucrative and not worth their effort and turn down the offer to work based on the goodness and generosity of this householder.

After all, how much could they make for just an hour left to labour? Why not wait for better opportunity the next day? Is it worth the trouble to dirty their hands for this last hour of labour? They could turn out to be those described by Solomon giving excuses not to labour.

Ecclesiastes 11:4: He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.

Nevertheless, those who entered into the work even though it was just an hour of work left to perform were handsomely rewarded. It is very easy to justify inaction based on a self-centered approach.

In this actual world we live in, to work without a contract is dangerous. You could be taken advantaged and cheated by the employer. If such an offer to work comes your way, it is a judgment call whether this employer could be trusted. But the householder here in Matthew 20 is the Lord of harvest offering those who labour for Him to be rewarded what is right.

This harvest concerns preaching the gospel of Christ. During the early Church Age, thousands were saved. Those who toiled through the heat of the day saw their harvest and were rewarded down through the ages to the Reformation. This first batch of labourers secured compensation for their effort and their rewards were confirmed.

Matthew 19:27: Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

Matthew 19:28: And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

It is the time of gleaning now where the labour is hard and discouraging. The vineyard is almost bare and the fields of the world are really pathetic. Fruitful harvest is long gone. Labouring without much fruitfulness is not very exciting and encouraging. How many are still willing to enter into the Lord’s vineyard to labour in the eleventh hour?

Luke 18:8: I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Notwithstanding, those who are willing to labour during the eleventh hour during difficult circumstances, they will not be disappointed because the Lord is always generous to reward even the underserving. Those who labour during the first hour are rewarded and likewise those who labour in the final hour will not lose their rewards if they are willing to enter into the work of the Lord.

Matthew 20:16: So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

2 Timothy 4:8: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

To equate the householder in this passage as an exploitative profit driven capitalist is to impinge his good character and an insult to the highest order. It does not do justice to what this passage has to teach.

Failing to consider the goodness of the person of the householder, the state of the vineyard at different period of time, the nature of the harvest, the state of mind and conditions of the workers during different time in evaluating profitability of the labour involved as well as the types of employment contract offered, concluding this passage teaches capitalism is going off on a tangent.

More importantly, the prophetic nature of the harvest throughout the Church Age with regards to the gospel of Christ becomes non existent when this passage is used to teach capitalism alone. Church history clearly shows the state of harvest beginning from the first fruits through the general harvest to the state of gleanings. The seven letters issued to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation also reveal the state of the last days church wallowing in lukewarmness where the harvest is soon to conclude.

Hence, it is foolish to interpret scriptures to support man-made theories and systems in the world. Failing to study Biblical economics that include a Jubilee to reset the economy in the world will tend to lead to the erroneous idea of the superiority of capitalism that must be defended at all cost including perverting scriptures to justify this end.

It is instructional to heed the state of our times in Church history and to know the conditions we are labouring under to avoid falling into discouragement and despair when we see so little left to harvest where productivity is very low. Economics text book calls this period of time the state of diminishing returns.

It may not seem worthwhile to labour anymore during this final hour of the harvest. However, the Lord’s rewards are certain and sure though the fruitful harvest experienced by those before us may seem to have reaped abundantly while we do not achieve very much.

Jeremiah 8:20: The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.

Psalms 126:5: They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

Psalms 126:6: He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Revelation 22:12: And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Fake News in the Bible

The recent US presidential election has brought the trouble with fake news to the fore front. Fake news are nothing new. Fake news have been used since time immemorial to cause a certain event to occur in favour to the predestined desired results by the issuer of the fake news. This has been employed during times of wars where accounts have been numerous.

Some years back the US justified their invasion with fake news that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. The whole world was taken in for a ride. When Iraq was finally destroyed and Saddam Hussein executed, no weapons of mass destruction were found.

In fact fake news are not alien to Biblical revelation as well. One prominent incident was the destruction of the wicked king Ahab. The plan to disseminate fake news took place in heaven. This piece of fake news sealed the doom of king Ahab.

