What Jesus Did! 'Lost Who Find!' — Matthew 15:21-24

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely."

But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. "Tell her to go away," they said. "She is bothering us with all her begging."

Then Jesus said to the woman, "I was sent only to help God's lost sheep — the people of Israel."

— Matthew 15:21-24 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus' earthly mission was expressly to the Jewish people. Yet, as the leaders of the Jews reject him, there are non-Jewish seekers who come searching for the Messiah. They will not be put off just because they are not Jewish.

Here is a woman who had no right to the blessings of the Jewish people, yet she greets Jesus with Messianic titles and calls him Lord three times in today's verses and the following ones! Unlike the "religious" leaders, she is an earnest seeker. She is the reminder that seekers can find, even when the time is not right. As the following verses show (Matthew 15:25-28), her faith is great, like another Gentile we meet in this gospel (Matthew 8:5-13). Both are reminiscent of God's love for foreigners trumpeted in the law, in the prophets (Isaiah 56:1-8), in the book of Jonah, and in the small book of Ruth. They are reminders that Jesus' ultimate mission is to the whole world.

Today's Prayer

Give me eyes, O God, to see peoples of every nationality and language and culture as precious. I know you love all people. Give me that same love. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 8:8-12
  • Matthew 28:18-20
  • Matthew 7:7-8

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Illustration

Illustration of Matthew 15:21-24 NLT — "I was sent only to help God's lost sheep — the people of Israel."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.