Did Jesus Really Call Her a Dog? (Matthew 15)

In the gospels, every once-in-a-while Jesus will make a comment… or respond in a way that seems out of character. At first glance, instances like these might seem rather confusing. You might ask, “Why did He say that?” or “That seemed a little rude… didn’t it?” 

As a reader, you can assume that unusual behavior from an otherwise consistent character usually means that there is something else going on that you might be missing. Whenever you read of Jesus acting out of character you can assume there is an important lesson right around the corner. The story of Jesus and the Syrophoenician woman in Matthew 15:21-28 is a good example of this.

This story follows up on the previous section (Matthew 15:1-14) that discusses the topic of “defilement”. That section concludes with Jesus explaining to the disciples that the source of human defilement, from God’s perspective, is not instigated from something outside the body… but originates in a person’s heart.

The woman cries out and begs for the healing of her daughter… but Jesus does not answer her a word. This is one of the behaviors that seems a little strange. Jesus normally responds to people seeking his assistance. In this case, Jesus’ silence gives space for the mouths of the disciples to disclose something about the condition of their hearts.

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Beyond the Sabbath’s Shadow

I spent most of 2016… and some of 2017… completing the “Major Project” for my Doctor of Ministry degree. I’ve always been fascinated by the topic of the Sabbath. It is found throughout scripture, yet the New Testament church of our day has largely abandoned the concept. Opinions on Sabbath rest are varied and implementation is not consistently prescribed by church leaders. Yet, according to the author of Hebrews (see chapter 4, verse 9), there remains a Sabbath rest for the New Testament believer. Attached is my doctoral work, Beyond the Sabbath’s Shadow: A Biblical Understanding and Application of Godly Rest.

You can download a free PDF copy here: Beyond the Sabbath’s Shadow – Dr. Gregory Hall

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