Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Devotional 2 - The Faith of the Syrophoenician Woman - The Indiference of God

04/03/2014 - Tuesday – Matthew 15:23-26; Mark 7:26

# What was Jesus’ first reaction to the woman’s cry for help?

# What the woman did after this?

# What the disciples asked Jesus to do?

# What did Jesus answer?

What was that woman’s nationality?                                                                         

Jesus created an embarrassing situation. He despised the woman. The situation was so awkward the disciples tried to soften it. But Jesus’ answer turned it even worse. He speaks with prejudice. He refuses to help her because she is from another nationality. He treats her lower than the people of Israel. How would you feel if you would come to pray and Jesus answered: “Now I am only answering the prayers of the Chinese people. I will not pay attention to any prayer from Brazilians, Africans, Indonesians or Macanese people.”
Jesus was provoking the pride of that woman because that was what needed to be won. Mark says the woman was Greek, from Syrophoenician origin. Her nationality had strong links to pride structures. The Greeks were the cultural elite of that time. That woman was very cultured, maybe even rich, well positioned in society, but with a demonic problem. The Greek citizenship was a symbol of intellectual, cultural and spiritual pride. Even today Greece is known as the “cradle of the civilization”. The whole concept of superiority and fashion, the standard of beauty, was dictated by the Greek philosophy.

That woman was Greek in culture and language. Jesus wanted to touch this point because that was where the base for pride and sense of superiority which gave a start to her problem was located. Any prejudice reveals idolatry towards our reputation. Jesus was dealing with the complex of superiority the Greek people had in relation to the rest of the world.

 What are the things that strengthen the structure of pride in your life? Your nationality? Your finances? Social status? Family line? Church denomination? Degrees? Pray asking the Lord to reveal to you where pride has found dwelling places in your life and ask God to break its hold in you.

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