Summary: Purity, desperation, needs

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MATT 15:24-27 (p.693) July 18, 2010


My mom has this picture of Jesus over her bed. It's been there for us as long as I can remember ---so long I kind of take it for granted every week when I look at it while we watch Price is Right together.

He has long, flowing hair, a neatly trimmed beard, lily white skin, face turned toward heaven, welcoming blue eyes and there's this light coming from above that gives him a glowing complexion…he looks amazingly kind…sort of, like he wants to be my best friend.

It’s a nice picture…but I believe it's not very close to reality. I doubt there was a glowing orbit that followed Jesus around everywhere He went. I don't think he walked around staring up toward heaven and I sure don't think He had skin that "uh…Caucasian". The reality is that He looked like your very ordinary middle eastern man.

Isaiah 53: 2 tells us "He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him nothing in His appearance that we should desire him."

He had no physical attributes that would set him apart as supernatural. Just an ordinary tradesman from a poor family.

At least the welcoming expression that reminds us He wants to be our best friend is right. Right?

Let's look at our text:

Matt 15:21-28 (p693)

I'd like to challenge you this morning to:


There are some things that just look better on paper. We may like the idea of them, but they don't translate well into reality.

[For me pickled beets is one of those things. I love veggies. I like the idea of eating healthy beautiful food….and pickled beets are beautiful….they are my very favorite color in the whole world. The practical problem is the taste…


They make me physically ill….and no I don't want to try yours…they taste like purple pickled dirt. No matter how beautiful they look it still tastes awful to me]

And for us as Christians…that looks good on paper thing…can be sometimes applied to what we call unity. We champion the cause for unity and love the idea. We talk about it and study it. Every Christ follower intellectually nods their head in agreement when we talk about needy unity in the body of Christ.

Yet is most urban areas, these are literally hundreds of churches---many facing each other across the street.

Some are separated by different nuances of belief or practice...Think worship style, for instance: the regular worshippers, the charismatic worshippers, the liturgists, the readers, the silent, and those who believe in it all. I'm afraid churches separated by style preferences are, in many cases little more then cliques devoted to their own members.

But unbelievably, after all these decades many of our churches are separated by race and there's nothing wrong with recognizing cultural differences, particularly where language barriers exist.

But we have to look around and wonder…with all these church labels…how far have we really come on being a unified church in the world?

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