Jesus is for Everbody

(Today's post by Chris Queen)

Matthew 15:21-39

Here’s a little glimpse into the writing process: when I look at the Reading Plan passages for a week’s post, sometimes I have to look for themes that run through seemingly separate stories. That’s what happened this week. In the last half of Matthew 15, we have two short episodes that on the surface appear to just be random stories, but if we look deeper we can see a thread that runs through both of them.

In the first passage, a Canaanite woman – a Gentile – approached Jesus and His disciples asking for healing for her daughter:

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.

Jesus’ exchange with this woman sounds like a crude metaphor, but the meaning behind the comparison is this: Jesus came to be the Messiah to the Jews, but His message, His salvation, His healing are for all. The Jews, as God’s chosen people, were supposed to come first, and everyone else who put their faith in Him could follow.

Next up, a crowd of about 4,000 people surrounded Jesus:

29 Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. 30 Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. 31The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

After healing these folks, Jesus asked his disciples to feed the crowd, and he worked a miracle to help them.

The bottom line in both of these stories is that Jesus is for everybody. He could have told the woman, “sorry, lady, I don’t have time to help a Gentile.” He could have told the people in need of healing that He was too busy and needed to be left alone. But He didn’t. He healed the lowliest of the low and reached out to those outside cultural parameters.

You may feel like you’re not good enough. You may think your past precludes you from a healing, grace-filled relationship. You may think you don’t fit in. The good news is, Jesus is for you. Never let fears, perceptions, or anything else stand in the way of that amazing, priceless fact.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Subscribe to RSS Feed Follow me on Twitter!
%d bloggers like this:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner