Friday, January 22, 2010

Who let the dogs out?

Matt 15:25-28: “Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, help me!" 26 But He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs." 27 And she said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." 28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.”

Without faith is impossible to please God. Faith is the basis of our beliefs. Jesus was happy when the people exerted their faith in Him. He loved it when Peter asked to step out upon the stormy sea, and He loved it when the woman pressed through the crowd just to touch a piece of His garment. Jesus liked it when He went to a fisherman and said, “follow me”, and they did! Jesus wants people to have faith in Him as God, and because that is the essence of salvation. Ephesians chapter 2 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (vs.8-9)” Child-like faith is what we are called to have, whether it is for salvation, healing, or everyday circumstances. We are to come to Him for everything, not just the big things, but the little things as well.

The woman in this story was not a Jew, and Jesus’ mission was to first share the ministry and the Kingdom to God’s chosen people. She, being a Gentile is not supposed to receive the privileges that were meant for the true children of God. He knew this woman was in need and that she had a desire to pursue Jesus. Her daughter was demon possessed and she knew Jesus was the only one that could remedy the situation. Her persistence paid off and she got to speak to Jesus. Jesus used the analogy of sitting at the Father’s table and taking food out of the mouths of children to feed the pets. In fact, the Jewish people had for generations referred to the gentiles as dogs, a demeaning and derogatory term. However, Jesus says, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs." Jesus referred to her status in the world, not to her as a person. She answered saying that even the crumbs from Jesus’ table would be more then enough to do the thing she asked. Even the pets at the kings table are well fed from the scraps. Her faith was then rewarded by Jesus healing her daughter.

We need to come to a place in our thinking and in our theology where we do not need to be consumed with ourselves, but rather be content even with the scraps from the King’s table. This woman was not asking for the best of everything that the King had. She was not looking for the feast. The scraps would suffice and sustain. Now godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Tim 6:6)

Tomorrows Readings:
Old Testament: Exod. 4-6 New Testament Matt 16

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