Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
UNIVERSAL SALVATION IN CHRISTMatthew 15:21-28
Matthew 15:28: Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
Matthew 15:21-28 is more than a passage about Universal Salvation, it is also a passage of loving your enemies and hence is challenges us to examine our actions, words, and thoughts. The woman is referred to as a Canaanite (v.22), an ancient enemy of Israel (Deuteronomy 20:16-18). Despite this, she comes to Jesus to seek healing for her daughter. She not only refers to Jesus as Lord (vs. 22, 25, and 27), she also calls him “Son of David (v. 22)” and knells before him (v. 25). This “outsider” had a better understanding of who Jesus was than many Israelites. “Son of David” means someone like David, a person after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). This woman is acknowledging that Jesus is Lord and a person who is doing the will of God. She pleads for mercy. However, the disciples instead of being instruments of mercy and grace say, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us (v. 23).
The dialogue between the woman and Jesus is amazing. During the dialogue, it becomes obvious that she understands that God’s mercy is so great and so abundant that it not only blesses Israel but “the remaining grace” can bless others as well. When she speaks of the crumbs that fall from the table, it infers that even after Israel receives God’s blessings, there are still enough blessings for other people as well. She understands that all the people of the world can enjoy the grace and mercy of God.
This dialogue results not only in the physical healing of the daughter but also provides a great blessing to the mother. In verse 28 Jesus acknowledges her great faith. No Israelite was ever told by Jesus that they had great faith. In fact, most of the time Jesus criticizes his disciples for their lack of faith. It is this woman and a Roman centurion (Matthew 8:10) who Jesus praises for their faith. Further, when the disciples and the crowd who are there hear this dialogue, they are forced to reexamine their own faith. God had called Abraham to be a blessing to all nations (Genesis 12:3). This mission was passed on from Abraham to his children, however, in this passage, the disciples were not blessings. They realized that instead of helping this woman receive healing for her daughter in a loving and caring manner, they were more concerned about their own comfort and peace of mind (“Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.” v. 23). Their selfishness, lack of concern, and love meant that their faith was not great, because they did not do the will of God. God loves the whole world and sent Jesus to save it (John 3:16). In this passage, the disciples were stumbling blocks who set their minds on human concerns and not God’s concerns (Matthew 16:23). Remember, faith means more than calling Jesus Lord, it means doing the will of God (Mathew 7:21).
Heavenly Father, allow us to be channels of your blessings and mercies to the rest of the world. In Jesus' name, we pray, Amen
Thought for the Day
When God blesses you, don’t raise your standard of living. Raise your standard of giving
Rev. Shibi Abraham
Vicar, South Florida, MTC