“He’s almost here. He’s leading His disciples into Tyre now.”
The woman looked from her friend to her crazed daughter. “Wish me luck.” She vanished out the door.
She approached the group of men, but stayed at a distance. “Son of David have mercy on me. Please, my daughter is possessed by a demon. I know You can help me. You’re my only hope.”
As Jesus walked along Philip came beside Him. “Send her away. She’s making a nuisance of herself. Even in Gentile territory we can’t get any rest from these types of people.”
Jesus kept walking and looking ahead. “I was sent to the house of Israel. They’re My priority.”
Philip stretched an arm toward the woman. “Don’t tell me. Tell her that.”
The woman stepped in front of Jesus and fell at His feet. “Please, Lord, help me. You’re the only One who can.”
Jesus stopped and looked at her. “It isn’t right for Me to take the children’s bread and feed it to puppies. The children need to be fed first.”
The woman looked into Jesus’ eyes. “There’s more than enough for the children. Besides, even puppies eat the crumbs that fall from the table. All I’m looking for is to catch a crumb. Please!”
Jesus knelt down on one knee. “You show great discretion and faith. Go home. Your daughter is rid of the demon.”
Tears blurred her vision. “Thank You!”
Jesus stood and led His men on their journey. The woman wiped her tears away and went straight home.
When she opened the door her friend was smiling. Her daughter was lying on the bed resting.
The girl sat up. “Momma…”
The woman’s friend placed a hand on her shoulder. “There was a shriek so loud it brought the neighbors in to see what was happening. But, your daughter is whole, again. I knew you got to Jesus at that moment.”
The woman hugged her daughter so tight she could hardly breathe. “Oh, my precious little one.” Then she looked up. “Thank You Jesus.”
What a marvelous show of power and grace by Jesus. As He led His band of men out of Jewish territory in search of a bit of a respite they’re approached by a Gentile in need of a miracle.
Never one to waste a teachable moment Jesus points out to His disciples that He’s sent to Israel first and foremost. But, the audacity of this outsider spurs Him to take action in her favor when her wisdom wins His heart.
I wonder how many of the disciples had this woman come to their mind when Jesus shared the parable of the persistent woman in Luke 18:1-8? This woman recognized the fact that she could do nothing to help her daughter, but, Jesus had the power to fix it. So, she didn’t let up until her petition was heard and Jesus had the chance to intervene.
The parable was a lesson to Jesus’ disciples to pray earnestly and repeatedly to God with our heart’s cry. Sometimes such long-term requests are answered in God’s time if we don’t give up. This woman definitely didn’t stop until she got results.
I think she knew there was a pretty good chance Jesus wouldn’t respond in her favor. Especially since she wasn’t from God’s chosen people. But, her desperation won out when her wisdom showed through in Jesus’ test to her.
So, why is this important to us, today? I can come up with a few answers.
1. We need to tell God our needs, even when it doesn’t appear He’s listening to us. This woman stayed at her task of getting Jesus’ attention even after He ignored her first attempts. We never know when God is waiting to see how strongly we care about something by the way we keep at a prayer request.
“Wait” is often a hard answer to receive from a prayer. But, this answer always ends in a “Yes” eventually. God usually gives us a peace about a “No” answer. Discerning the difference is a hard lesson to learn. But, most of us need to learn it the hard way.
2. We need to recognize who Jesus is and what power He has to offer us. This woman, although not a Jew, called Jesus by His Messianic name to get His attention. She had lived around enough Jews to learn of this promised One who would lead His people in peace. She also believed the accounts of others whom He relieved of demon possession.
It’s not enough to hear of Jesus and these stories from the Bible, anybody can have that knowledge. You need to believe in your heart that He is who He claimed to be and accept His offer of eternal life by His death and resurrection to take hold of His power.
3. We see Jesus living out The Great Commission long before He ever gave it to His disciples. Do you remember the out working of the final request Jesus gave His followers? They were to reach those in Jerusalem, then Judea, then Samaria, then the ends of the earth. He gave them a natural progression that would stretch them.
Remember where Jesus was at the age of twelve when his parents lost track of Him? They found Him in the temple with the priests. We saw Him reach out to the Samaritan woman at the well earlier. Now, He’s meeting the needs of a Gentile woman outside of Israel.
I don’t know about you, but, this lesson hits very close to home for me. I have some urgent prayers I know I need to continue praying because I know the results will glorify God. I can’t give up on them when I believe that’s the outcome. If a longer wait will bring Him even more glory then I’ll wait.
Now, I’m looking forward to filling a couple of shoe boxes this weekend to send to children in the world through Samaritan’s Purse to show them Jesus’ love for them.
I’ll see you later. Wade