1 Kings 22:19: And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.

1 Kings 22:20: And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.

1 Kings 22:21: And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.

1 Kings 22:22: And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.

1 Kings 22:23: Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.

During one of the wars between Israel and Syria where the children of Israel were under siege living in dire condition, a case of fake news helped to prevent the impending doom of the Israelites.

2 Kings 7:5: And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there.

2 Kings 7:6: For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.

2 Kings 7:7: Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life.

The source of this piece of fake news originated from none other than the Lord. Years later, the Lord again sent out fake news to deliver king Hezekiah and his people under siege by the Assyrians.

2 Kings 19:6: And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.

2 Kings 19:7: Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.

2 Kings 19:8: So Rab-shakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah: for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish.

Fake news will become more prevalent during the last days in this digital age. The Lord Jesus Christ warned His people not to be taken in by fake news. There will be false Christs and false prophets who will deceive many.

Matthew 24:4: And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

Matthew 24:5: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:11: And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

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.

Mark 13:21: And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:

Luke 21:8: And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

Prevailing fake news will cause many people to be troubled during the days prior to the return of Christ.

Matthew 24:6: And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

The Lord also condemned those unbelieving Jews they would rather believe fake news rather than the truth.

John 5:43: I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

This is sad but nevertheless true that many will be deceived. They would rather believe the devil than the Lord and hence nations of people are deceived and doomed.

Revelation 12:9: And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Revelation 13:14: And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

Revelation 20:3: And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Revelation 20:8: And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

Revelation 20:10: And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

It is actually quite easy to deceive people who don’t like truths from the Bible. Just give them news that the people want to hear and they will swallow it. Manipulating people who reject the truth from the Bible is not very difficult.

So those who hate the Bible and the Lord and they think they can get away with it will be badly mistaken. The Lord will treat them the way they like to be treated.

2 Samuel 22:27: With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury.

Psalms 18:26: With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.

Additionally, the Lord will even send them falsehoods and fake news will be one such weapon of choice.

Isaiah 66:4: I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

2 Thessalonians 2:8: And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

2 Thessalonians 2:9: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

2 Thessalonians 2:10: And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

2 Thessalonians 2:11: And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

Don’t ever think you can beat the Lord in your own game. You will be deceived by fake news to your own confusion and destruction. It is not funny at all and it becomes funnier when you found the joke is on you.

Job 12:16: With him is strength and wisdom: the deceived and the deceiver are his.

So there are many weapons at the Lord’s disposal. One such weapon is fake news. Even the devil and his cohort are operating under the Lord’s permissive will to deal with wayward and froward sinners.

Now is the time to learn some truths. It is definitely possible to know the truth and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:32: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 14:6: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 8:24: I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

John 3:36: He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Luke 12:5: But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

Mark 9:47: And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

Mark 9:48: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Revelation 21:8: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Believe the warnings from the Lord Jesus Christ.

You don’t have to be a victim of fake news.


Fellowship of the Accursed

Ever since the fall of man, the earth is cursed and men are born in a fallen state. Despite the fall of man, man was not originally cursed. The first man to be cursed was Cain who murdered his brother in cold blood. The next man to be cursed was Canaan, the son of Ham, during the drunken episode of Noah after the flood. When Balak hired the prophet Balaam to curse Israel, he was prevented from doing so.

Deuteronomy 23:5: Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee.

While every man is born dead in trespasses and sins after the fall, not everyone is cursed. So being cursed is a serious matter. Here is an interesting event where the issue of who are living under the curse should be examined.

John 7:45: Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?

John 7:46: The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.

John 7:47: Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?

John 7:48: Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?

John 7:49: But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.

During the earthly ministry of Christ, the religious elites had become unnerved with the success of the Lord’s ministry attracting huge crowds performing miracles showing signs and wonders these people in the high society of the religious realm couldn’t do. So they ordered the religious police to arrest Christ. Unfortunately, the religious police failed to do so and couldn’t give a proper account to those high minded elites.

The rebuke from these religious elites came quick and swift. They questioned the religious police whether they had been likewise deceived. They demanded these poor officers who failed in their duty to apprehend Christ whether they knew any of those elites believed Jesus was their Messiah. The most audacious judgment they passed on those lesser mortals were words of condemnation: But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.

