Welcome to Tuesday’s blog it’s good to have you! The scripture reading for today is from Matthew 15. 21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” 25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” 27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” 28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment
Even though I have studied this little story quite a bit - the way Jesus talks to this lady still astounds me. He seems rude to her. When I was preaching on this last Sunday I looked out and noticed some faces in the congregation displaying, confusion, frustration – even anger. I felt the same things.
As I listen to the whole story I see Jesus willing to lead the lady through some temporary conversational pain in order to draw forth a deeper confession of faith in Him from her lips and heart. Culturally the lady was looked at by many in Jesus’ world as a “dog” – only worthy of crumbs. By seeming to agree with this assumption about her - Jesus sets the stage to lift her to amazingly high stature by the end of the account. She is, by the end of the encounter, a woman of GREAT faith.
How do you handle it when it seems like you are being rejected by God? I sometimes don’t do all that well. Sometimes I just give in to feelings of depression or self pity. It stretches our faith, doesn’t it, to continue to press into our relationship with Jesus when it seems things aren’t working out well, when prays aren’t getting answered, when circumstances are getting worse – in short when we feel we are being “dissed” by God!
This story, however, gives me such hope! I get to step more deeply into faith even when God seems to be giving me reasons not to trust Him. I can now see that these difficult times are actually fertile ground to grow my faith deep. God is still in control. As it turns out Jesus was not rejecting the lady but giving opportunity for her faith to grow deep and wide. She, the most unlikely of all, was a powerful woman of faith and the way Jesus handled the situation let it show!
What do you think about and feel as you read this account?
Have a “pressing deeper into Jesus” day!