How Hungry Are You?

News about Jesus spread far and wide in the Holy Land including in the regions of the Gentiles, such as Samaria, Galilee and Phoenicia. After Jesus taught in the synagogue in Capernaum where many of his disciples turned away after hearing his teaching on the "Bread of Life," he and his disciples withdrew north along the seacoast to the region of Phoenicia. Other than to get away from the crowds and in particular, the Pharisees and scribes who questioned him as to why his disciples broke the traditions of the elders, he had no apparent reason to be way up there…​or did he?

Though the Son of Man was sent to save the lost sheep of Israel, under the right circumstances Jesus would have mercy on gentiles who showed true faith. Jesus was met by a Canaanite woman who had that kind of faith. In Matthew 15:21-28, the story reads,

Jesus went out from there, and withdrew into the region of Tyre and Sidon. Behold, a Canaanite woman came out from those borders, and cried, saying, “Have mercy on me, Lord, you son of David! My daughter is severely possessed by a demon!”  But he answered her not a word. His disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away; for she cries after us.” But he answered, “I wasn’t sent to anyone but the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and worshiped him, saying, “Lord, help me.” But he answered, “It is not appropriate to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she said, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Be it done to you even as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that hour.

How did this gentile woman hear of Jesus? How did she know how to properly address him as “Lord, and Son of David?” We are not told in the story, but someone witnessed to her about Jesus being the Christ. How this woman came to know about the Lord is really quite simple. In our Wednesday bible class we learned that Jesus quoted from Isaiah to describe to the crowd in the synagogue that nobody can come to him unless they are called first by the Father and that they would be taught by Him. (Is. 54:13, Jn. 6:37-46)

The Father, through his blessed word taught this woman, she heard the gospel somewhere and she believed it! She threw herself at Jesus feet and pleaded her case for her daughter and worshipped him. She wouldn’t take "no" for an answer, and in humility, she lowered herself to the level as a dog who would eat the bread crumbs of the Living Bread of Jesus that fell off the table and onto the floor, she loved God and needed the Messiah’s help so badly, she showed Jesus her true belief in him and he rewarded that faith by healing her daughter. Just from eating the crumbs on the floor of the bread of life she showed great faith. God’s word, the true bread from heaven saves!

How hungry are you? Jim