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Daily Devotional Matthew 15: 21-28

For some of us, risk taking is part of our DNA. According to a groundbreaking new study, more than 100 genetic variants are linked with those who take risks. But even if we are the cautious type, being a godly leader may require us to step out of our comfort zone and into the arena. That was the case with the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.


Jesus had withdrawn to Tyre and Sidon, coastal towns on the Mediterranean, both in the Roman providence of Syria (v. 22). The Canaanites were native to the region where Joshua and his army had displaced them centuries earlier (Joshua 3). In essence, the Jews and Canaanites never played nicely together. Yet, word had spread that a miracle-working Jew was traveling through the region.

The woman’s plea to Jesus to heal her daughter showed that she had some knowledge and respect of His history and power (v. 22). However, the disciples wanted nothing to do with her. They tried to brush her off. At first glance, Jesus seemed ready to dismiss her as well. Still, the woman became more insistent, crying: “Lord, help me!” (v. 25). Jesus’ response may seem harsh as He pointed out His specific mission to the Jewish people (v. 26).

But she refused to give up. Her insistent response demonstrated her insight regarding the unique relationship between Yahweh and the Jewish people (v. 27). Was it her insistence, boldness, knowledge of the Jewish covenant, or respect for Jesus that made Him change His mind? We don’t know. But Jesus also saw a mother who loved her daughter and would go to great lengths to get the help she needed. Jesus expressed admiration for her faith and granted her request (v. 28).

>> Are you a risk taker? Or are you more of a safety-first person? Regardless, if you truly believe you are who Jesus says you are, you will be empowered to take risks. Consider how God might be calling you to step out of your comfort zone.

Pray with Us

Grant us wisdom to discern the right risks and the courage to take them. “For the Spirit [You] gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7).

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