Summary: I want believers to have humble faith, to seek and accept God's plan for their lives, overcoming obstacles.
FAITH EXCEEDS OBSTACLES
Text: Mt 15: 21-28
Purpose: I want believers to have humble faith, to seek and accept God's plan for their lives, overcoming obstacles.
Jesus went to the region of Tire and Sidon (Phenicia, part of Syria). It was a land of Gentiles, pagans, worshipers of Baal. It was a land of enemies of the Jews, the land of Jezebel. It was a land of port, of great economic importance and a lot of people.
What was to do there? Perhaps it was to show the disciples that the blessings of God also extended to the impure Gentiles.
The text says that He did not want to be discovered, perhaps because He wanted to rest a little. He was a man and needed rest like everyone else.
In the previous text the Master talks about the contaminations: what contaminates is what comes out, not what enters. This episode will show this reality applied to people.
In his own land, it was a time of rejection, of distrust, of people who approached him to look for errors, instead of seeking solutions.
Jesus will have his rest interrupted by a woman. We can observe that she had a faith that was praised by Jesus and she overcame the obstacles, to achieve her victory.
1. The woman encounters many obstacles to be taken care of.
1.1. There were great obstacles between the woman and Jesus: She was a woman, with whom a Jew should not speak in public. She was a Gentile, a heathen, a person considered filthy, with which a holy man should have no contact. She was pagan, perhaps Baal's worshiper. She had a demon-possessed daughter. The Bible shows a close relationship between worship of demons and idolatry. She was "the most impure of women."
1.2. Besides this, she finds enormous resistance on the part of Jesus and his disciples. But necessity makes her seek his victory with insistence.
1.3. Do you see fit people who show no interest in God? It is because they are satisfied with what they have. In the day of need, they will seek.
1.4. Jesus calls the woman a "dog" and says that the priority is the children (Israel). Christ's response seems rude, racist and insulting, but we are surprised by the woman's reaction.
2. She showed a humble and persevering faith.
2.1. The woman calls Jesus the Lord. Perhaps it is not just a treatment of respect, but by kneeling before him, shows the recognition that He is in control of the situation. She believes He has the power to solve your problem. She humbles herself and accepts to receive only the crumbs that fall from the table, the remnants of God's blessings. It does not require; she humbles herself and accepts what God wants for her.
2.2. God has the right to give whatever He wants, whomever He wants, whatever quantity He wants. And she accepts it. Many want to be a lot and have difficulty accepting not to be the star, the first, the most outstanding. This woman agrees to be the last, in search of her victory.
2.3. God's requirement to bless someone is not their background, nor their past, nor their dignity, nor their good condition. He demands FAITH. Faith implies submission, trust, transferring control over the situation to another. Faith says: He can, and can do as he pleases.
2.4. While the pure rejected Jesus, the impure looks for it and finds it.
3. Jesus answers and praises the woman's faith.
3.1. Because of his humble faith, Jesus attended the woman, in the distance determined the liberation of his daughter and praised his humble confidence.
3.2. What obstacles are there between you and your blessing? First: those who do not seek, do not find. It is necessary to seek in faith, with confidence in the Lord, that He can do.
3.3. Then humility is submission leads us to accept the will of God and not ours. Many do not receive because they want to impose conditions on God. Yet, the apparent delay or divine resistance is "overcome" by perseverance in the request.
We often impose the obstacles to our victory: unbelief, pride, impatience.
The woman received what she needed.
Jesus has blessings to give to those who need it: salvation, healing, victory.
Do you have the faith to submit to your will and keep waiting?