"Lord Have Mercy!"

In Matthew chapter 15, there are two stories that, at first, seem unrelated. In the first, Jesus is talking to some Pharisees about ritual cleaning and tradition. In the next scene, Jesus is confronted by a Canaanite woman wanting him to cast out a demon that has possessed her daughter. The two stories begin to meld together as you think about the "clean" and the "unclean." The Pharisees were considered "clean" in their own minds because of their outward actions and adherence to the law. The Canaanite woman was considered "unclean" and a "dog" because of her birth as a gentile from Canaan. Jesus scolds the "clean" and explains himself to the disciples. Then, he demonstrates his Mercy on the "unclean" by granting her request. In this sermon we discuss what Jesus said about clean and unclean and what it means for us today.