The Israel of God: Galatians 6:15-16

Mark 3:
7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea
8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him.
9 And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him,
10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him.
11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, "You are the Son of God."

Mark 7:
24 And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden.

Matthew 15:
22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon."
23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away, for she is crying out after us."
24 He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me."
26 And he answered, "It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."
27 She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."
28 Then Jesus answered her, "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire." And her daughter was healed instantly.

Mark 3 is the general context for the incident recorded by Matthew, i.e. Jesus' ministry in northern Palestine.
Mark 7:24 is the specific setting.

Tyre and Sidon were cities located in Phoenicia (present day Lebanon)
Both were destroyed. .A city named Tyre exists today, though it is unknown whether it actually is located on the land where the original Tyre sat.
The Phoenician/Canaanite peoples worshipped the Baals and the Asherah. They were heavily into fertility rituals.

Let’s look at this passage from Matthew 15:

22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon."

It is most interesting that a "non-jew", a Canaanite comes crying (interceding) to Jesus on behalf of her daughter. The most amazing aspect of this is, that she calls Him "Lord, son of David"
Why would a Canaanite cry out to Jesus in this manner? Did she know He was the Messiah?

23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away, for she is crying out after us."
24 He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

Jesus ignores the woman. He does not respond to, or acknowledge her.
The disciples "beg" Him to make her go away. Jesus responds to the disciples. He is not speaking to the woman.
His answer: "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
He is about to reveal something to them.

In Luke 15,we have the parables of the lost sheep, lost coin, and the prodigal son. The common theme is "that which was lost". Something or someone are called lost,only if they had originally belonged somewhere or to someone, i.e. they were part of the flock, a complete set of unique and valuable coins, and a family all of which have the same Father.

In the story of Zacchaeus we find this statement made by Jesus after Zaccheus had repented;

Luke 19:
9 And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."

Jesus came to seek for, and save all the true (and lost) sons of Abraham, not just the Jews, since Abraham was not a jew, nor was there a nation of Israel when Abraham was given the covenant.
All who come by grace through faith are those born again from above. Israel is both the fullness of the Gentiles (the remnant of Edom), and the remnant of the jews who come by faith. They are the true seed of Abraham and bear fruit fit for repentance.

(Matthew 3:7-10;Romans 4:1-14;Romans 9:1-13;Romans 11:1-5 and 25-27;Amos 9:11-12;Acts 15:7-22)

Abraham was called out of Chaldea (Babylon) as the first of the first-fruits of the remnant of all mankind.

James 1:
18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.

25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me."
26 And he answered, "It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."
27 She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."
28 Then Jesus answered her, "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire." And her daughter was healed instantly.

The woman finally comes forward. Perhaps Jesus' non-responsiveness to her is actually drawing her?
She entreats the Lord for help. His answer is not "mean or racist" as some have suggested. He is using a metaphor to make His point.
It is not right to throw the children's bread to the dogs.

John 6:
51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."

The woman then makes an awesome statement of faith. Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table. Note that she uses the term "their master". Both children and dogs have the same master, and eat at the same table.

Well did the apostle Paul write:

Romans 1:
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."

Jesus' answer says it all;
"O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire."
The woman's daughter was healed instantly.
Salvation had come to her household since she also was a "son" of Abraham.
Hence Jesus' words to the disciples in verse 24 are a rebuke and a lesson. He tells them that He was sent ONLY to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Why were they trying to send her away? She is one of them. This lines up perfectly with what Paul later wrote in Romans 9-10 and 11, and with the covenant given to Abraham centuries before.
Her statements and actions are evidence of her belief in Jesus as both Lord and master. His response and subsequent act of healing her daughter are evidence that she is one of the lost sheep.

Romans 4:
3 For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness."

Matthew 11:
21 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you.

Gal 6:
15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
16 And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

Eph 2:
11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands--
12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility
15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,
16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.
18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,
21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.


Eph 3:
1 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles--
2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you,
3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly.
4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ,
5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.
6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God's grace, which was given me by the working of his power.
8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,
10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,
12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.

Gal 3:
26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

Amen and Amen!

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