Talk about a woman with extraordinary faith – I want faith like this! I’m talking about the Canaanite woman in Matt. 15:21-28 (NIV) who cried out to Jesus to help her child who was demon possessed. Jesus tells this woman in v. 26: “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”
But she continues to cry out and says to Him (v. 27): “… but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
I have to admit I didn’t really understand what this line of communication meant for many years. Why was Jesus calling this woman a “dog” – that certainly didn’t seem very nice!
But you know what? This is why it’s so important to study the Bible. Because the more you study the Bible the more God reveals His truth to you.
In order to fully understand this passage we need to transport ourselves to a ship called the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek and have them warp us back to that era. (You know I’m kidding, right?) You see, Jesus was a Jew – and Jesus’ first mission was to share the gospel with the Jewish people. The Canaanite woman? Well, she wasn’t Jewish – she was a Gentile – a person just like the majority of you who read this blog.
But… living in those times she was fully aware of what Jesus was saying. She was not offended by His words, but kept pressing in. She believed what she had heard about Him. She believed that Jesus was all powerful and had the authority to deliver her daughter from demon possession by just a blink of His eye, or a word spoken – so she was just asking to catch the “crumbs” that fell from all powerful Jesus.
And why did Jesus answer her like that? Well just like He does to all of us – sometimes He tests us to see whether we’re going to stand firm under what we believe to be true, or if we are going to give up and live a continually defeatist life. (Remember God asking Abraham to offer up his beloved son Isaac? See Heb. 11:17-19.)
Well anyway, sometimes I find myself starting to fall into a “downer mode.” I find myself starting to question whether what I believe I’ve heard from God was indeed from Him or not! I start to put myself in Eve’s place when the serpent approached her in the Garden of Eden: “Did God really say…?” (Gen. 3:1 NIV). I start thinking: God, maybe I just thought that’s what you were telling me…
But you know what? When you are starting to doubt and have questions, the best thing you can do is to lay it all down at the foot of the cross: Lord speak to me!
I know I say this a lot, but I LOVE JESUS!!! Because, you see, God doesn’t look at our outward appearance, but instead looks at our hearts (1 Sam. 16:7). And one of the main ways He speaks to us is through His Word.
So I’m sitting in church today and I’m laid bare before Him. I’m worshiping and I’m praising Him because I know that one way or the other He’s going to speak to me. And today one of the Scriptures that was mentioned in the sermon was Heb. 4:12. The Amplified Bible puts it this way:
For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.
Can I tell you something? As I listened to the sermon this morning, that verse became alive within me, and it confirmed in my heart that I need to stay the course I’ve been on.
That’s always what God’s Word does. Our God is the Ultimate Surgeon. If we do not allow ourselves to go under the spiritual knife of His Word things will continue to get worse – just as if you needed surgery but decided not to do it.
So plug into the lifeline of the Bible and let God do a spiritual transformation within you – you will never regret it – even though sometimes it may sting for awhile!