Two Tests of Faith


question_mark_3dAnd from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden. But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone. 
(Mark 7:24-30 ESV) 

Jesus’s response seems harsh. Is he calling this woman a dog? The short answer is yes. He was a Jewish messiah sent to the Jews, and she was of mixed Greek heritage and in short a Gentile. The Jews had two classifications of people, Jews and everyone else. But Jesus knew the thoughts and intents of her heart; her faith was in Jesus to heal her daughter. She was trusting him to do for her what no one else could.  Jesus tested her in such a way as to make her faith public. Recall his words to the woman with the issue of blood: “Your faith has made you whole.”  When put to the test, she passed with flying colors.  Belief can be stated, faith must be demonstrated. Continue reading

The Read and Share File

This is the Read and Share File, where I share with my readers what I have been reading.  This past week has been busy, this week will continue to be, and I haven’t read much.  But here are a few things:  

When Jesus and his disciples were criticized for not washing their hands, Jesus uses the opportunity to explain what really defiles a person.  It is not what goes into a person (Mark 7) but what comes out a person.  Luke’s version of this story says “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”  This post from Theologigal has a lot to say about what’s in a person’s heart.

Tall Skinny Kiwi lists 10 things he sees happening the the church that I don’t see happening here (in the United States).  It’s about smaller stages in churches and entering people’s homes.  And the Gospel.

Mitt Romney acknowledges that while Mormons and evangelicals have different faiths, the two can work together.  More at Baptist Press.  

At reading the title The Theology of the Chocolate Sampler, I thought something like “Free will allows us to choose each piece, but what’s inside has been predestined.”  Gary Shogren doesn’t go there (thus writing a much better post).

Eyes Are NOT the Window to the Soul

“Eyes are the window to the soul.”  It’s a well known phrase, and so old that no one really knows the source.  It’s very poetic, just not scriptural.

Jesus, in Matthew 12:34, says that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”  What is really inside of a person comes out of their mouth.  You will know the tree by the fruit it bears.  That’s a more reliable indicator than a person’s eyes.  He says in v.35 ” The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.”    In Matthew 15 Jesus is responding to the accusation that his disciples eat without washing their hands.  He says what gets eaten goes into the stomach and is later expelled; it’s what comes out of a person mouth, not what goes in, that defiles.  What comes out of the mouth shows us what a person is really made of. Continue reading