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WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, AUGUST 17, 2020

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verses are Matthew 15:21-28, where the Bible says,

21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A 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.” 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.26 He 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.”28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

WILL YOU LET JESUS DRAW OUT YOUR FAITH?


This event in the Bible is one of the most difficult to read. It is a moment in the life of a woman who is at the end of her rope. She’s overwhelmed by issues with her daughter. Things are out of her control. Her life is in chaos. And yet, at the moment when her life seems to be unraveling, it appears that Jesus “piles on!”

If that’s what it appears to you, keep reading. This event is not really about this woman’s struggles, monumental as they might be. This event is about her trust in God in ALL things. This event is about her trust in the Savior whom God the Father sent for her. This event is about the truth that when all one has in this life is Christ as Lord and Savior, He is all you need.

In fact, this woman knew that when the darkness and chaos of this world seemed to overwhelm, then the uniqueness of Jesus shines even more clearly. No matter what she was facing, no matter what you and I are facing, Jesus was there and Jesus is here. That always makes all the difference. Trust IN HIM. She knew that Jesus would do what was best for her and for her daughter. That’s the power of her faith. To that end, HER PERSISTENT FAITH DEMONSTRATES THAT YOU CAN ALSO COUNT ON JESUS, EVEN WHEN YOU CAN’T COUNT ON ANYTHING ELSE!

So even when Jesus is silent for a time, or even when He appears to be unconcerned, the woman in this text urges you not to believe it because Jesus loves you and will do what is best!

She knows what it’s like to hold on to Him no matter what. And she would tell you to COUNT ON JESUS WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS. YOU CAN EVEN COUNT ON HIM WHEN HE SEEMS SILENT FOR A TIME. We know that even beyond her example. We know that’s true because Jesus’ death and resurrection demonstrate publicly what He thinks about you and me, and what He wants for us all.

BACK TO THE LESSON FOR ONE LAST THOUGHT. WHAT ABOUT JESUS’ RESPONSES? He seems to put her off, even to mildly insult her. WHY WOULD HE DO SUCH A THING? IT SEEMS SO UNLIKE HIM.

I say it was to EXHIBIT HER FAITH, to demonstrate her faith for others to see! Especially those of us today who might be having a hard time with what we think God is doing or not doing for us at the moment, her faith remains a shining EXAMPLE.  She was in essence saying, “Whatever you do for me, Jesus, IT WILL BE THE BEST FOR ME. I CAN PUT MY TRUST IN YOU ALONE. So I’m committing my life and my daughter’s life to you.” PERIOD.

Some people think that the woman’s faith caused Jesus to act. That misses the whole point. She knew the depth of the mercy of this Jesus who stood before her. He was THE LORD, THE MASTER, WHO WOULD BRING GOD’S MERCY TO HER AND TO ALL (see verse 22)!

I wish I could have seen Jesus’ face. He couldn’t wait to bless her trust in Him. He couldn’t wait to “exhibit” that faith, that blessing for others to see. When you and I are struggling, let the example of this woman’s faith be our faith-commitment too. Then will you let Him draw out your faith for all to see, empowering your life of trust IN HIM to be the blessing that it is meant to be for those you love? I pray that you will.

PRAYER – Dear Lord, let this woman be an example to us all of faith’s persistence to rely upon You as the source of our very lives, now and forever! Amen.

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