By inference, these religious fundamentalist elites were those who knew the law and they were not cursed. However, the poor peasants who ought to listen to them and obey them were cursed. So being custodians of the law had benefits and one could be promoted to a status free from the curse. Is it the case where one could be educated out of the curse by knowing the law?

The scriptures make it abundantly clear that this is not the case. In fact, contrary to knowing the law as an advantage, this has turned out to be a curse instead.

Romans 5:13: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Sin is not imputed in the absence of the law so how can knowing the law alone becomes a blessing and be curse free? It is so much better with the absence of the law as far as accountability is concerned. Knowing the law adds burden where man is held accountable for such knowledge and that leads to being cursed for non compliance of the law.

Romans 3:20: Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Galatians 3:10: For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

Galatians 3:11: But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

Galatians 3:13: Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

While it is true salvation is of the Jews as the Lord Jesus Christ also affirmed, the God of creation is not the exclusive possession of the Jews.

John 4:22: Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

Didn’t these religious elites remember Jehovah God sent Jonah to preach to the Gentiles in Nineveh? Didn’t they know it was God who commanded the Gentile kings to release and instruct the Jews to return to Israel to rebuild their Temple and reside in their own homeland after their captivity in Babylon?

How arrogant of them to pronounce judgment on those who knew not the law are cursed? The Lord has words for these self-conceited fools.

Matthew 23:1: Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,

Matthew 23:2: Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:

Matthew 23:3: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

Just because they occupied the seat of Moses they could dispense curses on the lesser mortals? Even Balaam failed in his endeavour to curse Israel and these religious elites were behaving like religious thugs. Thus it turned out that they were those who were actually living under the curse according to scriptures.

Galatians 3:10: For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

These religious thugs were talkers and not doers. Hence, they rightly deserved to be cursed for their pride and obstinacy. The psalmist aptly described these people who err from the commandments of the Lord.

Psalms 119:21: Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.

Unfortunately in Christendom, there are those who are so enameled with the law of Moses that they seek to bring Christians under bondage again by adding the law of Moses to the grace of God during this Church Age. The apostle Paul had to deal with those who seduced Christians to follow their errors who preached another gospel.

Galatians 5:4: Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Acts 13:39: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Those who corrupt the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and fail to repent are consigned to the accursed category, a fate worse than ordinary fallen man since not every man born into this world is cursed.

Galatians 1:8: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Galatians 1:9: As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

These modern day religious authoritative figures have now replaced the Pharisees of old to become the new accursed category forming a new alliance of the fellowship of the accursed.

Meanwhile fallen man continues to be born into this world dead in trespasses and sins. Only the pure gospel of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, without the law of Moses can save such an one to a future world of the blessed where the curse will be a thing of the past.

Revelation 22:3: And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

Even so, come, Lord Jesus.


How To Get Prayers Answered

The healing of the daughter of the Canaanite woman is a classic case on how to get prayers answered.

This woman of Canaan was a desperate mother whose daughter was grievously vexed with a devil. She must be at her wits end trying whatever means to deal with her daughter’s vexing trouble. It was no ordinary ailment where human intervention might bring solution to her vexing soul. It was an affliction that originated from a different dimension where human efforts are often found wanting and powerless in the face of such assault on the body, mind and soul of the tormented victims. Many were afflicted with such trouble in Israel and the religious elites could offer little help to the family members of the suffering victims.

But this woman of Canaan heard about Jesus and she had faith that the Lord could be the only solution to heal her pitiful daughter, God knows for how long had she been afflicted with the devil. So she approached the Lord during the Lord’s visit to her hometown.

Matthew 15:21: Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.

Matthew 15:22: And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

Her approach was direct and she went straight to the point to plead for mercy, acknowledging Jesus as the Lord, the Son of David. All nationalistic pride was put aside, confirming the Lord Jesus Christ to be the King of the Jews, who would sit on the throne of David ruling over Israel. So this woman wasn’t an ignorant peasant unhappy with the Jews living in the former land of her forefathers and full of hatred for the Jews.

