Friday, June 1, 2012

"Oh Lord, Have Mercy on Me"

I was doing my Bible Study last night. Night time is the best time for me. It's really the only quiet time there is. The only time when I can think.  I'm studying the Book of Matthew. It's been a wonderful study. I've been studying it for a long time. And I'm only in chapter 15.  But, I came across a beautiful story last night. It's in Matthew Chapter 15, verses 21-28. It's about the Canaanite woman's plea for healing for her daughter. I've always loved that story. It's such a short little story. Basically, Jesus is traveling and a Canaanite woman approaches Him and asks for healing for her daughter. Her daughter has a demon. And in it Jesus is a little atypical toward her. Generally, He's more than willing to help. He reaches out. But this time.... it seems like He shuns her. At first He ignores her. She becomes more persistent. He tells her then that he only came for the Jews. She becomes even more persistent, yet at the same time humbles herself greatly before Him. She understands He is the Messiah. She's begging for mercy. "She does not limit Christ to this or that particular instance of mercy, but mercy, mercy is the thing she begs: she pleads not merit, but depends upon mercy." (Matthew Henry's Commentary) Finally, He answers her, commends her faith and heals her daughter. The Scriptures say, "and her daughter was made whole from that very hour." I love this woman. She would not be turned away. And yet, sometimes I wonder why Jesus interacted with her in that way.  But, Matthew Henry explains it this way, in his commentary.... "Christ treated her thus, to try her; He knows what is in the heart, knew the strength of her faith, and how well able she was, by His grace, to break through such discouragements; he therefore met her with them, that the trial of her faith might be found unto praise, and honor, and glory.... Many of the methods of Christ's providence, and especially of his grace, in dealing with His people, which are dark and perplexing, may be explained with the key of this story, which is for that end left upon record, to teach us that there may be love in His face, and to encourage us, therefore, though He slay us, yet to trust in Him." 

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