11/16/14 – The Role Of Mercy In The Mission of Jesus

Matthew 15:21-39 ESV

And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly. Jesus went on from there and walked beside the Sea of Galilee. And he went up on the mountain and sat down there. And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them, so that the crowd wondered, when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel. Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” And the disciples said to him, “Where are we to get enough bread in such a desolate place to feed so great a crowd?” And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” And directing the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces left over. Those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. And after sending away the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan.

I. A MOM AND MERCY (21-28)
A. Jesus refuses to help Gentile woman saying He was sent to Israel & she is not worthy of His help. She agrees she is not but asks anyway and her humility is rewarded.

A. Jesus heals Gentiles who in turn praise God. Work of Jesus always dually motivated by glory of Father and good of man.

A. Jesus has compassion on Gentiles and does with them what He had done with Jews and feeds 4,000 men.
B. Disciples being taught their work would extend to the Gentiles because God desired His mercy be poured out upon Gentiles, too.

A. Jesus was sent to His family, the descendants of Israel first. God sends us to our families first.
B. Family cannot be used an excuse to ignore those outside family.

A. Mercy is not getting what you deserve.
B. God is not just merciful. Mercy is part of who God is, not just what He does.
C. Mercy comes when we acknowledge we do not deserve it, but ask for it anyway because it is our only hope. (Luke 18:9-14)
D. God hands out mercy because He is sincere in wanting us to have it, not because we are sincere in asking for it.
E. Mercy is not just a one-time event but constant, never runs out, and is new every day. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

1. A desire to see the mercy of God poured out upon sinners is the fuel that moves the mission of Jesus.