She cried and begged the Lord to have mercy on her and relating to the Lord her daughter’s condition. It wasn’t a small matter as her daughter was vexed with a devil badly in need of deliverance.

Matthew 15:23: But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

However, the Lord ignored her. The Lord was being kind to her by ignoring her. The Lord could have said nasty thing she might not want to hear. She was not one of their own people. So the Lord kept silent.

With the Lord ignoring her, this woman went after the disciples. She must be harassing the disciples to ask them to help speak with the Lord. The disciples’ lack of compassion was rather telling. Instead of helping her intercede with the Lord to heal her daughter, the disciples got frustrated and went to beseech the Lord to send her away.

They didn’t behave that way when the Jews were healed of devils but for this woman, not one of their own nationality, they could not care less. Such is the hardness of men still very much plagued with nationalistic divide over who should benefit from blessings of their Messiah. So the woman continued her pleading with whoever who would help say a word to the Lord to help her and heal her daughter and this got annoying, at least with the disciples.

Matthew 15:24: But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Finally, the Lord open His mouth. Those words weren’t what this woman hoped to hear. But the disciples were very likely pleased and perhaps even secretly applauded the Lord’s reply to the woman. They couldn’t wait to get this woman off their back and they still had much work to do and with many others to minister to. Every day was a busy day and this woman of Canaan was holding up their work.

Moreover, it was the Lord who commissioned them to minster to the Jews and they were expressly forbidden to reach out to the Gentiles. Now this Gentile woman showed up and this would be a good test to see if the Lord meant business. So far the Lord confirmed the mission was meant for the Jews only.

Matthew 10:5: These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

Matthew 10:6: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

The disciples were observing what the Lord would do with this woman, a non Jew coming to ask for help. Would the Lord practise double standards and violate His own admonishment for the disciples to avoid the Gentiles? The Lord’s reply confirmed their earlier commission. The Gentiles were to be bypassed. No doubt, the disciples might be glad and even pleased too.

So the door for this woman had been closed. She was an outsider outside of the commonwealth of Israel and could not enjoy the blessings meant for Israel. But she still didn’t give up knowing all avenues were closed and she had no other authority to appeal to in order to become a recipient of God’s blessing for His chosen people. She left the disciples and approached the Lord again since the Lord had opened His mouth to pronounce His rejection of her plea.

Matthew 15:25: Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

This time, this woman did more than just acknowledging the Lord as the Son of David. She came and worshipped Him. She even worshipped Jesus as the Lord God, above just the King of the Jews. In fact, the Lord is not just the God of the Jews but God of the Gentiles as well. This episode of healing was about timing and the Jews must be dealt with first.

Earlier, she called Jesus Lord and Son of David. She already knew her proper place. This time she upped the ante and she worshipped the Lord. Her priority was to get her daughter healed and she knew the Lord could and she was doing all she could to get that blessing and her prayers answered.

If you are using some false bibles, you will get your prayers hindered. The translators of these fake bibles didn’t believe this woman of Canaan worshipped the Lord Jesus Christ. They only believe she bowed down or knelt before the Lord. Bowing down and kneeling do not necessarily mean worship for many people in this world also bow and kneel before earthly kings but worship is only reserved for the Divine. So it is time to throw away these modern fake bibles in order to get your prayers answered.

Matthew 15:25New International Version (NIV)
The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

Matthew 15:25New American Standard Bible (NASB)
But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”

Matthew 15:25English Standard Version (ESV)
But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.”

Matthew 15:25Amplified Bible (AMP)
But she came and began to kneel down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”

Matthew 15:26: But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.

Since the Lord had already opened His mouth and the woman had persistently not given up hope on getting the Lord to do something for her daughter, the Lord had no choice but to reveal the real truth to this poor woman who had already lowered herself to beg, cry, prostrate and worship the Lord.

The reply here was terrible. To add insult to injury, she was called a dog. This woman was already humiliated for being an outsider. Now she was called a dog.

What do you expect this woman to do? Crawl away barking like a dog and complain to everyone how heartless the Lord has been to her?

