Worship Guide &
August 20, 2023
Do you like leftovers? Some do and some do not. What do you do with leftovers? It is reported that we waste and throw away 25% of the food we buy. There is so much food, but many are hungry. This was a
problem in the days of Jesus also. In Matthew 15, we have amazing stories about what is clean and unclean, what we can eat and cannot eat and who is worthy of God's grace.
Verses 1-9 talk about a disagreement between the religious leaders and Jesus over what was clean and unclean. This was the result of a disagreement between Jesus and the religious leaders over the ceremony of hand washing. This is not about dirty hands. Jesus would have washed his hands if they were dirty. This was about a special ceremonial hand washing. Jesus said, "You have broken God's laws by teaching that your rules are God's commandments."
Verses 10-20 contain what may have been the most shocking thing Jesus ever said! Jesus wiped out large sections of the Book of Leviticus by canceling the food laws (what you can and cannot eat). Jesus said that the important thing is not what we put in out mouth but what comes out of our mouth because what we say exposes what is in our hearts.
Verses 22-28 gives the answer to the question; "what are the boundaries of God's grace?" We meet a Canaanite woman whose daughter was sick. She comes to Jesus begging for healing. Jesus is always compassionate, but she is a Canaanite woman, the enemies of the Jews. The disciples tell Jesus, "Do something and get rid of her, she is bothering us." Jesus tests her by saying, "Should I share the bread of my people with you?" She caught on quickly and replied, "Even the dogs eat the crumbs/leftovers from the master's table.” Jesus was happy with her faith and healed her daughter. Her love, faith and persistence impressed Jesus.
In verses 29-39 we see a continuation of the boundaries being crossed. There was a large crowd of Gentiles being fed by Jesus. They "glorified the Lord of Israel." We see again in this chapter that the grace of God is for everyone, that the living bread (Jesus) was for all people.
Thanks be to God, AMEN!