Matthew 15:21-16:12, 8:1-21
Mark 7:25-29, “Right away a woman who had heard about him came and fell at his feet. Her little girl was possessed by an evil spirit, and she begged Him to cast out the demon from her daughter. Since she was a Gentile, born in Syrian Phoenicia, Jesus told her, ‘First I should feed the children—my own family, the Jews. It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.’ She replied, ‘That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children’s plates.’ ‘Good answer!’ He said. ‘Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter.’”
Do you ever take offense to God’s Word? Maybe you’ve read something that just rubbed you the wrong way, which can happen when we don’t understand the context in which specific passages were written. But at the end of it all, we must realize that God always has our best interest at heart. His Word strikes nerves because it convicts our hearts and brings light to what’s wrong in our lives. But imagine approaching Jesus Himself and receiving a seemingly adversarial response that at first appears as if He’s rejecting your plea for help. Would your faith be strong enough not to take immediate offense?
In today’s reading, a Gentile woman learned Jesus was in the vicinity and immediately found Him, fell at His feet and begged Him to cast a demon out of her daughter. The disciples tried to get Jesus to simply move on, not to bother with her. But Jesus didn’t budge. However, His response seems harsh at first. In fact, Jews often referred to Gentiles as “dogs” in those times. Jesus challenged her by saying He’d not come to “feed” others, but the Israelites, on the Bread of Life. The woman’s faith wouldn’t be shaken. She cleverly said, “But even dogs eat crumbs dropped from the table.” With two little words: “But even” she presents us with the opportunity to learn three things from her response:
- She didn’t take offense to Jesus’ words.
- She maintained humility before Jesus, understanding that He was the Savior and worthy of her worship
- Jesus tested her faith, and she persistently pursued Him
Are you willing to be open-minded and make necessary changes when God convicts your heart? Will you be humble and unwavering in faith when God tests you in times of trial? Learn from this woman and be blessed by the healing and life-change only available through Christ.
Dear Lord, Convict my heart to make necessary changes with an open mind, knowing You only have my best interest at heart. Humble me as I approach You in prayer with my petitions and prayer. Amen.