Anyone who is not sincere and just making use of the Lord to get prayers answered without truly believing in the Lord and becoming a follower of the Lord would be greatly offended. How often we see people who needed help would do anything to just get what they wanted and then they would turn their back to their benefactors once they achieved their objectives!

Such people would come to you just to get a blessing and then leave you when you are no longer useful. Such scheming people would no doubt get up and spit at you and walk away and blast you all over the Internet to show to the world how cruel you are and would demolish you because you didn’t accede to their demands.

But this woman of Canaan was a woman of faith, no doubt a sincere believer of the Lord Jesus Christ. She was already in trials and tribulation over her daughter’s plight, what more could be added to afflict her and for this instant, it came from none other than the Lord of the whole earth to test her faith and tenacity in prayers!

The disciples might be getting more irritated even though this woman had left them and went back to beg the Lord for help. Why didn’t this Gentile woman just get lost and leave them alone? Didn’t she know she wasn’t a qualified beneficiary and the Lord had also made clear to her!

But this woman’s reply stunned heaven and astounded the disciples as well wondering how much lower could she go in order to get the Lord to lift a finger to help her and heal her daughter.

Matthew 15:27: And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.

Such a reply was classic. When she was already put down and then called a dog, instead of being offended, she reasoned with the Lord. There was so much wisdom in her reply under tremendous stress and despair with everyone over there against her and no one spoke a word in her favour.

Her reply was spoken softly rather than yelling back at the Lord but those words struck a chord in containing the Lord’s reproach, cornered the Lord and stormed through the dark clouds of heaven and so the windows of heaven poured down blessings upon her that day.

It is truly not right to give food meant for the children and cast it to dogs. The biblical exhortation is always to take care of one’s family first and not the other way around.

1 Timothy 5:8: But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

How many times have we come across foolish Christians giving away their wealth to ministers of Satan promising them God’s blessings and prosperity and then their family suffer poverty while these ministers of Satan enrich themselves and live in luxury.

What the Lord told this woman earlier wasn’t being unkind but scriptural. It must always be taking care of family first before helping others. Putting outsiders first would cause the family to fall apart. How many ministers who put in so much effort in ministering to others and neglected their own family and then they wonder why they ended up in divorce or their children become rebels when they grow up!

Perhaps everyone over there that day expected this woman to throw in the towel feeling disgusted and walked away. The Lord had already used the most cruel words to put her down and this was generally the attitude of the Jews towards the Gentiles regarding them as unclean. Even the Samaritans they regarded as people having a devil and would not speak with them or have anything to do with them.

John 4:9: Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

John 8:48: Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?

Years later when Peter opened the gospel door to the Gentiles at Cornelius house in Acts chapter 10, he ran into trouble with the Jewish believers in Acts chapter 11 who confronted him. He had to explain himself with witnesses following him to Cornelius house to keep the peace of the believers in Israel.

But those words from the woman rang loud and clear though spoken softly hoping for the best. How would the disciples answer her having heard these words? What other excuse could the Lord throw at her with such a reasonable reply from her?

Yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. What she said was true and an observable known fact! How else could anyone counter her argument?

The Lord told the disciples not to minister to the Gentiles and the Lord made Himself an example by not wanting to help this Gentile woman. But what this woman did and said that day changed the course of events following. None wag a tongue after hearing what she said and all mouth was stopped that moment.

Matthew 15:28: Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

The Lord’s reply was one of excitement and full of admiration for her great faith and thus granting her request and her daughter was made whole that very hour. The Lord is plenteous in mercies but worthy recipients are few and far between. The Lord is rich beyond imagination but those chosen to share His wealth are just remnants who accept Jesus as Messiah and Saviour of the world.

This woman was one such recipients of the Lord’s mercy and grace and of course riches beyond measure. That day, her posture was one from prostrate humility and kneeling on the ground in worship to another of rising in victory conquering all odds that were stacked against her. No one could possibly stand in her way from getting her prayers answered.

