March 22 – The Gospel of Matthew – Chapter 15

Read Matthew 15:1-39

Here we are, just over halfway through the book of Matthew. What have you learned of Jesus and His ministry? What has stood out to you about those who left everything to follow Him?

For me, the biggest theme of most of Matthew is that of faith.

As I wrote about in my previous blog on chapter 9, faith plays a huge role in the ministry of Jesus.

How could it not?

What I love most about this chapter is that it starts with the Pharisees, these religious leaders and rule keepers, coming to Jesus and pointing their fingers at what “He has done wrong” … yet, what comes next is a takedown on the faith front.

Here is Jesus reminding these Pharisees that it isn’t about what you do, but about your heart. It’s about where your faith lies. For most of the Pharisees of that day, their faith was placed in their rules and regulations in order to remain “holy” and “good”. For the Canaanite woman and the people who ate with Jesus, their faith laid within Him and their lives were rewarded.

Look at these two different scenarios. One- people are prideful and saying all the right things in the name of pride.The other-a woman who says something because her heart’s motive is truly believing in who Jesus says He is.

Her faith was rewarded, where their pride causes them to fall.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am NOT saying we are rewarded when we operate out of faith, but what I am saying is, just like the Canaanite woman and the people that were fed by a miracle, their lives were rewarded because of where they placed their faith.

I am surrounded by people all throughout my job.  All of us the same…human. We all breathe in and out the same way, we all have hurts and struggles and circumstances that cause us to feel sad or heartbroken. However, the biggest difference I see between myself and some of these people is where our faith is placed and where our heart’s motive is. We can say and do all the right things, give of what we have and what we are, but our lives are still about us.

Our heart’s motive is still selfish and prideful like the Pharisees.

Whereas, take someone like the Canaanite woman, someone who has so little that the scraps are most valued, and she isn’t angry or sad over her circumstances. She knows the One who provides. She knows of the One who can truly satisfy and, in the end, her faith proves her holy.

Her happiness lies within her relationship with her Savior and not her life itself.

We have two choices in an ongoing cycle to make, day in and day out. We can choose to live for ourselves, looking like the part in faith… or we can actually live with our heart’s motive in a place of honoring the Lord and holiness.

Where is your heart? Where is your faith? Is it for you or Him?

Kelly Lawson

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