Tuesday 08 November 2011

Bible Book:
Matthew

"Woman, great is your faith!" (v. 28)

Matthew 15:21-28 Tuesday 8 November 2011

Background

If any of you are Christian and not of Jewish descent - thenthank God for this woman!

This unnamed Canaanite woman is worthy of our admiration:

  • Firstly, she stood up to Jesus (which, as it happens, is a veryJewish thing to do)! I was once told (by a Jew) that the differencebetween a Christian and a Jew is that when things go wrong for aChristian, they decide there is no God; but when things go wrongfor a Jew, they shout at God. Today's disciples of Jesus cansometimes placate their own realities. They tell themselves that'God has a master plan' or that somehow, even though they are indeep turmoil, 'God knows what he is doing'. Perhaps we should learnfrom this brave, gentile woman and say to God, 'This stinks! Imight not deserve every blessing - but I certainly don't deservethis misery!'



  • Secondly, she's smart! Jesus has a habit of talking in riddles,using stories and parables to get his point across. Often thehearers are at a loss to the meaning, and certainly do not have acomeback; but this woman did. When Jesus uses an analogy of dogs(non-Jews) taking the food (blessings) from the children (Jews),this woman uses the analogy to help Jesus understand where she iscoming from. "I don't want to steal the blessing rightly offered toJews, I want to be blessed by their blessing," she says.



  • Thirdly, she has faith! It never occurs to her that Jesus mightnot be able to do what she asks. She seems utterly convinced thatJesus, the Messiah, the Son of David has the power to heal herdaughter. What is more amazing is that her faith does not stem fromher upbringing (as she isn't a Jew) but from the rumour that shehas heard of the healer-man, the one that some Jews callMessiah.

 

To Ponder

How easy is it for you to stand up to God? Is itdesirable? To what extent does it show a depth of faith or a lackof respect?

Who is blessed because you are blessed? Who getsto eat from beneath the table where God feeds you?

Are you a holy gossiper? How do people in yourneighbourhoods get to hear of the things God does and so have asense of God's transformational power?

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