Mark 7:24 – 31 Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
“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 their dogs.”
“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”
She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
Whenever I read this story, I can’t help but put myself in this woman’s place. To be perfectly honest, I would have been offended by Jesus’ statement. Wouldn’t you? If I had been that woman, I might have been tempted to just get up and say, “Never mind, then, if that’s the way you feel.” Then again, if my sweet daughter had needed the touch that only He could give, I probably would have set aside my pride.
That’s exactly what this woman did. She knew that there was no hope for her daughter, apart from this man. She was willing to take whatever verbal insults he wanted to hand out, as long as he set her daughter free from this demon.
But what about Jesus? This picture doesn’t fit with the love that Jesus was supposed to have – at least not in my mind. But when I did a little research, I began to see things more clearly. The puzzle pieces began to fit together, when I realized what was going on in Jesus’ mind.
You see, He came for the Jewish people, first. But they had rejected Him, and in this passage, that rejection was still pretty fresh. The Jewish people ran Him out of town, and He went to a Greek village to hide out for a few days. He felt hurt and frustrated. He had something wonderful to give to His own people, and they didn’t want it. He was probably still trying to figure out how to get them to accept Him.
Then, this Greek woman showed up, wanting Him to set her daughter free from a demon. She caught Him at a time when He was frustrated, hurt, and preoccupied. He wasn’t lashing out at her. He was simply saying, “I came here to serve my own people. I need to take care of them first.” The dog reference was just a word picture; he wasn’t actually calling her a dog.
But she went with it. She said, “Lord, even the dogs get the crumbs from the table.”
With that, Jesus was pulled from his preoccupied state, and He said, “Good answer. You’re exactly right. And because of your faith, you will get what you want. Go home. Your daughter is fine.”
Friends, I have said it before, and I will say it again. God wants us to have faith that He will do what He says He will do. Not just that He can do it, but that He will. Sometimes, out of compassion, He responds to weeping and wailing and moaning and begging. Sometimes. But He always, always responds to faith. Every single time.
Does that mean that we can order Him around, using our faith to tell HIm what we want Him to do? No. Of course not. But when we have faith, real faith, we can trust that He will show up and do something great. It may not always be exactly what we want. But He will always respond in love, with our very best interests in His heart.
In this case, He caused the demon to leave the little girl. In my own life, He has shown up time and again, causing me to drop my jaw in surprise at the amazing things He has done.
So I ask you, my friend. What miracles do you need in your life? Do you believe in the One who can deliver miracles?
Do you really believe?
Dear Father, I need ______________________________. I believe that You will meet that need, and now I’m just waiting for it to happen. Thank You, Father.
(See also Matthew 15:21 – 28)