Matthew Chapter 15
When’s the last time you stopped to really examine the motives behind your religious behavior? Matthew 15 reminds us that God sees the motives behind our actions and is not pleased when the intention of the heart isn’t to honor Him and to bless others. A safety net is always to make sure our convictions are from the Word of God and not the traditions of man we grew up with.
Speaking of intentions, it’s hard to really know ourselves as we should. Jesus gives us an important reminder in this chapter. If we want to know the condition of our hearts, we need to examine our words and the spirit in which they’re delivered. Do you have a critical spirit or a gracious spirit? Pay attention to how you talk about people and situations. A humble evaluation that turns to Jesus can bring healing and a positive influence for God.
Chapter 15 concludes by speaking to the importance of living by faith. Have you ever felt God is playing ‘hard to get’? I’m reminded by the account of the Canaanite woman that Israel means ‘a people who wrestle with God.’ While Jesus appears insensitive and rude, I believe Jesus is trying to bring an indictment against His disciple’s faith with the exchange. Here’s a Gentile woman with no cultural standing fully understanding and believing who Jesus is, while His own disciples have not yet proclaimed what she is proclaiming and believing.
In conclusion, if we want to see the power of Jesus Christ at work in our life, we need to have enough faith to pursue Him daily and wrestle with Him in prayer. We need to be willing to risk rejection and look foolish as His disciples did in taking what little they had to feed 5000 people.