Humility before God and Confidence in His Grace

Posted by admin on 1 February 2016 in Galatians, Hebrews, Matthew, Philippians, Proverbs, Psalms, Revelation |

Matthew 15:21-28

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.

 

Message

Jesus went from Gennesaret to the region of Tyre and Sidon (21). There, a Canaanite woman came to Him and cried out. She said, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” (22).

Based on Mark 7:26, this Canaanite woman was a Greek and born in Syrian Phoenicia. Tyre and Sidon were the two principal cities of Phoenicia.  Both were Gentile cities in a Gentile country. The woman there was desperate for help in a horrible situation. Her daughter was demon-possessed and terribly suffering. Only Jesus could solve this problem. She cried out to Jesus. What was the response of Jesus? See v23a.

But Jesus did not answer a word to her. Why did Jesus not answer her request?

When disciples of Jesus urged Him to send her away (23b), Jesus answered to her.

“I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” (24)

This means His personal mission was to the Israelites. The Gospel was first offered to the Israelites and then to all by His apostles.

But the woman didn’t give up but came and knelt before Him and persistently asked His help. “Lord, help me!” (25) This shows that she still believed that Jesus would help even though she was not physically an Israelite. In fact, the Bible teaches us this is possible by faith. By faith, we become descendants of Abraham.

At this point, Jesus insulted her by saying, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

In the Bible, dogs are used to describe dirtiness, folly and greed.

Matthew 7:6 says, “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet and then turn and tear you to pieces.”

If you give God’s word to dogs, they will trample it under their feet and then turn and hurt you. That is how dogs are.

Proverbs 26:11 says, “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.”

Philippians 3:2 “Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh.”

Bread is not for dogs but children. If you stay as dogs, you are less important in God’s eyes. If you want to live in His blessing, you better live not as dogs but as children of God.

At His word, she was humble enough to admit her identity as a dog. But she didn’t despair or retreat. Instead, she continued to ask for help by saying, “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

We are attached to Israelites by faith. But it is important to maintain our humility. Romans 11:20, 21 say, “(Granted. But) they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.”

At her humility and confidence in His grace, Jesus recognized she had “great faith” and granted her request.

Proverbs 3:34 says, “He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.”

Hebrews 4:15, 16 say  15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

What is your past? What foolish mistake did you make? But do not despair. Do not give up God’s mercy & grace. God’s heart is moved by humility & confidence in His grace.

I invite you who need desperate help, whether spiritual, financial, mental, physical, or social.

We all need help. Let us cry out for God’s grace with humility and confidence! Oh Jesus, have mercy on us!

Let us pray.

<Prayer>

Thank you, Jesus, for your amazing grace. Once, our hearts were touched by your love and forgiveness. Today our hearts are deeply touched again by the depth and width of your grace shown toward this Canaanite woman. Like this woman, let us be humble, confident in your grace, and receive your mercy today and every day. Amen.

[Other bible verses about 'dog(s)']

It was 'dogs' that crucified Jesus:

Psalm 22:16 Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet.

Psalm 22:20 Deliver me from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs.

Warning to believers:

Galatians 5:15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

Warning:

Revelation 22:15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

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