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The Silence of Jesus – August 22, 2023

A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
Matthew 15:22,23

The Silence of Jesus

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Daily Devotion – August 22, 2023

Devotion based on Matthew 15:22,23

See series: Devotions

Does this story make you a little uncomfortable? It seems so out of character for Jesus to act this way. Why is he giving the silent treatment to this poor woman?

Her life had become almost unbearable. Her dear daughter was demon-possessed, tormented, and afflicted from within. The woman had tried everything she could to help her little girl. And when she heard about Jesus, a man they said could drive out demons with just a word, she felt hope for the first time in forever.

She does everything right. She addresses Jesus as her Lord. She uses the term “Son of David,” for the promised Savior. She begs for his mercy, recognizing that she’s not entitled to anything. With great faith, she simply states her problem to Jesus. She doesn’t demand Jesus to fix the problem her way; she trusts that Jesus will do what is best.

But she gets no answer. The same Jesus, who called himself “gentle and humble,” is treating this woman like he is too good for her. It is uncomfortable. But Jesus’ silence serves at least two purposes. First, it reveals the great faith of this woman. But secondly, it reveals the attitude of Jesus’ disciples.

They ask Jesus to send this foreigner away. She is different from them, and now she is causing a scene. Send her away. She is making them uncomfortable.

Jesus challenges our own attitudes when we encounter someone who makes us uncomfortable. We say our church is welcoming, but how do we feel when someone different from us shows up? Someone who doesn’t look like us or live like us? We aren’t always as welcoming as we say.

But Jesus came for all people. He died for all sins, including all of ours. May Jesus give us a truly welcoming attitude toward all people.

Dear God, when your law reveals the sin in my heart, lead me to repentance. 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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