Summary: The Real Place We Meet God Series: Conversations with Jesus March 18, 2018 – Brad Bailey
The Real Place We Meet God
Series: Conversations with Jesus
March 18, 2018 – Brad Bailey
Sometimes when I have a chance to introduce someone to someone else…I like to note a point of connection. (Last week I introduced Ron who plays drums with Jonathan a worship leader.)
Past holidays… we had both our annual Christmas Dinner Party for our staff…and another holiday party for our neighborhood. Well the night of the staff dinner party… house is full …everyone chatting …when door rings and our neighbors next door come in… we began talking…and wondering…they were looking around …no one appeared to be a neighbor…staff quite welcoming…but didn’t know who they were. Finally we discovered they had gotten the wrong invitation. Right place…but not the right grounds for connection.
The place we meet someone is not just a location…but ground on which we meet.
This is true with God.
When we approach the idea of meeting with God… do we come as one who feel obligation…meeting with one who is owed our time? As one who seeks more meaning with the one who offers meaning? As one who has some practical needs…coming to one who might solve their problems? All these and more are true. All of these provide some ground for meeting God… a ground for connection. But there may be one more fundamental…one that Jesus understood as most essential
We are continuing our series… “Conversations with Jesus”…
As described in previous weeks… many conversations are just polite exchanges. Some are practical exchanges. But there are some that can be life altering. They can change our understanding of life…and ourselves. Some have an expansive effect as what they posit is shared with others.
Arguably…no conversations have changed more people than those with Jesus.
Today we engage one such conversation.
Matthew 15:21-28 (NLT)
Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.” 23 But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.” 24 Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.” 25 But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!” 26 Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their master’s table.” 28 “Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.
For those who are familiar with the life and nature of Jesus…this can seem like an unusual exchange.
The way that Jesus initially relates to this woman can seem to different that one might think it doesn’t fit… maybe it was inserted.
But I believe what we find is a moment in which Jesus sees something and takes his time to pull on a string to see what is there…because it has the potential to bring out into the open something for all to see.
It was a common part of a rabbi teaching his disciples through real life situations. That is why they did life together during years of training. 
Jesus was constantly doing it. What was so distinct was not how he did it but what he did. WHAT he did and then taught transcended the bound of common religious understanding.
(On screen for reference, not fully read again)
Matthew 15:21-22 (NLT)
Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.”
Jesus left Galilee… and the context is that the crowds were becoming more intense…after thousands came and he ministered on a hillside… he had miraculously provided food…and now he is trying to get away.
So Jesus heads north to spend time with his core group of disciples… about 50 miles north… the farthest north he would ever travel. It is the only time in this gospel account that he goes outside of Jewish / Samaritan territory except to escape Herod as a baby and to visit Gadara.
Mark tells us in his gospel that Jesus did not want anyone to know where he was. And yet, his notoriety has become inescapable.
It is here that this woman encounters him.
What was her position before this group of Jewish men?