The disciples stood speechless as the Lord took the exception to grant healing to the daughter of this Gentile woman that was against the original commandment given to them to minister only to the Jews, the lost sheep of the house of Israel. No one complained and stood against her for the Lord’s double standards in dealing with this Gentile woman in this case. They heard with their very own ears what this woman said and her reasoning was one full of faith and humble gentle submission in responding to the King of the Jews why she should be one of the recipients of the Lord’s mercy and grace even though she was a Gentile dog.

This woman’s admission of her lowly status nationally speaking and her unflinching determination interceding with the Lord in wisdom and humility won her the Lord’s favour as well as everyone present with no one dared to disapprove of the Lord dispensing healing to her tormented daughter.

She became a living example of what the Lord proclaimed as a message to the desperate and despairing John the Baptist rotting in jail waiting for execution, and she was blessed indeed because she was not offended by the Lord and in what the Lord had told her earlier.

Matthew 11:6: And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Seldom you will find the Lord excited and exclaiming a big fat O in responding to situation during His earthly ministry. Here is one such incident where the Lord exclaimed with a big O followed by praise for this woman’s great faith.

Just a chapter before this woman’s incident, the Lord also likewise exclaimed with a big fat O but this was in response to Peter’s lack of faith while walking on water towards the Lord.

Matthew 14:30: But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
Matthew 14:31: And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Matthew 15:25: Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
Matthew 15:28: Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Putting these verses together is a rather embarrassing comparison. Both made short prayers and were answered. The Jewish apostle was rebuked for his little faith and doubts while this Gentile woman was commended for her great faith and for not giving an inch to every obstacles thrown in her way to prevent her from getting her prayers answered and her daughter healed.

Such is the Lord’s dealing with fallen man. Even chosen privileged people of God can fail in faith while those temporarily set aside Gentiles could gain access to the privileges conferred for God’s own people and become one such members of God’s amazing goodness to all fallen man. Now that the chosen nation of Israel has been set aside for two thousand years and the Gentile Church is temporarily grafted in to deal with the world at large to magnify the name of Jesus above every name, the day will soon dawn upon this world when the Church is removed and the nation of Israel is come into focus again in the Lord’s prophetic calendar.

In order to get your prayers answered, you need to know your place and come sincerely in humility in worship of the Lord who is worthy of all praises and adorations. If you trust those fake bibles without having to worship the Lord in praying to the Lord to hear your petition, you will be badly mistaken. You will need to justify with reasons why the Lord should grant you your request lest you ask for things to consume upon your own lust which is not according to God’s perfect will for you. On top of that, you need to have this unflinching faith in the Lord who is more than able and capable to grant you your request. The question is whether you are one such worthy recipient for God to honour that request you put before the court in heaven.

Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:6: But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Faith is a prerequisite when approaching the Lord to petition your request. You must believe that He is God when you approach Him diligently like this Gentile woman. The Lord will then reward you according to your faith when you have pleased Him no matter how hopeless the situation might be.

Luke 11:9: And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Luke 11:10: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

May heaven smile upon you as you bring your petitions before the Lord in all humble submission full of faith and truth!


Thinking out of the Earth

Very often, we have been told to think out of the box to come out with innovative solution to deal with some difficult situation or solve some tough problem. For earthly situation within human control, this might work but there will be times where all human effort would prove to be elusive where the problem would still remain within the box beyond all human intervention.

There is case in point regarding the feeding of the thousands where the disciples of the Lord were offered a chance to think out of the box for a solution but they all ended up boxed in by the problem. No solution was found until they gave up thinking out of the box.

Consider the situation here when the Lord offered them a chance to come up with an innovative solution to solve the hunger situation of the followers who came the hear the preaching of the Lord.

Matthew 14:14: And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
Matthew 14:15: And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
Matthew 14:16: But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.
Matthew 14:17: And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.

Mark 6:35: And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:
Mark 6:36: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.
Mark 6:37: He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?

John 6:5: When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?
John 6:6: And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.
John 6:7: Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.
John 6:8: One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him,
John 6:9: There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?

It was a futile situation beyond all human hope. How could the multitudes be fed? We could sense the disciples reacting in frustration. The response from the disciples sums up their conclusion.

