Jesus went up into the region of Tyre and Sidon, and a Canaanite woman from that area came out crying, “Have mercy upon me, O LORD, Son of David! My daughter is badly demon possessed.”
INI + AMEN.
Mercy is to show compassion to someone in need who can’t earn it or to someone who’s done things that don’t deserve it. In fact, who they are, what they’ve done deserve condemnation. But to show them kindness and compassion, to give them pardon and forgiveness that’s mercy. Mercy and merciful aren’t just actions. They’re a person! It’s Jesus!
Jesus is the LORD. He’s Yahweh, “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” He’s also “the Son of David,” born of the Virgin Mary, born into “the house and lineage of David.”
Jesus isn’t some God who expects you to get to Him first. No! He comes to those in need, to the undeserving. He’s merciful. That’s what it means to be “Son of David,” too. He’s not some conqueror, rule giver, or warrior who by force makes someone less, puts them under His feet.
Jesus is full of mercy and delivers it. Not just some of the time. Not just to some people and not others. No, His mercy is for everyone, for every time, for everyplace. Even, the gentile region near Tyre and Sidon. Even, the gentile region near Bremen, Kansas.
THE LORD JESUS DELIVERS HIS MERCY WHEREVER HE GOES.
((I. He delivered it “into the region of Tyre and Sidon.”))
Jesus comes “into the region of Tyre and Sidon.” He’s way out of His territory. He was there for her, just for her, just for her daughter. He had to be. Why else would the Lord, the Son of David be there? No other explanation. That’s her faith. That’s her trust. So, she goes out. She cries after Him. She worships Him. “Have mercy upon me! Lord, help me! Help my daughter!”
He roots out more faith, more confession from her. He plays with her. Draws her closer and closer and closer to Himself. Far off—won’t do. “Crying out after” the disciples—won’t do. Right in front of Him, worshipping, bowing down: “Lord, help me!”—that’ll do. He’s harsh and rude according to our modern standards. But he’s playing with her—tug of war or maybe fetch.
She is the slur. She’s a Canaanite dog of a woman. She is that according birth. But she’s not that according to faith. She trusts Jesus. No one else will do. His silence, His cold shoulder, His reminding her of her place, none of that matters to her. Only Jesus and Jesus alone will help her. Of course, He will! He’s there for her, after all. And so this undeserving Gentile dog woman by birth is true and real “lost sheep of the house of Israel” by her faith in Jesus. He came to seek and to save the lost—her and her daughter.
That’s His mercy. Her faith seeks it, knows and trusts that He’s there to give it—to her and to her daughter. He does gives it. In fact, He delivers it to everyone who has need of it—wherever they may be.
Jesus is merciful. THE LORD JESUS DELIVERS HIS MERCY WHEREVER HE GOES. He drips with mercy. He pours it forth from His hands and feet and side. He does it for her. He does it for her daughter. He delivers His Calvary mercy, His crucified-for-her love, His death-and-resurrection rescue from the devil. He’s “Lord,” after all—“Son of David,” after all. So, “Her daughter was healed that moment.”
((II. He delivers it “into the region of” Bremen.))
As it goes with her, so it goes with you. What He did for her and for her daughter, He does for you, too. He delivered His cross-filled mercy ahead of time for her and her daughter. For you, He does it now. He didn’t just go “into the region of Tyre and Sidon,” some 2,000 years ago. (Nice story.) No, Jesus is merciful, now! And so, He delivers His mercy into this region near Bremen, Kansas.
We don’t have to doubt His mercy. I know you do. I do, too. He knows it, too. So, He comes. Far off won’t do, not with Jesus, but right in front Him, that’ll do. He drips with mercy for you. Right to you. He’s merciful and kind. He loves you. What He does He does for you. Drips mercy and love, drips blood and water from His hands, feet, and side. All for you. That’s mercy. That’s love.
His mercy never fails, is never far away. No matter what’s going on in your life. He uses everything, every rock and hard place, every struggle, every pain in your world to draw you closer to Himself so that He can not only drip mercy but pour it out over you. He pours it into the chalice for you. There you drink deep of His mercy for you in His blood that was poured out for you for the forgiveness of your sins. He’ll never leave you, nor forsake you.
Of course He does that. He has too. Faith trusts that. Your faith does. Only Jesus and Jesus alone can save you. He does! As it was with the woman, so it is with you. You’re like her! We know our place. Poor sinners. Dog gentiles. But, by our faith in Jesus, you and I really are “lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Jesus seeks you. Mercies you. Saves you. He’s Lord, your Lord, your Son of David.
Merciful. That’s Jesus. Mercy. He drips with it. Hands and feet and side. He delivers it! THE LORD JESUS DELIVERS HIS MERCY WHEREVER HE GOES. Even “into the region of Tyre and Sidon.” Even for a Gentile dog woman and her demon possessed daughter. Just for them! But to those “lost sheep of Israel” by faith He brings and delivers His mercy. “Daughter healed from that moment.”
As it goes with her, so it goes with you. Of course it does! Has to. Jesus comes to our region, too. He drips His mercy for you. THE LORD JESUS DELIVERS HIS MERCY WHEREVER HE GOES. He draws you to Himself here. Closer and closer and closer. Mercy and love. It’s yours. Poured not only “from His sacred veins,” but poured out upon you at the font, poured out for you in the chalice. “Eat and drink My body and blood” that’s His mercy for you. “Crumbs from His table,” but enough to rescue you, save you, mercy you now and forever.
INI + AMEN.