February 21, 2005 - Monday in the Second Week of Lent

"Then Jesus answering said to her, 'O Woman, great is your faith! It shall be done to you as you wish. And her daughter was healed from that very hour." (St. Matthew 15:21-28)

In the name of Jesus. Reminiscere, O Lord! "Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy loving-kindnesses!" That's our prayer this week, as we pray the Lord to remember His promises to us in Christ.

Today, we learn from a Canaanite woman about faith. Faith is holding the Lord to His remembering of His promises. The Lord calls her a dog, telling her it is not good to give the children's bread to dog. What does she do? She doesn't shake her neck at Him nor does she despair! Instead, she refuses to be rejected by Jesus!

She holds Him to His Words. He calls her a dog, she concedes it! She says, "Ok, Lord, I'm a dog, so give me what is given to the dogs. Give me the crumbs!” Dr. Luther preached in his Church Postils, "Is not that a masterly stroke as a reply? She catches Christ with His own words. He compares her to a dog, she concedes it, and asks nothing more than that He let her be a dog, as He Himself judged her to be. Where will Christ now take refuge? He is caught." (vol. 1; p. 152)

Jesus rejoices in her great faith and heals her daughter. He didn't stop there, He continued to be her Lord. He continued to go to Jerusalem, He suffered many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, was killed, and on the third day was raised from the dead. He did that for her and her daughter. He did that for you and me too.

Faith is receiving what Jesus did for us on the Cross in the Word. Faith holds Him to His promises. Jesus promised that "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved," (Mark 16:16). Faith catches Jesus in His Words! That counts for me too! I shall be saved!

The Scriptures say that, "There is no other name given unto by which we must be saved," (Acts 4:12). Faith catches Jesus in His Word. Having received His name in Holy Baptism, we must be saved! No doubt about it! Our salvation is as sure as His words and promises. Remember, O Lord, your promises!

The Lord said, "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." Faith catches Jesus in His Word. When we eat the flesh, His Body, at the Lord's Supper, we have eternal life. He will raise us up on the Last Day. Remember, O Lord, your promises!

Thank God for the Canaanite woman and her daughter, who teach us that faith is holding Jesus to His promises. Reminiscere, O Lord, Thy tender mercies and Thy loving-kindness. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Higher Things Reflections are written by Rev. George F. Borghardt III, Assistant Pastor at St. Mark Lutheran Church, Conroe, TX