It was an impossible task. It was a mission impossible. No matter how much brain juice they could squeeze to think out of the box, it was not going to be of any help and make any difference to those people waiting to be fed.

The people in this world would criticize the disciples for lacking in helicopter vision. They were all looking horizontally being bogged down by the cares of the ministries and they forgot to look up. All human endeavour matters nothing for a situation like this.

What they really needed was to think out of the earth. They should view the situation from above to solve this earthly problem. They had forgotten they had the Lord with them who came from above. Who else could provide a solution to solve this hunger situation better than the Lord?

They had been so accustomed to watching all the miraculous healings that were taking place among the people including casting out of devils beyond human intervention but why they failed to rely on the Lord was another symptom of human weakness, albeit followers of Christ. They were becoming too familiar with the Lord just as another ordinary man among them, a miracle worker no doubt.

It was only after the episode of the Lord walking on water towards them where Peter tried and failed when he left his eyes on the Lord to focus on the boisterous wind instead that the disciples worshipped the Lord with this confession.

Matthew 14:33: Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

The disciples got distracted and couldn’t see beyond the horizon. In fact, the situation the disciples had to deal with was nothing new. Prophet Elisha encountered one such similar situation though smaller in scale.

2 Kings 4:42: And there came a man from Baal-shalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley, and full ears of corn in the husk thereof. And he said, Give unto the people, that they may eat.
2 Kings 4:43: And his servitor said, What, should I set this before an hundred men? He said again, Give the people, that they may eat: for thus saith the LORD, They shall eat, and shall leave thereof.
2 Kings 4:44: So he set it before them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the LORD.

Didn’t the disciples know of this account from their Old Testament? Given the fact that the scribes and priests were custodians of the scriptures, if they didn’t know of such an account, it reflected the spiritual poverty of the people during that time. It shouldn’t come as a surprise though because the religious authority during that time had conclusively rejected Christ as their Messiah. If the religious elite didn’t know any better, then the common people won’t fare much better as well.

Nevertheless, the disciples should know how the children of Israel who came out of Egypt were fed with manna from above for forty years. Getting too busy and too tired can cause anyone to forget past victory and blessings. So no solution could come from the disciples concerning this situation of the feeding of the thousands, but another monumental miracles documented for all posterity to remember the power and goodness of the Lord.

It is so easy to get distracted by all the cares in this life even though some activities are legitimate concerning ministering to the saints. This can cause our eyes to look at earthly solution instead of looking for divine intervention when face with difficult situation and troublesome problem.

Our spiritual posture should be one of looking up instead of looking around. Much more can be done by looking to the Lord with steadfast faith than to rely on our fallen mind for wisdom and knowledge. They will surely fail.

Instead of thinking out of the box, it is better to think out of the earth and look to the Lord for help.


Serve the Lord or Yourself?

Luke 10:38: Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
Luke 10:39: And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
Luke 10:40: But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
Luke 10:41: And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
Luke 10:42: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

The context here shows two ladies who were sisters one being very busy while the other simply kept her focus on the Lord. It is pretty obvious one was doing a lot of work while the other was seemingly idling. The overworked sister complained to the Lord to compel her sister to help her with the work she thought would be important in her view on serving the Lord.

From a human standpoint, this was really unfair. One was shouldering all the load while the other was rather carefree. Based on Martha’s complaint, Marry seemed to be a shirker of duty. Looking through the lens from a human worldly point of view, Martha’s request was justified and Marry should not be allowed to indulge in her own ways.

Unfortunately, the Lord has a penchant of interpreting labour, effort, motives and spiritual quality of a person differently from man’s point of view. Not only the Lord did not accede to Martha’s demands, she was even told her priority was all wrong. Martha’s outburst got her no where.

Martha was actually quite rude laying some blame on the Lord for not taking notice on how she was left on her own to serve Him. Due to her familiarity with the Lord, she took for granted this entitled her the privilege to charge the Lord for being unfair and guilty of favouritism in how the two of them were treated.

