There is a lot going on. It feels as though I didn’t just get back from one of the best weekends of my life. As soon as I got back into town it felt as if the walls were closing in on me. It’s my own fault though. I am seeing first hand how my inability to ask for help and my fear of looking stupid can cause disastrous results. Pray for me.
Today my Princess is 15. I can’t get over it. We’re going to dinner tonight to celebrate. Let’s hope I don’t make everyone uncomfortable by crying.
Today’s reading had a lot for me to chew on: Faith was a major theme. When I think about having faith I immediately think about the verse in Hebrews that we all learned when we were kids: Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Not a difficult verse to memorize but what the heck does it mean? In Matthew, Jesus reiterates that our faith is what heals us and it is our faith that protects us when the storm comes. At the end of the 13th chapter I read that Jesus’ own people rejected him and because of this rejection, because of their lack of faith he performed very few miracles (13:58). Isn’t that interesting? I would think that he would have performed that much more to prove to them who He was. The fact is, Jesus doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone.
Then in chapter 14, Jesus commanded Peter to walk on the water. Peter had enough faith to get out of the boat but when the wind started to blow and the water got choppy, he took his eyes off Jesus and began to focus on the storm and he began to sink. Jesus saved him and said, “You have so little faith! Why did you doubt me?” (14:31).
Finally, in chapter 15 a gentile woman came to Jesus asking for healing for her daughter and even though it appeared that Jesus was turning her away at first, she demonstrated her faith by persisting because she knew who he was and what he was capable of (15:21-28). These are all great examples of faith for all of us to follow. Jesus wants us to be bold about our faith.
The other topic that had me thinking was found at the beginning of chapter 15. The Pharisees are all up in arms because the disciples ignore the tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat. Jesus came back and called them all hypocrites because they get so caught up in tradition that they forget the meaning of true worship. It reminds me of when I was married and my husband would quote the only verse he knew: Wives submit to your husbands. He was so hung up on those five words that he didn’t see anything else. We can’t get so caught up in ceremonial routine, positions and doctrines that we forget to worship. Jesus illustrates in verses 3-6, how we sometimes manipulate the word for our own selfish reasons and then call it worship.