JUST A CRUMB, LORD
Matthew 15:21-28 “Lord, Son of David have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.”
There was a Canaanite women from the area where Jesus was. She had a daughter that was demon possessed. She had heard about Jesus and she came to him to ask for help. It is important to understand that the area Jesus was in was the area of Tyre and Sidon. This area was considered “pagan” territory. Sidon was the former home of Jezebel. The Canaanites had been enemies of Israel for years and their paganism had often led Israel into idolatry. They were despised by Israel. Israel referred to them as dogs.
So here is the scene. Jesus and His disciples were approached by a Canaanite women who was crying out for mercy for her child. At first Jesus did not even respond to her cry for mercy. The disciples took God’s lack of response as a lack of concern to help her. They urged Jesus to send her away.
v24 says that Jesus responded to her and said. “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
v25 “the women came and knelt before him. ‘Lord, help me!’ He said.“
v26 “Jesus replied, ‘it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.’”
v27 the women responded…”Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters table.”
v28 Then Jesus answered, “Women you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
It is so important to understand that in the four gospels Jesus commended only two people for having “great faith” and they were both Gentiles. (This Canaanite women and the Centurion soldier.)
Great faith is not a matter of background or position, but rather it is a matter of the heart.
This women was concerned for her demon possessed child. It is so sweet to see that she went to the Lord God for her child, not herself. Very important lesson is being taught here. We are to take our burdens, concerns, worries, cares, circumstance, issues to the Lord not only for ourselves but for others as well.
Look at the beauty and power of these verses. The women went to Jesus asking for “mercy” for her child. Her plea “have mercy on me!” (Mercy, means to have compassion, to have pity) She is not telling God what to do. Her attitude is not a commanding attitude rather a humble plea. …I don’t deserve this privilege but because Of Jesus I have this privilege and I am calling out to you for help, for mercy. She did not “tell” or even ask God to do anything….all she asked of God was for him to have mercy on her and she stated why…(my daughter suffers terribly from demon possession.)
Jesus knew what she needed and He knows what I need.
At first Jesus does not even respond to her request. It is as though he did not hear her. He seemed to ignore her the women. Jesus was not ignoring her, but rather increasing her faith in Him and teaching his disciples a lesson as well. God’s delays are not His denials.
This women was also teaching me a lesson. She was persistent. She did not give up.
Think about it: put yourself in her position that day. There you are standing all alone before God and his disciples. You make a request, and it seems you are ignored, then the people there urge Jesus to send you away because you are a bother to them. Talk about REJECTION. Then Jesus finally says something to you….He says I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel. But she does not give up. She comes before Jesus and knells before him. She says simple says…..”Lord”, help me! She seems to be rejected once again. Jesus says, it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs. SEEMINGLY MAJOR REJECTION! I am afraid I would have gone away humiliated, embarrassed and hurting deeply that God would not help me, much less refer to me as a dog. But she does not give up. She agrees’ with Jesus, v27 she replies…Yes, Lord.”, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters table. “
So important to look at this women’s response. She said, Yes, Lord! She acknowledges Him as Lord, and she agrees with him. She says yes… He just told here it is not right for me to give the children’s bread to their dogs. And she says, Yes, Lord. She did not see herself worthy to sit at the Master’s table, she saw herself as a dog licking up crumbs that fell from His table and that was good enough, and she saw that to be more than sufficient.
What was this women really saying here! Just a “crumb” of your mercy will heal my daughter. Just a “crumb” Lord may I have just a “crumb” of your mercy. Just a “crumb” will be enough. All I ask for is a “crumb.” She was saying, you don’t have to give me what you have reserved for your children, I will take just a “crumb.” Her attitude was so precious… “Just a crumb from the Lord’s table” would be sufficient. She saw herself as not worthy of His mercy, but she asked him for it anyway. She called him, “Lord” and “Mater.” Her attitude is one of great humility and faith. To be a dog at the Master’s table was Ok. She saw herself as not worthy, her position was low and she knew it. She was a Canaanite.
She was not worthy of His mercy, but she had faith that He could and would grant her mercy. She came asking for mercy, and she received it!
v28 Then Jesus answered, “Women, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
Not only did the Lord grant her mercy and heal her daughter, He honored her faith and included her story in His Word. This humble women her saw herself as not worthy of the Lord’s mercy and who acknowledged this to Jesus was a BIG winner in God’s eyes.
This women realized it was not about her at all. It was not about who she was, it was not about her position and status in life during that time (a heathen, a dog) it was all about HIM and who HE was! She came to him based on who he was for she referred to him as Lord and Master. By calling him Lord and Master she was confessing to Him how she saw him. It was not about how he saw her, it was all about how she saw him. That is what mattered. She did not come on her own merit or position in life because it would not have been good enough. The same is true today. We come to Jesus asking for him to have mercy on us based on who He is.
What a lesson for his “chosen people”, his “chosen disciples” to see. It was not about who they were, it was not about their pedigree, it was all about HIM and who He was and is!
HERE IS WHAT THE LORD GOD SAYS…
Isaiah 66:2 “This is the one I esteem; he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.”
Ps. 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Isaiah 57:15 “The Lord says…”I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
The Hebrew meaning of the word, CONTRITE… lame, maimed, dejected, smitten
The Canaanite women saw herself and nothing, she came to the Lord based on the fact that she was nothing in the eyes of the world and in her own eyes. She came to the Lord based on who He was alone, and God lifted her up and granted her mercy.
She came willing to take a ‘crumb” from the Maters table because she knew that even a crumb from the Lord’s Table would be enough, it would be sufficient. She saw herself as not worthy to have even a “crumb” but knew that a “crumb” from HIS table would be sufficient.
She never told Jesus what to do, she merely asked for him to have mercy on her!
“Just a Crumb, Lord.”
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