Jeremiah 31:1-7 (Psalm) Jeremiah 31:10-13;Matthew 15:21-28
“Great is your faith!” (Matthew 15:28)
We often look at this passage and commend this woman’s tenacity in seeking a healing for her daughter. But look again, and you may see signs that Jesus was being just as tenacious—and for a different reason. For lack of a better phrase, we might even say that he was playing “devil’s advocate” in his conversation with her.
Just look at the way Jesus dealt with her. Everything he did here seems to run directly counter to his typical way of dealing with people. First he ignored the woman. Then he let ethnic differences keep him from showing her any mercy. He even compared her to a dog! This is so unlike the Jesus we have come to see in the first fourteen chapters of Matthew’s Gospel. So he must be up to something here.
What is Jesus doing? He is leading this woman on, drawing out the faith that he knows she has in her heart. He is helping her proclaim that faith more boldly—not for her sake alone but also for his disciples’ sake. He wanted them to see that everyone, even a pagan woman, can believe in him. He wanted them to see that everyone is worthy of a full and healed life. So Jesus turned everything upside down so that he could teach his disciples and strengthen this woman’s faith.
What lengths do you think Jesus will go to in order to bring you closer to him? If some unexpected things are going on in your life right now or if you are experiencing a few bumps in the road—or even a complete roadblock—try to look a little more closely. It’s quite possible you’ll find Jesus there, calling out a deeper faith and offering you a stronger experience of his love.
Sometimes it feels as if God isn’t answering our prayer. Sometimes it feels as if he’s not even interested in us. But that’s just not true. God is determined to deepen our faith, and there are times when he may use some unorthodox strategies to do it. So whatever you are experiencing right now, don’t give up! Trust that your heavenly Father is with you, walking with you through the entire process.
“Lord, I know that I am not always generous in receiving what you want to give me. Help me to see your hand at work in all areas of my life.”~WAU