- Matthew 15:1-20
- Mark 7:1-23
- Matthew 15:21-31
- Mark 7:24-37
- Matthew 15:32-39
- Mark 8:1-10
“But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of Him and came and fell down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. And He said to her, ‘Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.’ But she answered Him, ‘Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.’ And He said to her, ‘For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.’ And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.” –Mark 7:25-30, ESV
The woman was separate. She crossed cultural lines and begged for her daughter’s healing from One who spent His time with Israelites. Even when the Man compared her people to dogs, she kept the point in focus. She knew her position as a non-Israelite provided her no preference to even have audience with this Man. She knew her position. She did not argue the point. She did not get offended and demand an apology, nor did she stomp away mad. Instead, she accepted her role in life and spoke from that position.
‘Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.’
She knew He could heal. She knew her daughter needed it. And she knew He was the One. She did not argue her state; instead she recognized the little bit, the crumbs, that would be enough to save her child. Even a crumb of the bounty this Man provided to His people would deliver her young one from certain destruction.
A former colleague once said something that sticks with me. He shared about how sometimes he got so frustrated at work. But in addressing that frustration, he would remind himself, “sometimes you have to start by getting over yourself.” If we recognized the incredible bounty on the feasting table of God, even we would beg for just the crumbs, seeing the incredible power those mere crumbs had to transform our lives. But Jesus gives us more than crumbs. He lifts our head, takes our hand, and helps us stand up from our crumb-searching under the table. He pulls out the chair and lays the napkin in our lap. And He presents to us a feast unlike anything we could imagine. All because we came humbly. All because we first got over ourselves.