(Second Milers also read – Psalms 46 – 50; Memorize – Acts 1:8)
Message Preached Sunday Morning at Jersey Shore Baptist Church
Message Preached Sunday Night at Jersey Shore Baptist Church
“But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” – (Matthew 15:26-28)
What a great truth from the Scripture this morning. While Jesus was walking with His disciples in the area of Tyre and Sidon, a Gentile woman persistently begged the Lord for help with her devil-possessed daughter. Jesus at first ignored the woman, and then told her and the disciples that he was sent only to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. The woman would not give up, but continued to seek the Lord’s help. He finally told her that it wasn’t meet (suitable, right) to take the children’s (meaning the Jews) meat and cast it to the dogs (meaning the Gentiles). The woman then made a remarkable statement. She basically told the Lord that she recognized that she was totally unworthy of His help, but she knew that it would be a very small thing for an all powerful God to slip a scrap of help under the table. Jesus commented on the woman’s great faith. There was another similar incident in the Bible, where another Gentile (the Centurion in Matthew 8 and Luke 7) recognized the power of the Lord. The Lord also remarked about his faith, saying that it was greater than any He had seen in Israel. It is very interesting that these strangers to the faith of Israel could see something that many of the Jews could not.
I would like to pull a couple of thoughts about this woman’s faith. First, I like the fact that she recognized her unworthiness. The Lord actually called her a dog. I do not think that the Lord was trying to hurt this woman. He knew exactly what He was doing, and He knew exactly what the woman would do. He was using this event to teach the disciples and us a very important lesson. This woman gets an A for Humility 101. She recognized her unworthiness. The fact of the matter is that the disciples were also totally unworthy and undeserving of all that the Lord had done for them; and we are also undeserving. It is amazing to me how pompous we are. We think that we somehow are entitled to all that we have. The truth is that we really deserve Hell and nothing more. It is only by the grace of God that we are blessed the way we are.
The other thought that I want to bring out is that because this humble woman recognized how small she was, she was able to see how big Jesus is. Until we deflate our egos, we will never fully understand the power and magnificence of God. This woman knew that she was asking the Lord to something miraculous, but she also understood that the miracle that she was asking for would be nothing for an omnipotent God to perform. How big is your God? What problem do you have that only God can fix? Why not make yourself small, and come to a big God and ask him to throw down a few crumbs from His table.
Posted in Thoughts from Matthew by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.