Saturday, August 16, 2014

Proper 15

Proper 15
17 August 2014
Matthew 15:21-28
Get this woman off my back!

The disciples show great compassion…Not! They say, concerning this Canaanite woman, “Send her away! She keeps crying out after us!” How does Jesus feel about her?  First, He ignores her. Then He insults her, by calling her a dog!

No one likes someone who nags. Yet, she uses her nagging to get a cure for her daughter. Could we learn something from her today?

This woman –

Had no right to nag!

1.            She was a woman with no rights. Or privileges. None! Not. A. Single. One. She wasn’t entitled. No one owed her anything. She stands there - alone.

2.            She was a Gentile with no claim on a Jew. “It is not right to take the children’s bread and cast it to the dogs” Vs. 26 Jews referred to gentiles as “dogs.”  Jesus is simply stating fact. The disciple’s perceptions and views of Gentiles will have to change. And, in time, they will.  Peter would one day realize: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him." . Later, all would recognize the fact that the gospel is for all. "When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, 'Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.'" 

3.            She was a pagan, a devotee of a false religion. And the demands of the law were clear. Have nothing to do with them. Be ye separate. 

She had reason to nag!

1.            She had a serious need. Her daughter was possessed. By a demon. The demons were in a fight with Jesus. They would lay hold of any victim they could find. From the time of Adam to this very hour, the devil acts as a narcissus. In order to strike out at God he attacks the children. She had a mother’s love. She didn’t say, “Help her!” She says, “Help me!” Her daughter’s problem was her problem. Her daughter’s issue was her issue.  No one could help her. Except Jesus, standing before her.

2.            She had humility. Notice her posture. Face down. Hands extended. ”Help me!” She cried! It’s the same prayer you pray, “Kyrie Eleison!” Lord, have mercy!  She does not care about anything. Other that this Prophet can help her daughter. And she will not be discouraged, depressed, dejected, or frightened. She did not demand. She had nothing to give. But she would plead, and beg, and petition Jesus until she got her miracle.

When you find yourself in dire circumstances continue to pray. Continue to seek Jesus’ help and comfort. Never, ever give up. Pray without ceasing. Embrace endurance. 

3.            She had faith. "Son of David" is a Messianic term. This tells us she knew something of the promise of God the Father to send a Savior. She addressed Jesus as that Messiah. Where had she learned this? We are not told. But, she is correct. It would have been easy for her to turn away. In anger. Or sorrow. Or pride. She saw Jesus as the only hope for her daughter. She would not turn away! “O woman” says Jesus. This is a statement of endearment. Of love. And affection. After three strikes,…she gets…a miracle! Jesus replies, “Great is your faith!”  She asks for crumbs and gets…Jesus! It’s all about bread – It’s all about Jesus - the bread of life!

Great faith brings great rewards. This took courage. It took commitment. It took a spirit that refused to be daunted. Her faith was tested. She passed the test. The apostles are starting to wake up. They received a lesson that day that they would remember. Salvation is open to all who come in repentance and faith.
Words –655
Passive sentences –2%
Reading ease – 86.3%

Reading level – 2.8

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