The ample sufficiency of unmerited generosity

Matthew 15:21-31

All year I have been working my way through 2 Peter (by “accident”), but this morning I detour with Jesus to the region of Tyre and Sidon. I read the heart-stirring incident of magnificent faith and wonder about my own faith…and about Jesus’ generosity toward me.

Here. You read it. The telling of a great faith that moved…a Phoenician woman:

  1. Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
  2. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
  3. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
  4. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
  5. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
  6. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.
  7. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.
  8. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
  9. And Jesus departed from thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there.
  10. And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them:
  11. Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.

I know the record here hits a high point, skipping over many details. But I’m blessed that “Jesus went thence” (21), made a Canaanite woman’s daughter whole, and “departed from thence” (31). Browsing backward through Matthew to find His last stated geographic location, I find “the land of Gennesaret” (Matthew 14:34). That’s on the east side of the Jordan River. It looks to me like Jesus skipped a direct route to the Sea of Galilee and made a big, long loop out close to the Mediterranean Sea in order to give a crumb to a dog, as it were. Wow!

My heart sings at the woman’s faith and tenacity. She didn’t turn away from Jesus’ “insensitive, rude, racist rejections” — nope, none of that quitting stuff for her. Listen… Continue reading

Hint: It isn't someone's slick imagination.

2 Peter 1:16-21

“The truth we know and present is fabulous, but not a fable.”

Peter assured his readers with this simple, short defense of the Gospel they made known. And he did so as an eyewitness of Jesus’ transfigured majesty. And as an “ear witness” of God’s own voice speaking audibly from Heaven. Continue reading