I was reading a story some of you may not remember, but it is found in Matthew 15:23-28:
Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Jesus did not answer a word.
So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”
“Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
So what’s going on here? This woman was all torn up and persisted in asking Jesus to heal her daughter. The disciples tried to get Jesus to get rid of her (real compassionate, don’t you think?), “Lord, send her away, get rid of her. She won’t stop bothering us.” Oh, but did you notice Jesus’ response to the woman’s pleas: “Jesus did not answer a word” Ouch!
Do you ever feel like that woman? You keep crying out to the Lord, but He doesn’t “answer a word.” I bet that gives you a lot of confidence, doesn’t it? Jesus ignored the whole situation. Why would he do this? Jesus knew this woman’s story would be told to every future generation for hundreds of years, did He want to reveal a truth to all who would read it? I think so . . .
He seems to be testing the woman’s faith when he said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” Christ was saying, “I came for the salvation of the Jews. Why should I waste their gospel on a Gentile?”
Now this statement would have sent most of us on our way, but the woman didn’t budge. Let me ask you, how often do you give up on prayer? How many times have you grown weary and reasoned, “I’ve sought the Lord. I prayed and asked. I didn’t get any results”?
Think about how this woman responded. She didn’t reply with a complaint, or an accusing finger, saying, “Why are you denying me, Jesus? That’s not fair. Are you as ‘just and loving‘ as everyone says you are, or not?” No, no, Scripture says just the opposite: “The woman came and knelt before him.” One version says, “she knelt and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.” Wow! What an attitude!!
What happens next is hard to read. Jesus again rebuffed the woman. Only this time his reply was even harsher. He told her, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” Huh? Did he just call her a dog? Oh, be patient, he was testing her.
Now she could have been quite insulted at that. But no, the mother answered him, “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” (15:27). What an incredible reply. This determined woman was not going to give into her pursuit of Jesus. Nothing was going to make her give up. Remember the story of Jacob wrestling with “a man” all night long? We find it in Genesis 32:24-26. After wrestling all night, the man said, “Let me go!” But Jacob said, “Nope, I’m not letting you up until you bless me.” Well, how about that! The “man” he was wrestling did indeed bless him.
With the Canaanite woman, the Lord commended her for it. Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! ” Wow! How would you like the Lord looking you eyeball-to-eyeball and say, “You have great faith!”? Then he added, “Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour (15:28).
Friends, I am telling you right now, do not settle for crumbs. We have been promised all the grace and mercy we need for our crises. And that includes every crisis involving our families (saved or unsaved); our physical bodies; our relationships; our employment–every area of our lives. We have been invited to come boldly to Christ’s throne, with confidence.
Now, I dare you to go out and take on the day!
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