There’s a story in the Gospels in which a Gentile woman comes to Jesus because her daughter suffers terribly from demon-possession. I cannot fathom the pain of this mother as she watches her daughter potentially mutilate and destroy herself and her family. So this mother begs Jesus for help.
And do you know what He says?
Jesus’ response to this mother’s heartbroken plea is amazing: “It’s not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” He’s says No.
Israel is God’s firstborn and Jesus was sent to them. Therefore, what God had decreed for Israel was not to be taken and given to a Gentile, a dog.
Not a Jesus response we are used to hearing, is it?
The woman’s response, however, is equally amazing: “Yes Lord, BUT, even the dogs get the crumbs that fall from the Master’s Table.” In other words, yes Lord, as a Gentile I don’t deserve anything from You. I’m not asking to eat at the feast. All I’m asking for is a crumb, because I know even a crumb from You is more than I need.
Just a crumb. This woman begged Jesus for a crumb.
Jesus’ response to this: “Woman, you have great faith. Your daughter is healed.”
Why did Jesus say all this to the woman? I have ideas but I couldn’t tell you for certain, so I won’t even try. What I do know is the woman was right. She was nothing special and as a Gentile she had no claim on Jesus. The only thing this woman had was her complete and total need and desperation which drove her to Him.
This woman was also right in that a crumb from this One, who was more than a man, was more than enough for her need – her daughter was healed that day.
How desperate for Jesus are you today?
- Desperate enough that even if He turned you away, insulted you, or seemed to ignore your pleadings you’d keep coming?
- So desperate to hear from Him that you’d be willing to take anything from Him, even a no?
- Desperate enough that even if everyone else was running from Him you’d still be running towards Him, alone?
I can think of very few times in my life where I have honestly been that desperate for God, and usually those were times of great pain.
Believer, may we truly become desperate for this One before whom every knee will bow. And whether that desperation comes through pain and heartache or is simply a gift from the Holy Spirit, may we be a desperate Church. Desperate enough to get up early on a Sunday morning to meet with our Father. Desperate enough to set aside time during the week to seek His face. Desperate enough to do whatever it takes. And one day may we each hear, “Well done, you have great faith.”