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Discernment is needed

Rev. Tetteh-Annor Larbi | May 25, 2023 | Matthew 16:1-4


You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. Matthew 16:3b (NIV)


In our text today we see 2 sects of people who are known to be long-standing enemies come together to test Jesus. It could only mean that they saw Jesus as a very serious threat to their practices and very existence. The Master by the Spirit of God, however, knowing the thoughts and intentions of men, discerned their motives for that encounter and was able to address them appropriately.

The Pharisees and Sadducees sought to see a sign from heaven, but they failed to discern the sign heaven gave them that walked on earth right in front of them. This is probably because they believed according to tradition that any sign on earth could be orchestrated by satan and therefore only a sign from heaven is directly from God himself. All the miracles and signs that Jesus had done did not appeal to them as the one sent from heaven – The Messiah. They could predict the weather but could not discern the signs of their time.

We live in a world that is not so different from the days of Christ when people could be accurate in reading and predicting the happenings of things around them but could not discern the times. Our world has artificial intelligence and systems to predict all kinds of things. We can accurately predict storms, droughts, the movement of currencies, the gender of unborn babies, what transportation will be like in a few years and many more that science gets spot on.


The Pharisees and Sadducees could not discern to know and accept the identity of Jesus as the coming Messiah sent from God. They could discern the physical things around them but were blind to spiritual things. They practised the letter but failed to engage the spirit behind the letter.

Believers in this generation have no excuse, we must engage the Spirit of God that is within us to help us discern the motives and intentions of people we interact with daily as Jesus did the Pharisees and Sadducees. And we must also with the help of the same Spirit, discern the times in which we are in to know that the coming of our Lord is near and therefore live our lives to reflect that Spiritual knowledge.

Are you living your life as one who has another millennium to live? Or you are making use of every minute you are graced to live? Live your life as one who has a short time on earth. Discernment is needed.


Dear Lord, teach me to number my days, teach me to know the brevity of my life, so I will gain a heart of wisdom. In your dear name’s sake. Amen.



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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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