From the Deacon’s Desk 8/16/2020
Today we hear from the Matthew 15:21-28. Although it’s a rather short reading, it has a very important message for all of us. Jesus has been having an ongoing struggle with the Pharisees, Sadducees and other leaders of the Jewish church. He’s probably a little frustrated that he cannot get through to them. So he goes to pagan territory hoping to get a little respite from his travels and ministry. Jesus is there only a short period of time when a Canaanite woman calls out to him “have pity on me Lord, son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” At first Jesus does not answer and his disciples beg him “send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” Jesus says “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
It seems that early in his ministry, even Jesus does not understand fully what his work is to be. We are lucky because we have two thousand years of Scripture scholars to clear up these difficult passages for us. The woman comes closer to Jesus and says “Lord, help me.” Jesus says to her “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw to the dogs.” The woman says to Jesus “Please, Lord, even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Jesus says to her so great is your faith, let it be done. The woman’s daughter is immediately healed from her demons.
This should give every one of us something to think about. Although Jesus is not ready to minister to the so-called “dogs” he does so and heals the woman’s daughter. God’s love and compassion goes well beyond who or what we are or what we have done or not done. Jesus is more interested in what we are made up of than who we are! I think this is the message we should think about and then do our best to accomplish it!
As you can see Jesus doesn’t fully grasp the extent of his ministry quite yet. This is a good indication of his human side coming into light. I immediately thought that perhaps we are all struggling with this whole Corona Virus thing and don’t fully understand it either. No one really has an answer but hopefully it will bring us to additional prayer for understanding and dependence on the Lord
Peace and All Good!