February 28, 2024


40 Days in the Wilderness with Jesus

40 Days in the Wilderness with Jesus
Trinity Lutheran Church, Greeley, Colorado
40 Days in the Wilderness with Jesus

Feb 28 2024 | 00:13:00


Show Notes

3rd week of Lent mid-week service  Fabruary 28, 2024  Rev. Joshua Vanderhyde

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:07] Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. From God our father and from our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. [00:00:17] Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. That's not exactly what the canaanite woman heard from Jesus, is it? [00:00:25] First, she got nothing, which is unusual, it seems like, from Jesus. He seems ready to help, ready to heal, ready to draw people to faith. [00:00:43] The canaanite woman says, have mercy on me, o Lord, son of David. My daughter is severely oppressed by a. [00:00:52] So her daughter was in a very tough situation, and she wanted Jesus to help. She knew that Jesus could help her daughter, and so she was coming to Jesus asking for help. [00:01:04] Can you imagine going to a teacher for help, and your teacher just doesn't say anything, or your mom or your dad or someone you trust? [00:01:18] It must have been difficult for her. [00:01:23] So then his disciples, they say, okay, here she is crying out for help, and clearly we're not doing anything about it. She's starting to bother us. Could we send her away? [00:01:37] Well, that must have been hard for her, too. [00:01:40] Imagine needing help and being shooed away like, hey, you're a bother right now. [00:01:53] Then she came and knelt before Jesus saying, lord, help me. Okay? So now she's come even closer. Think how bold that is. Jesus isn't answering her. So she says, you know what? I'm going to come right up to you, Jesus, and I'm going to kneel down in front of you and ask you again, Lord, help me. [00:02:17] And Jesus gives her this answer. [00:02:19] It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs. Okay? [00:02:27] Now, do you know who Jesus is calling a dog? [00:02:32] The canaanite woman. Okay, so that doesn't sound very nice, does it? Let's think about it this, okay? Think about it in terms of insiders and outsiders. [00:02:44] Israel, the people of Israel, they were God's chosen people, and they were insiders. They were on the inside. They knew God. Moses had received the law from God. [00:02:57] They had God's word. They had his commandments. They had all the stories. They had been rescued from Egypt. They had been led through the wilderness, led through the red sea on dry ground. They had entered the promised land. They had built the temple. They had all of this. All of this was theirs. They were insiders, and they had the promise of a messiah, Jesus, that he would come and rescue them. [00:03:22] The canaanite woman, she was from somewhere else. She didn't have all that. She was an outsider. They were on the inside. She was on the outside. [00:03:32] So if you think about the table, Jesus is saying, it's not right to take the bread for the children and throw it to the dogs. This is kind of what's going on, insiders and outsiders. You got the children who belong at the table, the meal is for them, and then you've got the dogs and they get a little bit of the meal, don't they? Does anybody have a dog? I don't. I have had a dog before, though. Okay, do your dogs eat when you eat, like, when you're eating at the table, do they get any of the food? No. [00:04:07] Do your parents feed them the food from the table? No. [00:04:16] Do you ever feed them your food from the table? [00:04:24] Are you supposed to? [00:04:27] Probably not. Right. Okay, but what about when you're done eating? Does anybody leave food on the floor after a meal? Like, you get up and there's food on your chair or on the floor? Anybody? [00:04:44] You don't have to raise your hand. [00:04:47] Yeah. [00:04:48] Okay. And we just get better and better at that. Right. [00:04:53] But, yeah, sometimes food ends up on the floor after dinner. Okay. And then is it okay for the dog to lick the floor? [00:05:02] It's actually kind of helpful. Yeah. [00:05:06] No, really. It's one of the main reasons that I consider getting a dog, but I probably never will. [00:05:14] It's helpful that a dog does. Okay, so that's the image that Jesus is giving. Okay. All right. The dogs are kind of the outsiders. The meal isn't for them primarily, but they end up getting a little bit of it, don't they? [00:05:27] That's the image that Jesus uses. [00:05:31] Still, though, the canaanite woman, she has to accept that Jesus has called her an outsider, that the meal's not for her first and foremost. And that's gotta be hard. [00:05:48] But she accepts it. [00:05:52] She says, yes, lord. Yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table. Then