Summary: Have you ever felt as if no one wanted to listen to you? Ever been in a situation where you needed help for something so great and tried your best to get help, but it seemed as if no one would even give you the time of day?
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Dealing with tough scriptures
That’s what we’re doing with Matthew 15:21-28
That’s what we’re doing with “listening”
I’ve seen many church statements, visions, purpose statements, mission statements, etc, they all have love and something about living, but I’ve never heard about listening.
This is the most critical part – it bridges the “loving” to the “living”. It shows we love and paves way for sharing our lives and our “life” together.
I don’t have all the answers!
21Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."
She’s not worth listening to – I don’t know what to say; Silence
I wonder for a moment if it happened like this: they get to a place to rest; the woman shows up somewhere along the way to the house, yelling in the background, they occasionally glance over the shoulder and get to the house finally glad that she’s out of the way; they open the door she’s still crying out; they listen to her a little; probably call Peter the bouncer to come and scare her away; doesn’t work; then their heads all turn to Jesus … and nothing. So they’ve got to say something.
[Just stop and say nothing]
23Jesus did not answer a word.
From the Lord we don’t like it; to others we don’t want to give it.
From Christ: He doesn’t always answer us; I think we’ve heard so many times that sometimes God responds in silence. Sometimes we need to let God have His way.
With others: We sometimes need to just shut up.
Sometimes others need to just let it all out – just shut up.
Sometimes others need to just take time and process – just shut up.
Sometimes others need to just cry it out – just shut up.
Sometimes others don’t want an answer – just shut up.
Story of when I spent time with Sister Dorothy in Lynchburg. Just sat there in silence.
Story of when we had our miscarriages, and people saying things like, “God stopped you from having to have a child with a birth defect,” or, “you weren’t ready yet,” etc.
I think Christ is playing the disciples; I think he’s using this woman as a test – how will you interpret the instructions! He won’t respond until the disciples answer back.
Matthew 10:6 10:6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.
1 He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. …
5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, preach this message: ’The kingdom of heaven is near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. 9 Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; 10 take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep. 11 "Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. 15 I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
16 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
But …. Are we going to be willing to “break out” of the “plan”? Are we flexible enough to allow the Holy Sprit to mess us up a little. Think of how in the military, as a platoon leader I learned that you have to “learn the book knowledge”, then learn how to apply it in real life. Funny thing in how that works in the church, too.
She’s not worth listening to - She’s a dog!
Think of how my great grandmother, the sweetest woman who ever lived jacked me up for calling my brother a dog.
25The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.
26He replied, "It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs."