God’s Word Goes Forth: Encourage One Another in Faith
Matthew 15:21-39: Jesus heals the demon-possessed daughter of a Gentile woman in response to the woman’s quick wit and bold faith. Jesus then heals many others. The crowd is excited and astounded. Jesus feels pity for the crowd, and feeds them with seven loaves of bread and a few fish.
Today's Scripture: Matthew 15:31
The people were amazed as they saw the dumb speaking, the crippled made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they praised the God of Israel.
21 Jesus left that place and went off to the territory near the cities of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman who lived in that region came to him. “Son of David!” she cried out. “Have mercy on me, sir! My daughter has a demon and is in a terrible condition.” 23 But Jesus did not say a word to her. His disciples came to him and begged him, “Send her away! She is following us and making all this noise!” 24 Then Jesus replied, “I have been sent only to the lost sheep of the people of Israel.” 25 At this the woman came and fell at his feet. “Help me, sir!” she said. 26 Jesus answered, “It isn't right to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs.” 27 “That's true, sir,” she answered, “but even the dogs eat the leftovers that fall from their masters' table.” 28 So Jesus answered her, “You are a woman of great faith! What you want will be done for you.” And at that very moment her daughter was healed. 29 Jesus left there and went along by Lake Galilee. He climbed a hill and sat down. 30 Large crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the dumb, and many other sick people, whom they placed at Jesus' feet; and he healed them. 31 The people were amazed as they saw the dumb speaking, the crippled made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they praised the God of Israel. 32 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I feel sorry for these people, because they have been with me for three days and now have nothing to eat. I don't want to send them away without feeding them, for they might faint on their way home.” 33 The disciples asked him, “Where will we find enough food in this desert to feed this crowd?” 34 “How much bread do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven loaves,” they answered, “and a few small fish.” 35 So Jesus ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks to God, broke them, and gave them to the disciples; and the disciples gave them to the people. 37 They all ate and had enough. Then the disciples took up seven baskets full of pieces left over. 38 The number of men who ate was four thousand, not counting the women and children. 39 Then Jesus sent the people away, got into a boat, and went to the territory of Magadan.
What significance does the woman’s ethnicity have for Jesus’ mission? Why do you think the woman bows down when she approaches Jesus? How does the woman react to Jesus’ harsh response to her request? What surprised you most in today’s stories?
O God, thank you for sharing your grace through Jesus Christ with the world. Forgive us when we act timidly, and embolden us to seize opportunities to receive what we most need from your abundance. Amen.