25 Days of December: Matthew Chapter 15

Good morning everyone! Well it’s 11 am here, but no matter what time it is there I hope you have found time to sit down with the drink of your choice and enjoy this chapter with me! I am feeling especially grateful for this study today after watching videos of the tragedies currently going on in Syria. It is paralyzing to watch. How big of a blessing it is for us to have the freedom to sit down and read through scripture!

This is post #12 in the 25 part series where we are studying the book of Matthew in hopes of finding some “soul food” during this season of busyness and distraction!

The main points we will be going over today are:

  • What goes in means nothing. What comes out defines a person
  • Those who remain faithful against all odds will see breakthrough
  • Jesus had compassion for those who showed endurance 

 

  • What goes in means nothing. What comes out defines a person

Matthew 15:17-20 (NIV) explains this idea as a physical metaphor: “‘Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’t mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts – murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.'”

(“Defile” means to make unclean or spoil)

I see the metaphor in these verses. Just as someone ingests food or drink, they can attend church every Sunday but if it is not digested and regurgitated (sorry for the image!) then nothing will come of it except for waste. The word and our studies must not only be taken in but it must be processed and used again. We must put our studies to use! What good is our knowledge if it is not shared with others?

  • Those who remain faithful against all odds will see breakthrough

Matthew 15:26-27 (NIV): “He replied, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.’ ‘Yes it is, Lord,’ she said. ‘Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.'”

I struggled with these verses, because I didn’t know how Jesus (the sinless, compassionate person that he was) would ever choose certain people (children in the metaphor) over other people (the dogs). I looked into it and learned that Jesus was on special mission to share the word with the Jews now and then the gentiles later. He was simply saying that it was not fair to take time and lessons away from the Jews in front of him and get distracted with a different mission at this time. However, the gentile lady remained persistent and even broke the law of that day to go to Jesus and beg for his help. Through her persistent faith, Jesus rewarded her and gave her what she had asked. When she says even the dogs eat the scraps from their master’s table, she was saying that she would take anything he was willing to give to her even if it was leftovers. She was hungry and if scraps were what she got, she would beg until she got even a taste of the food the master had.

  • Jesus had compassion for those who showed endurance

Matthew 15:32 (NIV):” Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.'”

To me, this talks about the people who have been faithful in listening to the word and following His lead but have not seen breakthrough or are suffering through their current circumstances and are becoming weak. Jesus has compassion for these people and wants to give them not only what they need but more! He wants to fill them up, make them strong again and give them enough leftovers to share with others!

 

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2 thoughts on “25 Days of December: Matthew Chapter 15

  1. Endurance is so hard. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to learn on my faith journey, and I still fail at it. I feel like we put a lot of expectations on God as his children, even though we don’t mean to. I reached a crisis point this Autumn with with God on an issue that – to me – was Very Big. And it felt, then, like He didn’t come through for me or the world, and I was angry at Him for what I saw as letting something happen that would cause His children so much avoidable, unnecessary suffering.

    I know now, as I’ve moved past the worst of the anger, that was me placing expectations on Him. All I can see are the brief years I have on this planet, and even though I know better I still try to humanize Him. I’m still working through that disappointment, but I’ve come back to God more than a little shamefaced over how I railed at Him. Over and over, the faith leaders in my sphere speak of their faith as a marathon, rather than a sprint. I can’t put into words how hard that notion has hit me this winter. It’s a marathon for sure, and I fell down for a little while there, but I’m getting back up. Whatever happens, I’m striving to follow Jesus in kindness, in sharing what I have, in standing up for the oppressed and the poor, and working to uphold my faith even when it’s hard and I’m frightened.

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    1. Man is endurance hard! We are only human and I feel like we put too many expectations on ourselves and not enough faith in God to help us through. It causes great frustration! I’m working on this daily!! Thank you for your comment! I hope you are finding some relief in your journey with endurance!

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