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Lesson # Matt. 15:23-24
Study Material - Matt. 15:23-24
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
23 But [de] he answered [apokrinomai] her [autos] not [ou] a word [logos] . And [kai] his [autos] disciples [mathetes] came [proserchomai] and besought [erotao] him [autos] , saying [lego] , Send [apoluo] her [autos] away [apoluo] ; for [hoti] she crieth [krazo] after [opisthen] us [hemon] .
24 But [de] he answered [apokrinomai] and said [epo] , I am [apostello] not [ou] sent [apostello] but [ei me] unto [eis] the lost [apollumi] sheep [probaton] of the house [oikos] of Israel [Israel] . KJV-Interlinear
23 But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came to Him and kept asking Him, saying, 'Send her away, for she is shouting out after us.' 24 But He answered and said, 'I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.' NAS
So, have we answered the questions put forth in yesterday's study? Are you on track in your spiritual life, as this woman is? Yes the woman. I did not say the disciples. They, the disciples, are the ones getting the lesson in this encounter with the woman, not the woman. And too both you and I by our study of these verses are getting a lesson brought to us by means of this encounter of a woman of great faith. The same woman whom Jesus is seemingly ignoring for the moment. But why?
And too, why did Jesus ignore her, at least at first?
The answer should be obvious. We have already studied the verses which disclose the answer, just in the last couple of chapters. The woman had a genuine desire to have God in her life. The key word here is 'genuine.' Most folks have a 'convenient' desire for a Christian life, and that convenience equates to shallow faith, especially when trouble strikes in their lives.
This woman was not convenient to the disciples. In fact she was down right annoying to them. She was an inconvenience to their pursuit of 'pure thought', of their 'relaxed spiritual state', of their 'practicing' their new found powers which Jesus granted to them. You'll recall he told them to go out and heal the sick and raise the dead and so forth. How dare this woman be so impolite and rude as to interfere with their efforts to do 'Gods' work!!!
Everyone needs a lesson in humility from time to time. Often life becomes an inconvenience or better put, we prefer more convenient life terms with which to live our life.
Our faith depends too often on results! And there is the key to this lesson, results.
The woman did not get results, but she knew her doctrine. She knew the Lord and His mercies. She knew that he would not let her down. People let life's barriers get them down. Life throws obstacles in our way. Life gives us setbacks. Life drops disappointments into our laps. Who ever told you that when you believe in Christ, your world would instantly change into a bed of rose petals, and as with a genie, all wishes would come true. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
This is still the devils world. You still have the same genetics after salvation as you had prior to it. You still have to go to work, pay bills, brush your teeth, etc., etc.
If doubts crop up in your mind, if you are uncertain when objections and arguments are thrown at you regarding your faith, if you observe inconsistencies between Bible doctrine and the lives of those so called Christians you know, if you receive 'no response' to your prayers (Ah!, now that is the big one!!), and as a result of these mental weaknesses in your life, you question God - then you have little or weak faith.
Peter had been with the creator of the universe for many months now. Can you imagine living with God for a long period of time. Talking with Him. Hearing Him. What would you say? What would you ask? What would you learn???
One of the results of spiritual growth is that you become autonomous in this world. That is, you become independent. You do not need counselors. You do not need crutches. You do not need support groups to get you through life's problems. You are 'mature,' 'wise,' 'grown up.'
The disciples were shallow and full of themselves. The crowds that followed Christ sought only to get what they wanted then they disappeared into the night.
This woman knew Christ, and pursued and persisted until she received what she came for - help for her daughter. She knew His will, and knew that He would not deny her. Jesus placed barriers in front of her, barriers of no response, yet her faith did not swerve. She headed straight forward in her life and continued to ask His mercy, until He gave it. Note that her request was in accordance with His will.
Shallow people see others as nuisances in their lives, but then who placed these other people into our lives? God did.
Not everyday will see results in ones life, but I'll bet that if you compare your life today with your life decades ago (assuming you are old enough) then you will see many changes, and Gods grace or His sense of humor with respect to your life.
Th woman was not superficial, not shallow. Her faith did not depend on instant results, but her faith looked to the character of God rather than the results of her request.
So are we in Gods will?. Can we ask this question now? How do we know?
Gods Will 101.
First, God desires that you be saved. Question - have you believed in Christ. Answer - yes. Then you are in Gods will with respect to salvation. If the answer is no, then you need to believe in Christ. Something that you could easily do in the time it took you to read this last sentence. This is only required once in ones life. Once saved, always saved.
Second, God desires that you learn His wisdom. Question - part one - are you studying your Bible daily? You know that Bible study is a meal, a spiritual meal for your soul, and most folks eat at least two or three meals (physical meals - breakfast, lunch, dinner) each and every day of their lives. So why not eat spiritually every day? Question - part two - are you in fellowship? That is the place in which you spiritual life functions. No fellowship - no functional spiritual life. With fellowship, then your spiritual life functions.
Third, God desires that you grow up spiritually. Question - are you applying what you learn to your daily life? This is the tough one. Most people get out of fellowship and/or don't understand its purpose, therefore their spiritual lives are short circuited. They fizzle. As such they lead 'pretended' spiritual lives and when disaster strikes, they fall apart and blame anyone and everyone including God, for their circumstances.
It is very easy to blame others. But each one of us has to live our own life, and it requires much more character from the soul and bite ones tongue and remain poised regardless of 'whose fault it is' in order to 'grow up' in life. Fault is irrelevant.
Fourth, God desires that you be as He is. Question - are you fulfilling the three responsibilities expected of you in your life? First, toward God - study, grow, apply, attain maturity, and support His Word. It is easy to do the first three. The latter - support His Word is generally where greed and a closed mind enter into ones life. Second, toward self and family. Do you place yourself last and your family first? Are you responsible when it comes to your family life, work life, and such? Are you fair and open minded? Do you use common sense in life. Do you bring God into your families life? Third, toward others. Are you charitable and willing to help others without strings attached? Do you apply the principles of grace and mercy, as God applies them to you, to others?
Now go back to the mirror and ask the question. Have you arrived spiritually or do you have a long way to go? If the latter is your answer, then you are in the same boat as the rest of us, and the rest of the Bible and the study of it, is for you.
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.