- Centering prayer— Pray for illumination, “Lord, open my heart and mind by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and remain in silence.
- Read slowly, keeping any words or phrase that come to your mind, and mark on them.
- Close eyes and meditate on what you read.
- Take a note if you have question, inspiration.
Read Matthew 15
Clean and unclean.
The focus of the chapter 15 is Jesus’ identity.
Tradition and heart (1-20) — The tradition of the elders here is the rabbinical exposition of the Law of Moses that certain physical conditions can and do render an individual unfit to share in the worship of the community, or unfit to share in public ritual. Jesus calls it “hypocrites”, faithful outwardly but faithless inwardly. Underlying the debate over handwashing tradition and caring for parents in the tradition of the elders in the Old Testament (Exodus 20:12; 30:17) brings an important question, “who reveals God’s will.”. Jesus denounces the leaders as faithless to God’s word.
The Canaanite woman and the crowds (21-31) – Cultural, ethnic, political, economic, and religious barriers and prejudices is the context in this story. The woman challenges an excluding focus on Israel’s covenant privilege to experience God’s blessing and Jesus’ commendation. Jesus initially ignores her, claiming his mission only to Israel, but identifies her persistence and dependence as faith. Jesus’ healing this woman reveals his identity as the Savior of all, bringing new life back for all the sick. This healing story witnesses Jesus’ mission above the boundaries of many barriers.
Feeding four thousand (32- 39) – Compared to feeding five thousand people in precious chapter (14:13-21), feeding four thousand people focuses on the identity of Jesus who gives true food of life. Disciples requests to feed five thousand and Jesus responds in Matthew 14:15-16. Jesus feels compassion and pity for the people. His disciples protest and Jesus responds in Matthew 15:32-39.
After Reading —- Reflection and prayer.
- Reflect on this question, “What does God speak to me today in this chapter?
- Pray that God’s word today be the way, the life, and the truth to you.
- Live it out through the day.