Friday, July 18, 2008


The woman with the vexed daughter persisted in seeking Jesus. Finally, the disciples urged their master, “Lord, send her away, get rid of her. She won’t stop bothering us.” Note Jesus’ response to the woman’s pleas: “He answered her not a word” (Matthew 15:23). Evidently, Christ ignored the whole situation. Why would he do this? Jesus knew this woman’s story would be told to every future generation, and he wanted to reveal a truth to all who would read it. So, he tested the woman’s faith by saying, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (15:24). Christ was saying, “I came for the salvation of the Jews. Why should I waste their gospel on a Gentile?”

Now this statement would have sent most of us on our way, but the woman didn’t budge. I ask you, how often do you give up on prayer? How many times have you grown weary and reasoned, “I’ve sought the Lord. I prayed and asked. I just don’t get any results”?

Consider how this woman responded. She didn’t reply with a complaint, or an accusing finger, saying, “Why are you denying me, Jesus?” No, Scripture says just the opposite: “Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me” (15:25).

What follows next is hard to read. Once again, Jesus rebuffed the woman. Only this time his reply was even harsher. He told her, “It is not meet [right] to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs” (15:26). Once again, he was testing her.

Now the mother answered him, “Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table” (15:27). What an incredible reply. This determined woman was not going to relent in her pursuit of Jesus. And the Lord commended her for it. Jesus said to her, “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour” (15:28).

Beloved, we are not to settle for crumbs. We have been promised all the grace and mercy we need for our crises. And that includes every crisis involving our families, saved or unsaved. We’ve been invited to come boldly to Christ’s throne, with confidence.