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Second Sunday in Lent.

Second Sunday in Lent.

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Published by glennpease

St. Matthew, xv. 28.
O woman, great is thy faith : be it unto thee even as thou wilt.

St. Matthew, xv. 28.
O woman, great is thy faith : be it unto thee even as thou wilt.

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Published by: glennpease on Mar 11, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT. BY REGINALD HEBER, M.A.St. Matthew, xv. 28. O woman, great is thy faith : be it unto thee even as thou wilt. In reading or hearing the history, from whence these words are taken, and which the Church has chosen for this morning's Gospel, it is pro-bable, and indeed only natural, that many of you should be surprised, not only at the deep faith and interesting humility of this poor Canaanitish woman ; but, also, at the unusual and remark-able sternness assumed on this occasion by our Lord ! His outward indifference to her distress and cries ; and, above all, the sharp and scornful answers, which He returned to her humble en-treaties. These difficulties I will now endeavour to explain. First, then, we may be sure that Christ was, from the first, desirous to relieve her ; we know, for we know how much He loved mankind, that He could not be indifferent to the tears of any
one of those millions, whom He was born to heal 186 SERMON XVI. and instruct; and whom he died in torture to redeem. We may be sure, that this seeming coldness was intended to produce some advan-tage to His petitioner herself, or to His hearers : and that He, who was Wisdom and Love, had none of His actions insignificant or uninstructive. More particularly, we may be convinced, that those parts of His history, which the Holy Spirit has thought fit to reveal in Scripture, contain in themselves some meaning of consequence, some valuable lesson, which may confirm or improve the faith and practice of every Christian. And we may find, in the answer of our Lord Himself, some guide to this hidden meaning ; when He says, " I am not sent, save to the lost sheep of the House of Israel." That the Jews might have not even the smallest shadow of
occasion of murmuring against Providence, or of envy against the Gentiles, the offer of the Gospel was first made to them. The seventy disciples were commanded to preach to their own countrymen only ; and, except in the casual instance of the woman of Samaria, our Lord confined His doctrine, and in a great measure His miracles, to the Jews only. Not, however, that the benefits of the Gospel were to stop with them ; — not that the day-spring from on high was to shine on Jerusalem only ; but that , the ministers of the circumcision, the holy nation, whom God had chosen to put His name among SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT. 1 87 them, were to be the teachers of this new faith to all the world, and the countrymen, and the earthly friends, of the long expected Saviour. It was, therefore, for the sake of all the world, that the Jews were first to be grounded in the

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