Matthew 15:29-31 Jesus is Back in Town

Mountain top Praise Festival

Mountain top Praise Festival

Jesus and His disciples have returned from Tyre and Sidon. They have arrived back on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He is recharged and ready to get back to the task of ministering to the people. Jesus walks over to a mountain and sits down there. He settles in for the long haul. I wonder if this is the same mountain where He taught the beatitudes.

As soon as Jesus gets settled, TONS of people come to Him asking for His help. We are told that they brought “the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others” (verse 30). They brought these people right to Jesus and put them at His feet, and He healed them ALL.

The crowd was awed with every miracle they saw! They “saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, the blind seeing” (verse 31), “AND THEY GLORIFIED THE GOD OF ISRAEL” (verse 31). Read more »

Matthew 15:21-28 Jesus and the Canaanite Woman

Even the dogs eat the crumbs

Even dogs eat the crumbs from the table (or the spoon)

Jesus is on the move again. This time He goes to the district of Tyre and Sidon. According to bible maps, they are some distance apart and in the area labeled as Phoenician. Why did He go there? This was not an area populated by a lot of Israelites. Was the lack of Jewish people the main reason He went? Did He go to get away from the crowds for a little bit?

The more I think about the question of “why Tyre and Sidon”, the more I think Jesus was seeking a momentary break from the crowds for His disciples and himself. Jesus was followed EVERYWHERE He went. Finding private time was very difficult. He would snatch moments here and there for Him and His disciples, but the crowds always found them. And when they found them, Jesus put His and the disciples’ needs aside to minister to the crowd’s. This was time to meet the needs of Jesus and the disciples; time for them all to take a breath.

I don’t know how Jesus and His disciples managed to sneak away from the crowds, but we find them without a following in this instance. He is almost unknown here. One woman has seen through His disguise of anonymity. Somehow she has heard stories about Jesus and the works He has been doing, and she believed them. I am going to name her Cassandra. I’m going to name Cassandra’s daughter Abigail. Read more »

Matthew 15:12-20 Jesus Explains What Defiles the Body

Out of the heart the mouth speaks

Out of the heart the mouth speaks

Jesus has just finished another encounter with the Pharisees. His final remarks to them were, “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person” (verse 11). The Pharisees left after hearing this but they made their feelings known on the matter during their exit.

Jesus’ disciples came to Him right after the Pharisees departure. I’m assuming it was Peter, since he was most often the spokesperson for the group, asked Jesus a strange question. He said, “Do you know the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” (verse 12). No! Say it ain’t so! Sorry, couldn’t resist that. Of course Jesus knew this offended the Pharisees. Read more »

Matthew 15:1-11 Men’s Traditions v God’s Commandments

In this corner....

In this corner….

The nit picking Pharisees are back. Today they must have really been struggling to come up with something to fault Jesus on. They want to know why Jesus’ disciples didn’t wash their hands before they ate. Is that all they could find to complain about today? Ok, they were probably talking about the ceremonial washing, which was a big deal to them. Let’s peek in on the discussion.

Matthew doesn’t give us a setting for this encounter, but from the comments of the Pharisees there must have been some dining going on. Jesus and His disciples were having dinner in a place that the Pharisees could observe them. I was originally thinking they might be dining with some Pharisees, but if they were you would expect the disciples to be on their best behavior and to follow all the rules of the house. So I am going to put them at the home of some new believer in the community. I am going to name him Joshua and assume that he has invited anyone and everyone he could to this dinner. Read more »

Matthew 14:34-36 Jesus Heals in Gennesaret

Just touch the fringe of His garments

Just touch the fringe of His garments

Jesus and His disciples make landfall at Gennesaret, on the edge of the Sea of Galilee. We are not told of Jesus ministering here before but the people had apparently heard of Him and His works. They had a LOT of people that needed ministering to and wanted to make sure each person in need had the opportunity to be healed by Him.

The people on the seashore where Jesus and His disciples landed recognized Him right away. They immediately sent word throughout the entire region that He was there and to bring anyone who was sick to where He could heal them. In Mark’s account of Jesus’ visit here, it appears that He may have been there for some time. Mark 6:56 it says, “wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces”, leading me to believe Jesus went from place to place in this region.

The people also didn’t ask Jesus to stop and minister to each of them but asked that they might simply touch the fringe of His garment. Touching Jesus’ garment was the method of transfer of power that the woman with the issue of blood sought out. I wonder if the people in this region knew her and knew of her healing. If so, did they figure that since it worked for her that it would work for them too? However they chose this method of ministry, Jesus apparently agreed to it. Read more »