24 Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. 25 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman 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, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” 28 “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.” 30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
What a strange passage, and one of many examples where Jesus responds in a way that I do not expect.
This woman has come to Jesus desperate for His help, and yet He seems to be putting her off in what may sound like rudeness to us. His reference to taking the “children’s bread and toss it to the dogs” reflects the belief of the Jews at the time that gentiles were not worthy to receive from God. Perhaps Jesus was testing her to see how she would respond to this?
Well done to her – this woman passed the test! I think the key to the outcome in this passage is that she displayed two things that Jesus loves – humility and faith.
The woman did not argue with Jesus about whether she was worthy to receive from Him. She just humbly asked again in faith. And Jesus makes it clear that the response that she gets from Him is directly related to the way that she replied to His challenge.
Which makes me think, how do I respond when I am challenged? Do I get angry and demand my rights, or do I respond in humility and faith?
Today I choose to come back to these two basics in my relationship with God – humility and faith. None of us actually deserves anything from Jesus, but He loves to give grace to the humble, and faith is the key to receiving from Him.
Written by Shelley Witt