Christians believe that Jesus is our great example. Scripture tell us that Jesus was fully human and fully divine. However, in the assigned gospel story for this week, Jesus encounters a woman of a different nationality and race who is seeking His help with a sick daughter. As this story unfolds, you wonder if on this day Jesus’ human side was in control and maybe His first responses came as a result of the similar feelings songwriter, Daniel Powter, was feeling when he wrote the lyrics, it’s “cause you had a bad day – you’re taking one down – you sing a sad song just to turn it around … you had a bad day?”
In a cursory reading of this story, Jesus doesn’t come across as the hero, the great example or fully divine. At this moment, it seems that Jesus fails to see the divine-ness of God in one of God’s children of a different race and nationality. His disciples make matters worse. They encourage Jesus to make this woman go away so they don’t have to deal with her. But, how about this remark from Jesus to a woman seeking His help for an ailing daughter: “It’s not good to take the children’s bread and toss it to dogs.” Really? Her response is classic. “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall off their master’s table.”
In the end, Jesus reveals that “God is still speaking.” So where does Jesus go from here? Scripture says, “Jesus answered, ‘Woman, you have great faith. It will be just as you wish.’ And right then her daughter was healed.”
Could it be that this story is another way of Jesus being our great example? Could it be that Jesus is modeling for us how even our bad days, those times when we can’t see or hear that “God is still speaking” teaching us how to be an example of “where we go from here?“, that even in such times we still make every effort to see the divine-ness of God in every child of God and treat them as such. I think maybe so!
Join us for worship this Sunday, my sermon is “God Is Still Speaking: Where Do We Go From Here?” based on this story from “Matthew 15:21-28.”