The Entreatable Jesus
by Ramona Cook
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The text for the thoughts presented come from Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter 15, verses 21–39:
Matthew’s Gospel is written with emphasis that presents Jesus as The King of the Jews and The King of Kings.
In this portion of Scripture Jesus has His focus set on the mission given to Him to take the message of salvation to the Jew. His total focus is undeniable. As we read His responses to the Syrophenician woman, we hear Him respond to her request for the deliverance of her daughter from an evil spirit with these words; “I am sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
When the woman fell to her knees before Him in worship, Jesus uses a metaphor to further express His mission focus. He answered her saying, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and cast it to the dogs.”
The woman showed humility in her response; “That’s true Lord, yet the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.”
At this juncture in the text there is a valuable lesson for all of us. Jesus was touched by her response and humility and replied to her, “O woman, great is your faith: be it unto you even as you will.” The text that follows informs us that, “Her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”
The beauty of this encounter with the Gentile woman is that it shows the Heart of Jesus, the Heart of God, as tender and very susceptible to any of us when we extend faith toward Him.
Other Scriptures instruct us that God sent Jesus to die for the sins of the entire world. Paul states that, “Salvation is of the Jews.” Jesus was a Jew and salvation was to the Jew first, but also to the Gentile.
It is a worthy point to be made that after the death and resurrection of Jesus the wall of partition was broken down between Jew and Gentile and God now makes unto Himself ONE New Man consisting of all people, Jew and Gentile.
This encounter also proves to us that in more ways than one we create the circumstances of our daily lives. While God does create us and sustain us, else we could not be or exist, it is also true that He shares with us the ability to create. Words and actions that we use create the atmospheres and eventually the circumstances which we experience.
The choice the Syrophenician woman made to go to Jesus because she believed He could heal her daughter; the choice she made to persist even when the disciples were trying to dissuade her; the humility with which she persisted with Jesus rather than going away offended by His words, made all the difference in her world.
The choices we make create our outcomes. All too often we relax in the fact that we can choose whatever we want to, or not choose, and that is a fact; we certainly may choose. We tell ourselves that God will bless the outcomes because that is what a good God does, and after all we aren’t doing wrong. (Proverbs 21:2, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes;” and then if the outcome is not good we accuse God of not being on the job.
God is aware of our logic. This is what He says: “Man chooses his own path and then accuses God for the poor outcome.” The reference verse reads: “The foolishness of man perverts (twists, distorts, overturns, ruins) his way: and then his heart frets against the Lord.” Proverbs 19:3
We do indeed change our world by our choices. We make very much of our own life by the choices we make. Let us not be deceived into thinking that we shall elect to violate God’s Laws and the spirit of those Laws, and then expect that He is forced to respond positively to us and to make our plans succeed.
God has made it clear thorough out all the Scriptures that we reap what we sow. We cannot sow bean seeds and grow stalks of corn.
There is a beautiful truth here however, and it is that when we have made poor choices and we find ourself in a messed up mess, God is ready to forgive us and to assist us in making the path straight. Only if, we will approach Him and not be offended that He holds expectations of us to agree with Him; then we must begin to do His ways and to choose His paths. The blessings of God are shed on the paths of righteousness. God would not be true if He shed blessings on the paths of unrighteousness because He does not agree with sinful ways.
The actions of the Syrophenician woman are the beginning of touching the heart of God; she fell on her knees before Him. She had confidence in His ability, and she courteously persisted with Him. His response was that He was greatly impressed and graciously gave to her the request she asked of Him.
We do not bargain with God but if we will get our attitudes in the proper place and approach the God Who Can, we will find Him to be very easy to entreat.
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