How did Martha get to this stage of a burnout? There was no question she had been busy and doing all the work. The trouble was she was doing everything in her own view was the way the Lord should be served. It was purely her own opinion and she expected her sister to adopt the same.

No where did the Lord tell her how she ought to serve or what she had to do in serving Him. Her labour was not commissioned by the Lord and this added no value to her soul in serving the Lord this way according to her own understanding and on her own terms. Worse still, she demanded her sister to follow suit laying such bondage upon others according to her own foolish understanding.

As such, very quickly she lost her joy of serving the Lord because it was all done in the energy of the flesh. Had she succeeded in her endeavour, she might probably glory in her effort instead of giving glory to the Lord. The focus was on her labour and effort and not on the Lord. So how would you expect the Lord to respond?

Mary was right. Her focus was on the Lord giving the Lord all her undivided attention in which the Lord truly deserved. Her attention was on the Lord and not on some work and she was rightfully commended. But for Martha, her own work took centre stage and became her object of glory. It is dangerous to take satisfaction in human effort in serving the Lord, especially work based on human understanding where the Lord was not part of the entire equation.

The episode on these two sisters is instruction here. How often do you see Christians running hither and thither where in their own mind and own view , they were serving the Lord and then they burned out along the way? Some fell into the same category of Martha. They murmur and complain why the Lord is so unfair and allows others to slack while they serve all on their own.

This is the result of not getting their orders from above and they start to run around in circles thinking they were actually serving the Lord. To make matters worse, they start to look around sideways and complain why others were not as zealous and faithful like them in serving the Lord according to their own opinion and understanding.

The Lord clearly came to promise rest to our souls. For the Lord claims:

Matthew 11:29: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Matthew 11:30: For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

The moment anyone felt his effort and labour became too heavy in serving the Lord like what Martha experienced with lost of joy, then the Lord has no part in such service. The apostle Paul also at times felt weary in the work of the Lord physically yet there was no hint of murmur or complain or lost of joy in the Lord’s work.

If the work we do for the Lord is commissioned from above, then there is no room for murmuring and complaining and looking at others wondering why they are not doing what we are doing. Should the work we endeavour for the Lord is based on looking at what others are doing, then there is great possibility of burnout because we thought we were serving the Lord but we were actually serving to please men and to covet the praise of men. We are simply imitating what others are doing and not doing what the Lord wants us to do. Serving the Lord is not a competition with fellow Christians to see who serves more and who serves best.

The primary work for the Lord is to spend time on the words of the living God and seek the Lord in prayer much like what Marry was doing and was commended by the Lord. Spending time sitting at Jesus’ feet is important otherwise how do we know what the Lord wants us to do for Him? This is really the one thing that is needful so choose the good part to spend time with the Lord like Marry. There is no point following the footsteps of Martha running ahead of the Lord without knowing what the Lord delights in and then fall into self-pity and discouragement and even despair.

It is important to know what the Lord expects from us and not what some church leaders expect us to do. If you have been so busy running your life around the church calendar and neglected to spend time on the words of God and with the Lord in prayer, don’t be surprise when you end up like Martha wallowing in frustration living out a meaningless and joyless existence deceiving yourself you are in the Lord’s service.

This will not only cost you lost of joy, it may bring trouble on your loved ones especially when you think you are serving the Lord revolving your life around the church calendar and then your family gets neglected along the way. It is not the Lord’s will to break your family in order to serve Him. It is the Lord’s will for you to keep your family in good spiritual health so that your church life will be fruitful and are able to edify one another in the Lord.

Always ensure we do what the Lord wants us to do for Him and not what others expect or think what we should do for the Lord. How we serve the Lord is none of the business of others be they church leaders or otherwise. The tendency to compare with what others are doing for the Lord is very common, even the apostle Peter was guilty of such weakness.

John 21:20: Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
John 21:21: Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
John 21:22: Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

Don’t ever benchmark your service for the Lord based on what others are doing. What others are doing for the Lord is none of our business. Be yourself and do your best for the Lord. You have your unique role to play to be a blessing to others and to be useful for the Lord’s work. Your rewards will be sure.