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Teachable Moments

Briefing: Did you ever have an experience where you had knowledge of a subject, then you had a life experience that brought it all together in a complete understanding? Example: “Officer, I’ve only had two beers”. I had heard it but until I witnessed it I never really believed it.

Dispatch (Assignment): Do you look for teachable moments in your life? Read Matthew 15:21-28.

On the Street: I believe that the disciples were trying their best to understand Jesus and to “get it”. Sometimes we can try too hard and miss the point.

For the most part, the disciples wanted to please their master. In this encounter, Jesus gives them another object lesson on faith. It’s one thing to hear Him tell them parables about faith, it is quite another to see his teachings lived out by real people.

As Jesus and the disciples were on the road, a woman came to Him asking Him to heal her daughter. The disciples were getting aggravated with her persistence. Their reaction did not mimic the example Jesus had set for them. We see them acting more like bodyguards than disciples. The more Jesus kept quiet the more forceful and persistent she became. They must have felt justified in their actions when Jesus said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel”. That must have made the Jewish disciples feel pretty important.

Then Jesus does the unexpected. He says that she has great faith and heals her daughter. This must have been shocking to the disciples. Jesus uses the faith of this gentile to show His disciples how far they still have to go in their faith.

They had to be shocked at her understanding of Christ’s ability and deity. She spoke with such wisdom and grace, humbling herself to the point of agreement with Jesus when He calls all gentiles “dogs”. The disciples had been taught about great faith. She is another example where they see it lived out.

Highlights from this Read: In Mark’s version of this passage, Jesus was secretly trying to get to Tyre, possibly to defuse the situation. I love the fact that Jesus was controlling the entire timeline. He is like a blacksmith working with the blade of a sword. He will heat it to white hot, then put it under water to cool it down.

Investigational Resources: Mark’s version can be found in Mark 7:24-30. Luke 18 is a great story of persistence. If you are confused by Jesus’ statement about only coming for the Jews, don’t be. He had not revealed the secret to them about His coming for all mankind. This can be found in Isaiah 42:6, Ephesians 3:1-13, Romans 1:16 and 2:10-11.

Officer Safety Principle: I would be happy with the scraps from Jesus’ table but He has invited us to so much more. We get an invitation to the banquet feast as seen in Matthew 22:1-14. I hope to see you there.

from The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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