24 Jesus went from there to a place near Tyre. He entered a house. He did not want anyone to know where he was. But he could not keep it a secret. 25 Soon a woman heard about him. An evil spirit controlled her little daughter. The woman came to Jesus and fell at his feet. 26 She was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. 27 “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her. “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28 “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 Then he told her, “That was a good reply. You may go. The demon has left your daughter.” 30 So she went home and found her child lying on the bed. And the demon was gone.
It is evident from this passage that Jesus was clear on where and to whom he was called to minister. We also see some tenacious faith from the woman from Syrian Phoenicia which results in her daughter being set free from demonic power.
I find myself re-reading verse 27 – Did Jesus just refer to this woman as a dog? Yes he did. No meek and mild Jesus here! No doubt driven by desperation and sheer love for her daughter this woman ignores the insult and respectfully persists. She believes Jesus has the power to set her daughter free from demonic influence once and for all. She is not going to give up hope easily. This woman has had to track Jesus down, he was trying to keep a low profile and then she has to summon the courage to ask him to heal her little girl. Then Jesus knocks her back so she asks again and it’s this faith that ultimately gets her a miracle. Faith made a way!
Two things emerge here: opportunity and not giving up. Jesus was not in Tyre to minister to this woman or her family but she saw the chance of an encounter with Jesus and she took it. Nor was she going to back down easily. Her story is a reminder to us to look for opportunities that are outside the square and to believe. God came through for this woman and her daughter and he can come through for us too.
Dear God, help us to see opportunities and to step out in faith and trust you, Amen.
Written by Ps. Ainslie Woods