November 1: The Syro-Phoenician Woman

Read Matthew 15:21-28

I hate tests. All the way from elementary school through college, tests were never looked upon favorably by me. A horrible moment in my life was when I took the ACT in high school. I can’t point to one reason or one experience as the sole reason as to why I hate tests, I just do. I would study and know the information, but when it came to taking the test I would just go blank. Getting my college degree online didn’t really help this feeling because all of the tests were timed. Google quickly became my best friend throughout college. Is that cheating?

I have a feeling that I’m not the only one that doesn’t like tests. Most people, when they put someone through testing, want to see how the test taker responds to pressure. If my computer web cam would have been on during my test taking experiences, my professors would have seen my cold sweat, me stroking my hair in stress, and exasperated sighs as I inwardly question why I’m doing this to myself.

How do you handle yourself when you’re tested? How do you handle the pressure? It’s not surprising to test someone and portray a certain emotion only for the test taker to discover that their experience was just a test to see how they would respond.

Such an example is in Matthew 15. A woman comes up to Jesus and pleads with Him to heal her daughter who is demon possessed. Seems to be just another miracle by Jesus, right? However, Jesus says something that causes us to squint our eyes to make sure we read the text correctly. He says, “I’ve only come for the lost sheep of Israel.” Is this Jesus denying help to someone? Can He do that?

As we continue to read on, we find out that this is a test of faith from Jesus. How was this woman going to respond to Him? Would her faith shine through? Would she give up because Jesus initially said “no”? We see that through her response, Jesus could quickly tell that her faith was great. As a result, her daughter was healed at once. There are many times that people’s faith healed a loved one. I would go so far as to argue that at the moment they believed Jesus had the power to heal them, their loved ones were healed.

I don’t know what current situations you are going through. What kind of faith will you show? Maybe you have been praying for a certain result and only receiving silence. This isn’t Jesus ignoring you, it is Jesus testing you. How persistent will your faith be? Do you really believe that Jesus can do the miraculous in your world?

jdl

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