Daily Bible Reading for Thursday, February 22nd:

How to Demonstrate Faith

Jesus exorcising the Canaanite Woman's daughter from Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, 15th century.

Jesus exorcising the Canaanite Woman’s daughter from Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, 15th century.

Every time I read the account of the Canaanite woman, the speech and actions from Jesus and the disciples makes me stop. (Matthew 15:21-28) At first glance it is all seemingly contradictory to the core message that Jesus has taught so far. To make it worse, the disciples elevate themselves above this woman for no other reason than her race. They have no reaction to the way Jesus spoke to her!

I wonder if the apostles thought back to this day when they began to realize the gospel was for all. The Jews were going to have to be retrained to think of all people as God’s children, and this is the beginning of that training. Jesus teaches us at least three things in this short passage:

Jesus demonstrates the importance of faith over any entitlements or preconceived notions. We know that God is no respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34) Wealth, race, beauty, nationality or any other human metric have no bearing with God.

Jesus demonstrates that it is important to maintain faith even when we feel like we are not getting what we need. Sometimes our faith wavers a little bit when we have tough times. Jesus gave the woman two opportunities to walk away empty handed, but her faith kept her there reasoning with him.

Jesus demonstrates that what he provides is more than enough. Jesus did not go back to the house to heal the daughter. He merely spoke the command to the woman that everything was going to be as she had asked. The woman went home without questioning that.

We have been left with enough evidence of God and what he wants from us through his word. It is up to us to protect and nurture the faith that comes from studying that evidence. (Romans 10:17) Our faith will be tested often in this earthly life, but those tests are what helps us grow, and have hope, when we learn to deal with them. (Romans 5:3-5)

What was your last test of faith and what improvement did it make on you?

About Butch Adams

In addition to writing this blog and contributing elsewhere, I have served as elder and deacon in the various places I have worshiped. In these duties, I have concentrated my attention on the area of education - both in outreach to seekers through the Internet and inside the congregations for ongoing Bible scholarship. Comments and thoughts about referenced material in the article above are Copyright 2018 by Butch Adams . Any referenced material belongs to its owners and every attempt has been made to use it according to their wishes.

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