Jesus answered her, o woman, great is your faith, be it done for you as you desire. And her daughter was healed instantly. So after all of that, Jesus says, wow, and he commends her faith. So let's talk a little bit about why, right? Would you want somebody to call you a. [00:06:22] No. [00:06:24] Yeah, I probably wouldn't like it either. [00:06:27] What about this? What if somebody called you dust? [00:06:35] Right? What if God called you dust? [00:06:40] You remember a couple of weeks ago, you remember that cross you got on your forehead? And what did we say, maverick? [00:06:58] Yeah. Dust you are, and to dust you shall return. Okay, we're dust. We talked about that, right? How God formed us out of the dust and he made us. Right. Okay. We are dust. And to dust we shall return. [00:07:14] That should make us humble, right? If you look at the dirt and you think, that's what I'm made. [00:07:24] Yeah. Yeah. But you're so much more valuable than dirt. Okay. Why? Why are you so much more valuable than dirt? [00:07:34] Yes, Riley, maybe I didn't quite understand, but let me just take us there. So God said, let us make man in our own image. [00:07:54] You're not valuable because you're dirt. You're valuable because God made you and he loves you. [00:08:03] God made you and he loves you, so you're valuable, okay? So we don't have to think really highly of ourselves, like, because of the things that we've done or accomplished. [00:08:16] We don't need to be special in the sense that we think that we're worth something. [00:08:23] That canaanite woman. When Jesus didn't pay attention to her, you know what? She could have. [00:08:31] Oh, how dare he not think that I'm worth paying attention to, right? She could have thought that. [00:08:40] I think she wasn't thinking about herself. [00:08:43] I think she was just thinking about maybe her daughter. She was thinking about who Jesus is and what he has to offer her. [00:08:56] When Jesus said that she was kind of on the outside, that she was a dog, she could have said, oh, how dare he call me a dog. [00:09:11] Just like on Ash Wednesday. We could have said, oh, how dare you call me dust. [00:09:17] Right. [00:09:19] But there's something necessary about accepting lowliness. That's what it means to be humble. [00:09:30] And scripture says, God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. [00:09:38] God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. [00:09:44] If someone insults you, makes fun of you, that doesn't feel good, does it? [00:09:51] Right. [00:09:53] What about when somebody tells you that what you're doing is wrong? [00:09:59] That doesn't feel good either, does it? [00:10:02] Like when you realize that what you were doing was wrong. Do you feel good about that? [00:10:11] No. What you really need to know is that someone loves you. If your parents show you that what you did was wrong, well, then you feel bad. But then you see that they love you. [00:10:24] You see that your teachers love you, that they care about you, then that makes it all better. [00:10:31] Well, that woman, that canaanite woman, she is forced to accept being lowly. [00:10:42] But she knows that it's okay because she knows that she can be lowly. Whatever she can receive from God, and she knows it. She knows that God has something for her, that all she needs from God are crumbs. Is what are crumbs to God? [00:11:00] God always has more to give. That's what she knows. That's why she keeps coming up to Jesus, because she knows, doesn't matter how lowly she is, she can receive from God, let's say great and abundant mercy. [00:11:16] That's what the wilderness is all about. Here in Lent, we go into the wilderness, we have everything stripped away from us. [00:11:27] It's okay if we're not like this great garden by ourselves. In fact, it's better to think of ourselves as a wilderness in need of God's mercy and grace. [00:11:40] We can approach God not thinking highly of ourselves. We can approach him as a barren wilderness and just say, God, I know you have water for me. [00:11:50] You have water that can make this barren, dry land sprout with new growth. [00:11:58] Create in me a clean heart, o God. Renew a right spirit within me, Jesus. Dwell within me and stop everything bad in me and grow in me. Create in me a clean heart. Fill me with living waters. [00:12:17] That's what Lent is all about. [00:12:21] This woman, she goes through spiritual struggle, but it works out for her benefit. [00:12:28] She's humbled through it. But God's power is made perfect in our weakness, not in our strength. It's not when we feel best about ourselves that God works in us. He works in us humility so that we're ready to receive from him. [00:12:47] In Jesus name, amen.

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