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Two men and zero women have been

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February 9, 2019

MATTHEW 14-16     

DAY 42: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR

Focus Verses for Today: Matthew 15:21-28

 

Take a moment to ask God to help you understand today’s reading: Matthew 14-16.  Now take a few moments to read Matthew 14-16 and contemplate what you have just read.  Take some time for personal prayer with God.  

Let today’s journey begin!  Chapter 14 of Matthew begins with an account of Herod the tetrarch’s beheading of John the Baptist.  Herod actually thought that Jesus was John the Baptist returned to life.  It continues with Jesus feeding of the 5,000.  We are coming back to that.  Chapter 14 concludes with Jesus walking on water with Simon Peter having a faith failure as he walks toward Jesus on the water.  Throughout chapter 14 people are coming to Jesus for healing and He healed them.  

 

Chapter 15 begins with some Pharisees and teachers of the law from Jerusalem coming to Jesus, accusing the disciples of breaking tradition because they didn’t wash their hands before they ate.  Jesus teaching on this was simple: what a man puts in his mouth does not defile him, it is what comes out of a man’s mouth that defiles him.  Coming back to the faith of the Canaanite woman.  Coming back to Jesus feeding the 4,000.

 

Chapter 16 begins with the Pharisees and Sadducees demanding a sign from Jesus.  Prove to us who you are they demanded.  Jesus replied A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.”  (See Jonah 1:15-2:10)  Jesus is referring to the three days He would be in tomb.  Peter is the first disciple to acknowledge that Jesus is the Messiah the Son of God.  The chapter concludes with Jesus predicting His death.  

 

Let’s return to our focus verses, Matthew 15: 21-28:

21Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  22A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!  My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

23Jesus did not answer a word.  So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

24He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

25The woman came and knelt before him.  “Lord, help me!” she said.

26He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

27“Yes it is, Lord,” she said.  “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

28Then Jesus said to her,“Woman, you have great faith!  Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.  (NIV)

 

It is time to contemplate.  It is time to journal.  Think back to the 5,000 not counting women and children that Jesus fed.  They were Jews.*  Think back to the 4,000 that Jesus fed.  They were Gentiles.**  Consider this exchange between the Canaanite woman and Jesus.  

24He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

25The woman came and knelt before him.  “Lord, help me!” she said.

26He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

27“Yes it is, Lord,” she said.  “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” 

What has transpired here?   Matthew 15:27: “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” The Israelites had foreign people who converted to Judaism living in their midst.  The were Jew’s by faith but not a true member of God’s chosen people.  They participated in all but the most sacred of the Jewish customs.  Is she saying I believe Lord - I believe you, Jesus, you are the Messiah the Son of God.  Is she crying out that I have not birthright but I have a faithright!  Give me the leftovers; they are sufficient.  Was she exercising her current faith with the Messiah?   Does Jesus’ response answer these questions?   28Then Jesus said to her,“Woman, you have great faith!  Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.  What is going on here?   Time to contemplate.  Time to journal.  Godspeace.

 

*The feeding of the 5,000 took place in Jewish territory.  Jeremiah Study Bible footnote Matthew 15:32.

 

** The feeding of the 4,00 took place in Gentile territory.  Jeremiah Study Bible footnote Matthew 15:32.

 

  

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