Matthew – Fulfilled.
We are bombarded with every sin and the results of sin on the news every day…even throughout the day. People upset because they didn’t get their own way make a choice to kill or maime. Broken relationships between husband and wife over selfishness and other sins hurt themselves and their children. Nation against nation, brother against brother leads to violence and war. The powerful use all they have to overcome the powerless. Do we hurt for people in horrible circumstances?
Consider, now the sick, homeless, emotionally distrubed, and physically challenged who need help, encouragement, healing, and hope. There is only One who can bring hope and ways to overcome. Who is that One and Only? Who is mercy?
The old hymn, “Nothing but the Blood”, is playing in my mind as I write this and think about all that God has done, is doing and will do in our own lives. Have we noticed? HE is God and we are not. We cannot heal. We cannot save. We cannot set things right in the world. Only God can. He did this by sending His One and Only Son to earth to live among we humans. He healed and gave hope. He performed many miracles. He “let everyone know that God was blazingly alive among them.” So, our mission is to point the way to Jesus!
Then ultimately He laid down His life as the One and Only perfect, fully innocent lamb of sacrifice for all sin, now and in the future, and allowed himself to be nailed unmercifully on two rough splintery boards. Only criminals who have been caught and convicted were treated like this by the Romans. This cruel way to die in front of the onlooking crowds of the powerless was used as a way to secure their bullying power over the people. Who do we turn to when life gets messy and overwhelming? Do we hurt for people who are also overwhelmed?
Jesus, the ultimate overcomer, defeated death on the cross. He came to earth and lived among us. He died for sin, our sin. But the power that humans thought they had over Jesus was ridiculously minute. After our sin was paid in full by dying, going to hell and back for us, Jesus Christ rose to full life by the power that is unimaginable in our thinking! He showed all the bullys, the skeptical, the wondering, the lost, the confused, once again, that God was blazingly alive among them!
These are the thoughts I have as I read the next passage of Matthew who reveals our Savior just as the prophets foretold. The statement that stood out to me today, “I hurt for these people” speaks volumes about our Savior and Lord. Jesus did want He did from a heart of compassion for us. Never, never, forget that.
Matthew 15, The Message
Healing the People
21-22 From there Jesus took a trip to Tyre and Sidon. They had hardly arrived when a Canaanite woman came down from the hills and pleaded, “Mercy, Master, Son of David! My daughter is cruelly afflicted by an evil spirit.”
23 Jesus ignored her. The disciples came and complained, “Now she’s bothering us. Would you please take care of her? She’s driving us crazy.”
24 Jesus refused, telling them, “I’ve got my hands full dealing with the lost sheep of Israel.”
25 Then the woman came back to Jesus, went to her knees, and begged. “Master, help me.”
26 He said, “It’s not right to take bread out of children’s mouths and throw it to dogs.”
27 She was quick: “You’re right, Master, but beggar dogs do get scraps from the master’s table.”
28 Jesus gave in. “Oh, woman, your faith is something else. What you want is what you get!” Right then her daughter became well.
29-31 After Jesus returned, he walked along Lake Galilee and then climbed a mountain and took his place, ready to receive visitors. They came, tons of them, bringing along the paraplegic, the blind, the maimed, the mute—all sorts of people in need—and more or less threw them down at Jesus’ feet to see what he would do with them. He healed them. When the people saw the mutes speaking, the maimed healthy, the paraplegics walking around, the blind looking around, they were astonished and let everyone know that God was blazingly alive among them.
32 But Jesus wasn’t finished with them. He called his disciples and said, “I hurt for these people. For three days now they’ve been with me, and now they have nothing to eat. I can’t send them away without a meal—they’d probably collapse on the road.”
33 His disciples said, “But where in this deserted place are you going to dig up enough food for a meal?”
34-39 Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?”
“Seven loaves,” they said, “plus a few fish.” At that, Jesus directed the people to sit down. He took the seven loaves and the fish. After giving thanks, he divided it up and gave it to the people. Everyone ate. They had all they wanted. It took seven large baskets to collect the leftovers. Over four thousand people ate their fill at that meal. After Jesus sent them away, he climbed in the boat and crossed over to the Magadan hills.
–God is always at work, driven by compassion for His people.
–Jesus is God, our Savior and Lord who hurts for us.
–We have the Holy Spirit, Who is God and Jesus, living in us with power…the same power that resurrected our Lord!
–Do we hurt for people they way our Lord does? Each day brings the question, “How much bread do you have?” If we dare to hand it over, it’s multiplied.
–I pray that God will say to me someday, “Woman, your faith is something else.”
In Jesus Name, Amen
What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.