Father welcomes all His children To His family through His Son. Father giving His salvation. Life forever has been won.” – Father Welcomes,” Lutheran Service Book #605
Matthew 15:21–28 Jesus heals a Canaanite woman’s daughter. In this regard faith embraces Christ – which is NOT about doing right things. Or being correct. Performing rituals to perfection. Or even eating certain foods. It is what is on the inside which is the most important.
This Canaanite woman is an unlikely candidate to be the ideal follower of Jesus. She’s Gentile. Yet she calls Jesus, “Lord” and “Son of David.” Unlike Peter who fails to understand anything Jesus was doing. Along with Jesus’ other disciples, who attempt to chase her away.
Discipleship is not automatic. Instead, a true believer is one who has absolute faith in Jesus. Paul in this week’s epistle (Romans 11:1–2a, 13–15, 28–32) is attempting to come to grips with the reality that his own people have not accepted Jesus as the Christ. Yet all have been disobedient alike – both Jews and Gentiles together. In spite of everything, God is able to work through our disobedience to show us His mercy, love and care.
In Jesus’ conversation with the Canaanite woman there is a wonderful exchange of words. Jesus responds to her by saying, “It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the family puppy.” She replies by saying, “Yes, Lord, yet even the mutts off the street eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.”
By her persistent prayer, that Jesus would have mercy and help her, even in the face of His initial silence and apparent rejection. This Canaanite woman boldly confessed her faith in Christ.
Her beautiful example encourages us to cling to the words and promises of the Gospel. Even in the face of the Law. That accuses and condemns us. Do not think you can walk your way into the Kingdom of God by some grand achievement. Paul commands a life of faith. By faith we receive the Father’s gifts. By faith we get precisely what we don’t deserve. And even more! That is why grace will always be karma’s worst nightmare.
Let Your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend Your Church; and because it cannot continue in safety without Your help, protect and govern it always by Your goodness; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. ~ Collect for Pentecost 11
Lutheran Service Book ©2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. LouisSchnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts “The Crucifixion” copyright © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.