Man with a Mission

Though He meant mostly to test the faith of the woman from Canaan, Jesus’ statement highlights His sense of mission. - He was sent by God. Knowing that He came from God to do the Father’s will, Jesus sought always to obey. Though fully equal with God, He did nothing on His own initiative, but always at His Father’s command. (John 5:19-20, 23, 30; Philippians 2:6-8) - He came to save “sheep.” As the Good Shepherd, Jesus would lay down His life for the sheep whom God had given Him (John 10:11). The Son of David would, like that great shepherd-king, do all He could to protect and provide for His flock. - He came to save lost sheep. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). He came to “save that which was lost” (Matthew 18:11). Lost, because they had gone astray and had no one to gather them back into the fold (Matthew 9:36). Lost, because they had wandered off the path and would perish unless someone came to help (Matthew 18:12-14). - He came to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel. During His earthly ministry, Jesus focused on the Jews, the chosen people of God. That is why he instructed His disciples to go only to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (10:6). He could not do everything all at once, so He observed the priorities of God: First Israel, then the Gentiles (Matthew 28:19). His eventual healing of this woman’s daughter, like the earlier healing of a centurion, showed that He intended to save all “His people” – including Gentiles – “from their sins” (1:21). From this rich sentence we could harvest many sorts of fruit, but let us note, at least, that (1) Jesus cares for the weak, the wandering, the wounded, the lost. (2) He was a man with a clear sense of mission, a mission which He accomplished (John 17:4, 12). (3) He intends for us to follow in His steps (Matthew 4:19; 8:22; 9:9; 16:24)