Dear COA Family,
We have come to an end of our sermon series for the year: Encountering Jesus in the Old
Testament, Seven “I Am” Sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of John and Jesus’ Letters to the Seven
Churches in Revelation. (If you have missed any of the sermons, please do check them out on our
I hope that you have been blessed by them just as I have been greatly blessed just to lead you all
through all of these series in growing deeper in our faith in Christ.
Yet there is one series that I would like to prepare for if we had the time. It is The Seven
Uncomfortable (or Politically Incorrect) Sayings of Christ. Now that would be really interesting
and would, I believe, result in much learning for all of us!
One such saying is found in the Gospel of Matthew. A Canaanite woman had approached Jesus
to ask him to pray for her demon-possessed daughter to be healed. Instead of responding positively,
Jesus replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs” (Matthew 15:26).
The non-Jewish people were considered dogs by the Jews, which was a derogatory term.
Yet far from being deterred, the Canaanite woman continued, “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that
fall from their master’s table.” Her response pleased the Lord. She not only received healing from
Jesus for her daughter, but was also praised for her great faith.
Another example of a controversial saying by Jesus was his reply to people wanting to follow him.
One disciple had requested, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” This seemed a most
legitimate request and even displayed the godly value of filial piety.
Instead, Jesus responded, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead” (Matthew 8:22).
Now if these words were to be said to anyone of us today, we would bristle at these words. How
could Jesus be so insensitive to someone of a different racial group, or to someone who had just
lost his loved one? These words to do not sound loving, compassionate or even right… and would
be most unfitting for Jesus.
Yet the Lord always has something deeper to address and teach the people (and us as well)
through these words. And his purpose is to address the root issues and bring about lasting change
and fruit in our lives. This will only serve to bring about the greatest benefit for our lives.
So, beloved, let us not be easily offended by the words of Jesus or the words of his servants when
they bring us God’s words. They may sound insensitive or even harsh, but let us listen to the voice
of the Spirit addressing us through these words. As we humble ourselves to respond in positive faith,
the Lord will do a deep work in our lives and bring about great blessings for us.