Probably one of the most misunderstood incidences of Jesus’ ministry was His encounter with an unnamed Greek woman in the region of Tyre and Sidon. In one of the towns that He entered He found a house where He could rest awhile and get away from the crowds. The Bible says that He did not want anybody to know He was there. (Mark 7:24) A certain Syro-Phoenician woman, who had heard of the miracles Jesus had done, set out to find Him. Hearing that He was in a certain town, she came to the town searching for Him. Locating the house where He was staying, she managed to get inside. Finding Jesus she immediately began to ask Jesus to free her daughter from demonic oppression. After intense begging (ESV) Jesus simply told her that it was not right to “take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” (Mark 7:27, Matthew 15:26 NKJ) Anyone reading what Jesus said would want to scurry to other translations hoping to find a gentler and kinder response to this hurting mother. Was Jesus truly calling this woman’s daughter a dog?
As was pointed out Jesus did not want people to know where He was. Today Jesus wants people to know He is in the “house,” but sadly some are keeping Jesus hidden within the walls of their churches. The woman “heard” about Jesus and then came to experience Him. Churches need to realize that their ministry is to go out and proclaim the message, and when they do, they will see “houses of worship” filled with people seeking Jesus. He wants to be known, not hidden! We must stop trying to get people into the church; rather, Believers need to speak the Word outside the four walls so people know Jesus is in the house!!
How serious and committed are people to finding the answer to life challenges? What Jesus said to the woman was actually a test. The question was how far was she willing to go to believe Jesus for the deliverance of her daughter? I have been in churches where the pastor asks if anyone needs prayer, and without fail, hands go up. But what so many want is the answer to be delivered on a silver platter without any real anticipation on their part. She could have walked away insulted and hurt, but she was willing to go all the way, no matter what it took! What about the “pop quizzes” that Jesus gives during our life’s journey? Are we willing to hold on no matter what the circumstances or do we walk away because of our weak faith? The woman, simply told Jesus she was willing to take of the crumbs that fell from the table. Her resolve brought Jesus to proclaim, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” (Matthew 15: 28) I believe there are some great teachings coming out of pulpits, but sadly there are Believers that are letting some of the teachings fall away (crumbs). There are people that are not getting taught the Word who would give anything just to get the crumbs that are spilled by those who are not using what they have been taught!
After the woman heard Jesus’ words she returned to her home believing what Jesus said had happened. How many today leave their church with the expectation that Jesus is fulfilling His word? Believers need to act in faith before they can experience the defeated challenge.
Is the world hearing that Jesus is in the “house?” How are we doing with the “pop quizzes?” Are we receiving all that the “Bread of Life” is offering or are we dropping crumbs? Is our faith anticipating the fulfillment of our prayer? Our Faith initiates Jesus’ action in our lives!