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Lesson # Matt. 15:25-27
Study Material - Matt. 15:25-27
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25 Then [de] came she [erchomai] and worshipped [proskuneo] him [autos] , saying [lego] , Lord [kurios] , help [boetheo] me [moi] .
26 But [de] he answered [apokrinomai] and said [epo] , It is [esti] not [ou] meet [kalos] to take [lambano] the children's [teknon] bread [artos] , and [kai] to cast [ballo] it to dogs [kunarion] .
27 And [de] she said [epo] , Truth [nai] , Lord [kurios] : yet [kai] [gar] the dogs [kunarion] eat [esthio] of [apo] the crumbs [psichion] which [ho] fall [pipto] from [apo] their [autos] masters [kurios] ' table [trapeza] . KJV-Interlinear
25 But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, 'Lord, help me!' 26 And He answered and said, 'It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.' 27 But she said, 'Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.' NAS
Two lessons begin to arise in these verses. Yesterday I listed verse 24, but we did not touch on it very much. You'll recall the Lords mission is only to the house of Israel, portion of the verse. And today we read about children, dogs and the masters bread.
Both of these views were common selfish attitudes of the Jews of the day. The gentiles were their intended victims of this negative language.
The gentiles were referred to as dogs. Today we might use terms similar to female dog references combined with illegitimate childhood (out of wedlock). I presume that you are knowledgeable enough in the language to figure this out!
There are two kinds of dogs. Those who are strays which wander the streets and feed on the garbage left outside, and those dogs which were pets and lived inside the house with the family. This 'dog' reference is the latter, the household pet. So at least the gentiles were thought of as domesticated pets at least, and that is in view here. A master of the house would care for the pet, but would draw the line when it came to the feeding of the pet. The food of the children would not be given to the dog, even if the children did not eat the food. It would go out with the garbage and the strays would get first crack at it. In this manner, the household pet was under constant regulation - after all, someone needs to watch out for the helpless worthless things!
So here we have Jesus using a common phrase toward the woman, within the hearing of the disciples. Why?
Would the woman get angry and leave, not wanting to have anything to do with this 'Jewish' faith? Would she learn her place in the world? As a lessor 'hew-mon' than were the Jews? Did Jesus herein validate that gentiles were dogs and not worthy of His time?
These were the attitudes of the Pharisees and of the philosophy that was taught in Judea. After all was it not the Jews to whom God gave all of the scriptures, and temple, and prophets, and priesthood??? And the answer to these questions is emphatically - No!
Here Jesus is giving a lesson in humility and proper orientation to the disciples. The woman picks up on the phrase, and she knows her doctrine. She states that even the dogs get some crumbs, and crumbs are enough to live on as long as the crumbs are always available. She is a gentile living outside of the region of Judea. In Judea there is the temple and volumes of teaching of Gods Word. But in the gentile regions there are but crumbs of teaching of Gods Word, crumbs which spill out of the nation of Israel, and that is what she has had in her life. These crumbs were enough to get her to a spiritual status such as she is in now, and will be described by Jesus as a 'great faith.' To whom among the Jews did Jesus give such a compliment?
Did not Jesus come to serve only the house of Israel? Yes. But who is the house of Israel? Jews only? Or is there a different definition of Israel? And there is a different definition. One different than was popular with the Jews of that day.
All Israel is not Israel, Rom. 9:6. Neither are they who are descended from Abraham, only the chosen of God. Salvation, faith, Gods chosen are all related by means of a spiritual birth, not a genetic physical birth. Besides there were believers even prior to Abraham's existence. There were a couple of thousand years of human history prior to Abraham. Abraham was not the first Adam.
Salvation is offered to the entire human race. All who enter into a relationship with God through believing in Jesus Christ enter into His family. This group of believers is quite large and is getting larger as human history continues. Perhaps that number (the number of believers since Adam's time until today) is in the billions by now. This so great a number is indeed a nation. Israel is the nation of God, but not the physical nation on planet earth. True Israel is not a geographic region, but a collection of peoples - believers from throughout history. Our citizenship is sealed by the Holy Spirit by means of our faith in Jesus Christ. Our constitution is the Word of God. Our King is Jesus Christ.
All who wish to become a part of this great nation, are free to do so by simply believing in Christ. Christ provides this opportunity to all, but not all elect to take advantage of it. Christ serves and leads our nation alone. Any who stand in opposition will be dealt with at the end of history. They (unbelievers) will be permanently isolated out from the family, the nation of God, because that is their choice.
The woman knew Jesus better than did the disciples. She hung in there because she knew that He would not let her down. Too often people have unreasonable expectations in life. They think that because they are members of some elite group, that they should have special and obvious advantages over and above everyone else. But then God is not here to glorify each one of us. We are undeserving, and need to realize that. The woman expected nothing more than crumbs because that was all that was required to fulfill her needs. The Jews expected much more - the full meal deal - super sized.
The woman received what she requested and more. The Jews launched a relentless attack against the very God they should have bowed down to, as the woman did, but they lost all they had, or thought they had, which was really nothing.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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