“15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”
The Faith of a Canaanite Woman
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.
How in the world do you take that scripture and make sense of it in a sermon?
Well, Rev. Steve Hundley at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana tackled it today. Preceding the sermon, Elaine, Steve’s wife, read the scripture using The Message, Eugene Petersen’s version of the Bible. In part, it said,
“It is not what you swallow that defiles a person, but what you vomit up!”
The Canaanite woman who came to Jesus, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!” was indeed vomiting up a whole lot of agony. Why did Jesus suggest that helping her would be like feeding bread to the dogs? Listen to what I heard Steve saying about this is his sermon today:
Jesus called a desperate woman a dog!
She was a Canaanite who child’s life was grim.
Why would Jesus insult her like that?
She threw His words right back at Him.
We can relate to her and her dark side.
We all have a little bit of the devil in us.
But, not Jesus … No! He was perfect!
So why did He call her a dog?
Was He rejecting her because she wasn’t Jewish?
No, it can’t be true. He must have been saying,
“I have a special spot in my heart for the Jews.”
Maybe He used this to show the disciples their playing.
Playing with the idea of parroting back to them
Their rejection of others – their callous attitude.
Jesus seemed to be sending the mother away.
Gladly, we can see Jesus help her and sense her gratitude.
We are living in strange times – a nation divided.
There are desperate voices shouting out. You have a choice.
Whose voices will you hear? How will you respond?
Are your words and attitudes matching Jesus’ voice?
When you hear the desperate mother cry,
Do you hear her pain and heed her pleas?
She boldly calls with faith for her child’s healing.
May we also listen, hear, and respond with help to such as these.
Lord, speak to our hearts that we might know Your heart more clearly.
“Open my mouth and let me bear gladly the warm truth everywhere.
Open my heart and let me prepare love with Thy children thus to share.”
I am off this evening to say good-bye to our favorite Sunday School kids.
Love with Thy children thus to share…
This adorable pair is moving from Ennis to go with their parents
to Jordan, MT where their dad will take over the family farm.
I can’t tell you how much we will miss them.
But of course, we will pray for them
and hope their transition to their new home is a smooth one.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek and reading the sermon notes.
Please add Cord and Ruby
and their parents, Suzanne & Casey,
to your prayer list.
And ask God to send some new little kids to our church, okay?
See you tomorrow.