Sunday, July 18, 2010
Dividing Wall of Hostility Down
It is somewhat unexpected, but the spiritual truth is present about the dividing wall being broken down between Jew and Gentile in the gospel of Matthew, chapter 15. While it may not be as clear as the Apostle Paul later makes it, it is certainly at the least foreshadowed. Jesus in Matthew 15:22 begins to dialogue with a Gentile woman who requests Jesus to have mercy on her, because her daughter is cruely demon possessed. After clarifying her motives in a 1st century way (to make sure she knew the Messiah's mission), he agrees to set her daughter free because of the request asked in faith. Then after this, Jesus is healing people in a large crowd on a mountaintop that includes both large numbers of Jews and Gentiles. And after three days of being with these crowds, he provides for the 12000-16000 people there with a miracle of multiplying. In each of these cases, the gospel of Matthew which often traces Jewish audiences need to see things about Jesus, shows that Jesus is Lord even over the nations/peoples. This is a clear message of how the Lord Jesus broke down the dividing wall so that even Jews and Gentiles could eat together, when they were focused on Him. Even a Gentile could express great faith in Jesus as "Son of David," ie Jewish Messiah, and have deliverance for her daughter. Even great multitudes of Jews and Gentiles could go out to meet Jesus where He was working to see healing of the sick, blind, lame. What a great picture of the peace He restores through the power of the kingdom of God unfolding among men and women!