Re:Verse passage – Matthew 17:14-21 (day one)
Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Matthew 17:14-21 in our Winter Sermon Series: “Miracles” The Gospel of Matthew.
Re:Verse passage – Matthew 15:21-28 (day seven)
“But He did not answer her a word.” -23a
This woman’s initial request was met with silence. Her child was in turmoil and she had no where else to go. Now this man, the only man that could heal her daughter, is silent. Have you ever felt this before? Have you come before the Lord with boldness and faith only to be met with silence? The perception is that the one person who could help in this time doesn’t seem to care about your needs, but that could not be further from the truth. Charles Spurgeon once said, “Answers to prayers may be delayed; but delays are not always denials.”
Jesus was not denying this woman her petition. He just had a different plan. It was bigger than her. He knew He was going to heal her daughter, but His delay allowed for a teaching opportunity to His disciples that would shape their theology. His silence provided healing for so many more people than just this one gentile family. His silence is always precisely planned.
Re:Verse passage – Matthew 15:21-28 (day six)
Jesus did everything they expected, even wanted him to do, up until the very end. Maybe that was the point after all.
The greatest lessons learned in the Gospels, were learned by the disciples themselves. The Gospels tell their journey of growing into the knowledge of the Kingdom of God as revealed through Jesus’ life. This encounter with this woman was no different.
Up until the very last moment, they thought Jesus was in full agreement with the status quo; God’s Kingdom doesn’t belong to Canaanite women. But in an amazing turn of events, Jesus did the unexpected, He celebrates her faith and heals her daughter.
It was then they were exposed to a greater reality, that for God so loved the WORLD He sent his only Son.
Re:Verse passage – Matthew 15:21-28 (day five)
But she said, “Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
What a humble and amazing response from this woman! No arguing or rationalizing. No convincing Him of her worthiness. Just honest confession. She knew who she was. She knew who Jesus was. And she knew only Jesus could meet her needs. That’s enough to find help and healing. That’s enough to experience the grace of God. That’s enough for Jesus to demonstrate His power, be glorified, and meet her needs. She found help. She found life. It could have only come through the grace of Jesus. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;”
Re:Verse passage – Matthew 15:21-28 (day four)
Jesus said, “your faith is great.” Did this Canaanite woman have greater faith than Peter did when he got out of the boat to walk on the water? Not necessarily…Peter demonstrated great faith getting out of the boat, but he got distracted. Remember though, that Peter had been raised in the Jewish tradition, being very familiar with the Word of God, and he had been with Jesus day and night for over two years. This woman did not have the benefit of this extensive background and knowledge of the ways of God. Her faith was great because it came out of so little revelation in her life.
It seems that it is important what we do with what we have been given. Luke 12:48 says, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” Have you been given much or little? Have you exercised ‘great faith’?
Re:Verse passage – Matthew 15:21-28 (day three)
“Even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
With his responses to the woman, Jesus just about exhausts the entire catalogue of standard behaviors of the stalwart faithful towards outsiders. He begins with unresponsiveness, shifts to isolationism, and finishes with hostility. It took Jesus’s demonstration of these postures to highlight their utter repulsiveness. The spectacle of the Son of God demonstrating such behavior shocks the observer with the sheer depravity of these approaches. But that was Jesus’s point: such ways are incongruent with heaven. Jesus can tell the woman knows better than to think the Christ believed such nonsense, and so he effectively enlists her to help him expose the moral bankruptcy of these habits of the heart. Together, they demolish long-standing falsehoods and reveal the truth and beauty of God’s loving response to a persistent, faith-driven request.
Re:Verse passage – Matthew 15-21-28 (day two) But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” vs. 25
It is this posture taken by the mother that Jesus recognizes as faith. This is what opens her heart to the possibility of a miracle. Not a trick, or some snake oil; a miracle. Like the others whom we have studied over the past few weeks, hearts made ready to receive the Lord will meet him. One of the great truths of the gospel is if we come before him, acknowledge him as our Lord and Savior, and repent we, too, will meet Jesus. Don’t miss the great humility the mother displays. She is desperate, yes, but it takes a believing heart to have that kind of access to the almighty. Where do you need to meet him today? He is faithful and just to forgive and to start you on a new path towards a healthy heart and life.
Re:Verse passage – Matthew 14:22-33 (day seven)
When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. vs 32
The question I have always found myself asking when I study this passage is “How did they get back in the boat?” Did Jesus pick Peter up like a child and carry him back to safety? Did the disciples throw a rope from the boat and drag Peter back in as Jesus walked by his side and coached his faith? Or did Jesus pull Peter up and walk with Him back to boat hand in hand on top of the water again? No matter how this played out, Peter called for Jesus to help, and Jesus personally took action. Jesus helped Peter get back in the boat.
When we fall down, Jesus is always there to pick us back up. When we call for help in the middle of a storm, Jesus always has His hand outstretched to pull us back to safety. He will help us get back in the boat, and the storm will pass.
Re:Verse passage – Matthew 14:22-33 (day six)
He came to them. Matthew 14:25
Mark writes, “He meant to pass by them.” (Mark 6:48) Mark didn’t mean that Jesus was walking past them. That’s not the right meaning at all. What Mark meant, as is confirmed by Matthew, is that Jesus intended the disciples to see him walking on the water.
Walking on water was miraculous, but greater still is Jesus’ will to be seen. To be known, perceived, understood. Jesus has no need to be seen, but we have no greater need than to see (and know) Jesus, the one who came to us.
That’s what Jesus was doing after all. It wasn’t just an amazing display of divine power, but an appeal to our spiritual senses to wake up and see the Son of Man who takes away the sins of the world.
Their seeing Jesus would change everything. Jesus was counting on it.
Have you seen Him too?