A Foreign Woman’s Faith, Eating crumbs

When a non-Israelite approaches Jesus, her faith wins his heart. Another example of women in the New Testament and an amazing story of faith.
Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 7:24-30

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One Reply to “A Foreign Woman’s Faith, Eating crumbs”

  1. Jesus keeps moving, teaching and preaching. This time he meets a non-Jew, a Gentile or Greek or Syrophonician (Syria/Phoenicia) woman who has a problem that only Jesus can address. One of the things that constantly amazes me about the New Testament is how Jesus and the early Christians included women in the discussion. That may sound sexist, but in a culture where women where second-class citizens, this is truly significant. Of the second-class citizens, there would be further classification into lower and lower ranks. The woman that approaches Jesus was likely cast as a lower, lower class individual.

    She addresses Jesus with great respect, “Lord, Son of David.” She honors Jesus with these words reserved for those of royal lineage, yet she doesn’t overdo it. Simple and direct. Something for us to learn.

    And her request is simple, “have mercy on me!” I missed this on first pass, but Matthew Henry’s commentary pointed out the she is asking for mercy because she knows she hasn’t merited any favor. She is not approaching Jesus as if she deserves anything. This is a great lesson that I hope to remember each day. It is the mercy of Christ and by his amazing grace that we are saved. Nothing I can do can earn his love. Mercy.

    Jesus response is rather terse:

    “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

    Perhaps he is testing those around, in essence saying, don’t ask unless you have really considered your words. In context, Jesus is letting people know that his task was first to teach the Jews, then the Gentiles, but this is a clever woman, one who picks up where Jesus is coming from and her reply is notable:

    Event the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.

    Is it possible that Jesus, that God, would listen to our words and provide what we ask for? I remember the arbitration in the Old Testament where Abraham pleads for Sodom, “what if there are only nnn good people…” (see Genesis 18). Here is a great lesson to learn. If our hearts are in the right place, then when we ask for something of God, we will be asking for that which is in his will and he will grant our request, the very desire of our heart.

    It becomes a matter of heart. Just like the main theme in yesterday’s lesson, the heart is the heart of the matter.



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