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The Boundless Reach of Jesus – August 21, 2023

Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
Matthew 15:21

The Boundless Reach of Jesus

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Daily Devotion – August 21, 2023

Devotion based on Matthew 15:21

See series: Devotions

It almost sounds like a retreat: doesn’t it? “Jesus withdrew.” An injured athlete withdraws from the competition. A businessperson withdraws a proposal when they can’t match a better one. When we are tired and worn out, we withdraw.

Maybe Jesus was tired. Tired of the lack of faith that he found in the people of Israel. Tired of the religious leaders questioning his every move. Tired of his own disciples’ greater concern about Jesus offending the religious leaders than the spiritual truth Jesus was teaching.

So, “Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.” But if this was a retreat, it wasn’t so that Jesus could nurse his wounds, rethink his strategy, or get some rest and relaxation on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

No, it was really no retreat at all. Instead, it was an attack on the forces of darkness that had long lived in this region. Jesus came to shine light in the heart of pagan darkness. Tyre and Sidon were port cities. A multitude of cultures converged with diverse backgrounds, traditions, and beliefs. Jesus chose to reveal his heart for the world in this place. His message of salvation went beyond the borders of Israel to every corner of the earth. Jesus left the known shores of Galilee to guide lost souls to the embrace of God’s love.

The city of Tyre had two harbors offering refuge to ships traveling through treacherous waters. Jesus offers refuge from the treacherous waters of sin. He guides sinners back to the safe harbor of his love when they get lost in this life. He does not withdraw from the darkness of this world; he shines brightly in it and attacks the darkness. Like a lighthouse in the raging sea, Jesus draws sinners to calm waters.

Jesus promises calm waters where it matters most in our relationship with God. Jesus weathered the storm of God’s fury in the place of sinners so that all who believe in Jesus and look to him for refuge will find it. So all who trust in Jesus are no longer pagan foreigners but the very children of God.

Thank you, Jesus, for finding me and making me your child. Amen.

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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