In Matthew 15:21-28, a woman asked Christ to help her daughter, who was under the control of an evil spirit. The woman was a Gentile, in other words, she did not belong to Godís special people, called Israel or the Jews.
At first, Christ refused to help. He told the woman that God had sent him only to Israelís people. The woman replied that she did not consider herself to have any right to receive help from God. She compared herself to a little dog that tries to get food from its ownerís table. However, she believed in the kindness of God; and she desperately needed his help. Her trust in God was great, and, in the end, Christ did free her daughter from that evil spirit.
Most of the Christians in Ephesus, like most Christians today, were Gentiles. They therefore have a special reason to be grateful to God, who has given them a personal relationship with himself. They should not imagine that they have any right to receive Godís kindness.
Nobody, of course, can earn Godís kindness (2:8-9), but Gentiles have even more severe problems than that. God has established a special relationship with only one nation, Israel. He made his promises to Israelís people, and he gave the Bible to them. Even now, not all of Israelís people have a personal relationship with God (Romans 11:25).
If we do not have a right relationship with God, we are his enemies (compare Romans 5:10). Our situation then is truly hopeless. So, God did the most extraordinary things by the death of Christ (2:13). God made it possible both for Israelís people, and for people from every nation, to have a right relationship with him. God makes his enemies into his friends. He urges us all to put our trust in him, and to invite Christ into our lives Then we become Godís people (1 Peter 2:9-10) - God even promises to us the full rights of children in his family (John 1:12; Romans 8:14-19).
Next part: How can we return to God? (Ephesians 2:13)
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© 2018, Keith Simons.