Do you ever stop to think that when you speak to God, your words may be a “sweet, sweet” sound in His ear? Not a whine, not begging, but the voice of His child finding Him, turning to Him, no matter the problem, no matter the heartbreak, no matter the fear, and with maybe praise, great or small, grand or humble. Rather than turning to anyone else in your life, or to other things in you life, you turn to Him.
The music video below is another from the Maranatha Singers that plays over and over when I’m running errands or sitting at the computer and can’t stand politics for another moment.
Words of Biblical insight from my favorite Christian blogger, Carl Middleton, with the Maranatha Singer just after.
I seem to be drawn to the stories about Jesus which portrays Him in a different sort of behavior other than His normal caring manner. One such an occurrence is found in Matthew 15:21-28.
Jesus has just had one of His many confrontations with some scribes and Pharisees from Jerusalem. No doubt tired of the constant battle with the Jewish hierarchy, Jesus heads for a retreat. He now leaves the borders of Israel and heads to Tyre and Sidon on the seacoast of the Mediterranean, commonly called Phoenicia, or Syro-Phoenicia. In ancient times, this whole region, including Israel was in the possession of the Canaanites, and was called, “the land of Canaan.” The Phoenicians who were living there when Jesus arrived were descendants of the Canaanites.
It seems as if Jesus can never be alone. Even here along the coast, Jesus enters into a house as if in hiding, hoping that people would not know He was there … but no … “He could not be hid.” (Mark 7:24) The word always gets around about Jesus. The word was that He … “healed the sick and could cast out devils.”
A certain woman, a Canaanite, perhaps from one of these two cities, a Syrophoenician … which to the Jews were an accursed race … found the house that had given Jesus shelter and rest from His journey. It is not clear if the disciples were with Jesus in the house or outside when this woman entered the house and fell at His feet crying … “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David.” She was begging for help on behalf of her daughter.
It is almost improbable that two of the greatest examples of faith seen in the ministry of Jesus were exhibited by Gentiles … the Roman centurion for his servant, and this woman of Phoenicia pleading for her daughter. The fact that she addresses Jesus as Lord and by the title the “Son of David“ shows she knew of the prophecies concerning the Messiah.
The daughter of this Syro-phoenician woman had an unclean spirit which had taken possession of her. The scripture doesn’t tell us exactly what kind of problem this would have caused the daughter, but whatever it was she needed to be set free from Satan’s power.
Matthew records that Jesus … “answered her not a word.” As “the Son of David” He has nothing to do with her. She wasn’t a Jew.
From what I see in this account from Matthew, the woman must have went outside or at least to another part of the house and found His disciples and begged them to speak to Jesus about her daughter’s need. I can hear her saying as she goes from one to another …“Please, I’m begging you; go to Jesus and ask Him to cast this devil out of her.”
She must have been very insistent and demanding, not allowing them to refuse … she finally got their attention on this matter because they ended up going to Jesus and asking Him … “Lord, send her away, she won’t leave us alone.”
Now here is where it seems to me, that Jesus is out of character. First, Jesus doesn’t even acknowledge the woman, not one word even though she “came and fell at His feet.” (Mark 7:25)
Next, when the disciples come to Him on her behalf, Jesus almost sounds a little annoyed in His response back to them. “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” What? Does that sound like Jesus? Is this really the reason He didn’t respond to her pleading … she wasn’t of the house of David?
Matthew states that after Jesus basically told the disciples that He, “was sent only to the house of Israel” … the woman still was not deterred or discouraged in her mission to gain help for her daughter. Matthew says … “Then she came and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, help me.”
Whenever the scriptures are not clearly descriptive, (as in this case) my mind paints it’s own picture of events. Many times what I see also has a soundtrack as well. I hear a change in the tone of this woman’s voice.
No longer is it a driven, forceful sound of desperation … it has now become a weak, broken, helpless, soft cry unto this man called Jesus, whom she has now prostrated herself before, in reverence and worship. She intuitively knows who Jesus is and empties the need in her soul once again at His feet … helpless, completely overcome and reduced to tears when she speaks the three words that always touches the heart of Jesus … “Lord, help me.”
But again, she doesn’t get the answer she desperately wants to hear from the heart of Jesus. Instead the Lord’s answer to her is … “It doesn’t look good to take the children’s bread and toss it to dogs.”
How much more can this poor mother take? Doesn’t Jesus even care for one woman born outside of the House of David? Was it her fault where she was born? Does this sound like the loving kind Savior we know, who never turned anyone away? Read the rest of the story at Carl’s, right after you listen to I Love You Lord.