How are we treating our mates?
How are we treating our children?
How are we treating our parents?
How are we treating our friends?
How are we treating our pastors?
How are we treating our co workers?
How are we treating our neighbors?
How are we treating teachers?
How are we treating our authorities?
How are we treating or employees & employers?
How are we treating our elders?
How are we treating our care givers?
How are we treating our military servicemen and women?
How are we treating our brothers & sisters in the faith?
How are we treating visitors at church?
HOW ARE WE TREATING JESUS?
Matthew 15: 21-29 records the story of Jesus meeting a Canaanite Women who had GREAT FAITH. A little background to the story will help us to see how refreshing this women's treatment was to Jesus. For for some time Jesus has been healing and teaching in the Galilee area of Israel. He has performed many miracles and has seen a genuine faith placed in Him but for the most part the large crowds have consisted of people who were only seeking the THINGS of the world He could give them not HE Himself. They were focused on the superficial not the supernatural. For them they simply wanted a king who could set them free from Roman and Herodian control and one which would give them all the world had to give. They were only interested in taking care of their bellies and not their souls/
Also the religious crowd dogged Him at every turn. The Galilee Pharisees and Scribes had called Jesus everything in the book. They said He was a drunkard, liar, blasphemer, companion of sinners and that He did what He did by the power of Satan.
Such mistreatment coupled with the physical and spiritual energy's He was exerting in ministry brought Him to a place of great need for rest. As we trace Matthew 11- 15 we find Jesus in an attempt to get to areas where the crowds would be smaller and the pressures less for a season so as to regroup with His disciples and to find rest for His weariness. So we find Him after his Hometown Rejection attempting such. He goes to areas around Capernaum and yet the crowds follow. He moves further south into a less populated area and yet the Pharisee's follow Him and breath out slander and threats. The Pharisees from Jerusalem travel into this area and challenge Him with their traditions and Jesus challenges them back with HIS WORD. Things are getting hotter and hotter. Pressures are mounting up and Jesus must teach His disciples some final lessons before heading to Jerusalem and HIS CROSS!
So we find in Matthew 15:21 that Jesus departs from this area and crosses over into the borders of Tyre and Sidon. Mark 7 adds more information on this as it records that Jesus goes into a home in the area and attempts not to be seen but some did see Him and word spread. We read that a Canaanite women came to Jesus crying that Jesus might heal her demon possessed daughter. In this account we find that Jesus sought rest and a place to teach His disciples in a more quite setting but also he went there to speak with a women in need who has been being drawn to Him by the Holy Spirit because of a hurting and empty heart.
In this account we find Jesus declaring that this women's faith was GREAT! A close study reveals that her faith was great because of 5 qualities it possessed.
* Repentant Faith
* Right Object Faith
* Reverent Faith
* Persistent Faith
Let me encourage you to listen to the message we preached last evening ( April 19 2015) on Kingdom Faith as we looked deeply into this subject. You can check it out at www.libertyfamily.org by going to resources and viewing sermons.
But the main point I want to emphasize is how this Canaanite ( the hated enemies of the Jews) treated Jesus with great respect, reverence, humility, trust, and great honor. She came to Jesus approaching Him as the LORD and Son of David. She bowed down at His feet and worshiped Him. She trusted Him and understood she was undeserving but He was gracious and merciful. She humbled herself before Him. even in Jesus silence toward her she continued to believe and wait on His sovereign rule. She did not demand of Him she pleaded with Him. She understood she was a " DOG" a sinner, a Gentile. She understood she had lived a vile life and worshiped false god's and doing so she had worshiped herself and her own imaginations. Unlike most of His chosen people Israel ( who should have known better because of so much "LIGHT" they had received) who had only brought PROUD and HARD HEARTS to Him.which he could not fill. This dear women brings an OPEN and BROKEN HEART to Him, one which He could fill with His love, hope and healing.
How REFRESHING this must have been to Jesus. How delightful and pleasant the change in His difficult ministry. Her GREAT FAITH ( one with much less "LIGHT" ) was honored by Him. Her daughter was healed and I believe this women's soul would be as well. Jesus always honors genuine faith. Charles Spurgeon comments on this passage " The Lord of glory surrendered to the faith of this women." Amen
I want to be like this women. I want to TREAT JESUS like He desrves to be treated. Not as if He is only one who I demand something that he do or give. Not that I slight him, ignor him and worst that I deny Him. I want to make sure that I don't say things and think things that hurt and offend Him. I want to honor Him, respect Him, trust Him, serve Him, and LOVE HIM! In no way do I want to USE HIM but for HIM to USE ME!
HOW AM I TREATING JESUS?
HOW ARE YOU TREATING JESUS?