Relationships – Day 17
The Lord and I: Crumbs of faith
Matthew 15:21-28 tells about Jesus’ visit to the non-Jewish region of Tyre and Sidon where a Canaanite woman from the vicinity cried out to Him to heal her demon-possessed daughter. The fact that the Jews hated her people and Jesus’ disciples urged Him to send her away, did not rattle her at all — her faith was in Him to heal her child.
Even when Jesus indifferently remarked that He was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel, she did not back away. She came and knelt before Him and said: “Lord, help me!” (Matthew 15:25). For a second time Jesus communicated His apparent unwillingness: “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs!” (Matthew 15:26). However, she understood the true meaning of what He said — the Jews referred to the heathens as dogs, implicating that they are not worthy of receiving God’s blessing. She did not take “no” for an answer and responded with a surprising comment of faith: “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table” (Matthew 15:27). This is what Jesus wanted to hear. His indifference towards her evoked a confession of triumphant faith.
She realised that she could not claim a whole loaf of bread from Jesus’ hand, but crumbs from His hand was a whole loaf of bread to her. Her crumbs of faith was the kind of faith Jesus spoke about in Luke 17:6: “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted into the sea,’ and it would obey you.”
Her faith was not influenced by brushoffs, the Jews’ preferential treatment, or her background as heathen. She knew that abundance was available from Jesus and that He gladly distributed it. The outcome of her undaunted, faithful plea? Jesus answered her: “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted. And her daughter was healed from that very hour” (Matthew 15:28).
If your faith is tested by ridicule, belittling, unfavourable circumstances, or with an apparent “no!”, will you still trust in Him? Will you keep asking, even if you know that your past, present and your now count against you? If you can honestly answer “yes!”, you can rest in the knowing that He will praise your crumbs of faith as “great faith” and answer your plea at the right time and in the right way.