Reflections: February 28, 2021
The Second Sunday in Lent
By Aaron Fenker
"I wasn't sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matthew 15:24)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Brutal words from Jesus. After giving this poor woman the silent treatment, this is what He says. Well, do you believe Jesus' Word or not? Who did He come for? Who does He come to save? This silent treatment from Jesus seems to suggest it was not for her.
What about you? Did He come for you? Does He want to come to save you? What if something bad happens to someone you love? Where's Jesus then? At those times Jesus probably couldn't have spoken truer words than, "I wasn't sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." We think we're excluded by Jesus at those times. Because, after all, you and I aren't Israelites, and neither was that woman. She was a Syro-Phoenician, from the region of Tyre and Sidon.
Who does Jesus come to and for? Does it include this Gentile dog woman? What about you? Oh, most certainly yes. After all, "not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel" (Romans 9:6).This woman's faith is in Jesus, fully, solely, only in Him. He of course came FOR her, TO her, otherwise, why else would He come TO the region of Tyre and Sidon. Faith says, whenever and wherever Jesus shows up, He's showing up for me, to save me.
And faith always confesses and says, "Yes" and "Amen," to whatever the Lord says. "It's not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs get crumbs." Great faith! Great Jesus! Master Jesus. Lord Jesus. Savior Jesus. "Her daughter was healed that very hour."
Jesus comes, faith gathers. Jesus is silent, faith prays. Jesus speaks, faith says, "Yes, Amen." You're a dog. Yes, Lord. You're a sinner. Yes, Lord. I baptize you. Amen. I forgive you. Amen. Eat and drink this my Body and Blood for you for the forgiveness of your sins. Yes, Lord. Amen.
There's no reason to think that Jesus is not there for you. That's not the Jesus you have. You're part of Israel by trusting Jesus. Faith gathers to Jesus, receives all from Him as gift. There's no other reason for Him to show up except to save YOU. You can ask that woman--and her daughter!--all about that in the resurrection. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O God, You see that of ourselves we have no strength. By Your mighty power defend us from all adversities that may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
-Rev. Aaron T. Fenker is the pastor of Bethlehem and Immanuel Lutheran churches in Bremen, KS.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
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