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Lent for Everyone: Week 3, Wednesday (120314)

Lent For Everyone Reading Plan

This is Wednesday of the third week of Lent. The reading is Matthew 15:21-38, with a focus on 21-28. (If you want to listen, scroll to the bottom of that page for the audio links.)

Jesus came to pay for the sins of the whole world, but his focus was on ‘the lost sheep of Israel.’ When the Canaanite woman cries out to him to heal her daughter, Jesus shocks the crowd by saying ‘It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.’

Wright says “Normally, when we listen in to conversations Jesus is having, it’s other people who set the thing up with comments or questions and Jesus who gives the brilliant punchline. This time it’s the other way round. The woman accepts Jesus’ point of view and turns it to her own advantage. ‘Yes,’ she says, ‘but the dogs under the table eat what the children drop!’
We feel the buzz in the crowd. Great line! Well said! Nice job! And Jesus seems to agree. ‘You have great faith! As you wish, so let it be done.’ And the girl is healed.

And we are left thinking: is that what we mean by faith? Faith to see how God’s strange plan works, even though it isn’t exactly flattering for us? Faith to cling on to everything Jesus says even when it’s unexpected, and to pray in those terms rather than assume he’s going to do what we want in the way we want it?”

Here’s a nice song by Elevation Worship: Give Me Faith

A broader look at Biblical faith, By Faith by Keith and Kristen Getty.