Today’s Reading Matthew 15, Psalms 88
As I sit with my youngest daughter in the hospital, I am mediating and reading the chapter for the bible journal and I cannot help but be overwhelmed with the context … God please heal my daughter.
Matthew 15: 21-28
21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon.22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.”And her daughter was healed instantly.[e]
On Saturday afternoon, my father-in-law and daughters and I went on a routine shopping adventure. Its that time of year that the shoes are getting smaller and the sandals are not the right footwear for the seasons, especially when you see snowflakes at the end of October. As we complete the selection of shoes and preparing to leave, my youngest daughter, Nadya falls off a shoe-measuring stool and hits her head on the floor. As I pick her up and comfort her, she starts to have some questionable symptoms, which prompt me to take her to the emergency room. While at the hospital, we are checked up and admitted for overnight observations for concussion or seizure activity. As she sleeps that evening, I read the bible provided there and begin to review, read, and mediate on the chapter for today Matthew 15. The Spirit of God is ever present and leading me to have a deeper communion with Him and He is consistently making me aware of His presence. What other time, place, and situation would make this passage ever be more real.
In the beginning of the chapter, Jesus is telling us about how people have changed the way God wanted his people to live, worship, and interact with each other. The Pharisees were questioning the validity of the teachings and followers. Jesus is telling us that the food and things that we put in our body will go in and come out and will not have eternal effect on our spirit. However, Jesus then refers to the things that we say and do to others is not a result of the tangible food that we eat, but the manifestation of the true character of our heart and spirit. It’s the true essence of us that is the reflection of God and how it is exhibited to others a reflection of our heart.
The following section of the chapter puts this into practice: the Canaanite lady and her daughter. Here is where the Canaanite woman comes to Jesus and begs for him to have mercy on her and her daughter. At first Jesus continues to walk by without acknowledgement of the person. This would have been utterly painful for Jesus to see and hear. Then the disciples, orders Jesus to tell the woman to leave “them” alone. Wow, sometimes we forget who is in charge and we may overstep our own authority. Can you imagine that the disciples are giving Jesus orders? But Jesus has compassion on the woman, but wants to makes sure that she is truly committed and her faith outshines her circumstances.
It is the true spirit of the person that Jesus sees. He sees pass the unclean, the unworthy, the classes, the cultural differences, the gender, and the socioeconomic of all people. We have to recognize that Jesus is here for all to be given the Glory of God. We also have to recognize that we have to be confident in the promise of God. When we ask God for something, sometimes He is “silent” to us. Sometimes He reiterates the question that we ask. Sometimes He wants us to make Him know that we are longing for His presence and grace. In the end we pray that we will hear “…you have great faith! Your request is granted.”
As I complete this entry, Nadya is home, sleeping in her bed. Seizure free. Concussion free. Blessed beyond measure. Amen. Thank you for your prayers.