Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Strange Encounter

Read Matthew 15:21-28

I know, I made you get out the Bible. But it could be worse, I might just make you read it in Greek! Well, anyway, I thought I might share with you what I got out of the passage this morning.

It really is a strange passage. Jesus seems to be acting quite unlike we'd expect from the Saviour of "the world." But then, Matthew 1:21 says that he came to save "his people" from their sins!

Jesus had left the crowds of Judea behind in hopes of some rest with his disciples. And what should happen but one of the local women finds him anyway! You'd think in a world without radio and telephones that the word wouldn't get out so fast, wouldn't you? But God has His ways.

This woman, like Rahab of Jerico, had heard of Yahweh's work through His Messiah among the Jews. And now, when she is in need of assistance, Jesus acts like He doesn't even hear her! She continues to cry out as the Lord and his disciples walk toward her town. And the disciples are not pleased.

So Jesus turns to the woman and "explains" that His mission is to Israel, and not to the pagans in adjoining nations. But she was desperate, turning His apparent ethnic slur around. She admits she IS a "canarias" but that children will feed dogs that are kept as pets!

She had passed the Master's test. Her faith was not in His miracles, but rather in His person. He was the Messiah. And as such He could accept a poor gentile if He so pleased. He was impressed with her "great faith" and fulfilled her desires long distance. Her daughter, who had been horribly influenced by demons, was freed of such bondage at Jesus' word.

One wonders what became of that woman and her daughter. But one thing's for sure: neither monther or daughter was ever the same afterword.

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