Gospel Message & Recording
We are now entering the fourth week of the Great and Holy Lent and the Healing Gospel that is ascribed to us is taken from Matthew 15: 21-28. Here, we see that Jesus, the first healing-evangelist, is ministering in the area of Tyre and Sidon. There, a woman from the region of Canaan pleads with Jesus to have mercy on her daughter who is severely-demon possessed. At this point, we would expect the narrative to move in the direction where Jesus immediately heals the daughter by seeing the faith that the mother had, like that of the four friends of the paralytic (Mark 2:1-12). But the narrative takes a turn for the worst, or so it seems. Jesus says to the women, “I have not come for the gentiles but for the lost sheep of Israel.” Rather than turning away and going back home, she persists and says, “Lord, help me.” We would think by now Jesus would have provided the miracle that the women desired; but on the contrary, Jesus, or so it seems, replies rudely, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and feed it to the dogs.” The woman, ever more persistent, provides a stunning reply, “But even the little dogs eat the crumbs from their master’s table.” Seeing the great faith that she had, Jesus provides the miracle and immediately her daughter is healed.
There is much we can learn from the Canaanite woman. Here I would like to concentrate on the idea that she was willing to accept the “crumbs” from the master’s table. The “crumbs” represent the “little” that is always present in our lives. We might be expecting “big” things to happen, a promotion, a new job, more money, healing, a better home, a better ministry, and a better life in general, but often we encounter that things are moving “slowly” or maybe even very “slowly.” It might not be at the pace that we desire or want. Nevertheless, the reality is that certain areas of our life seem like it is “little,” that is, slow, not going anywhere. If you are in this circumstance consider this: maybe God has placed you there for a certain reason! Like Canaanite woman, we should be willing to accept the “crumbs” the Lord gives us. It was in accepting the “crumbs” that the Lord knew that she was ready for more. In life if you can’t work with the “crumbs” and be content with the “little,” acknowledging that it is a time of spiritual preparation, or rather a test to strengthen us and make us stronger in our faith, we will never move up in life spiritually or financially.
What “crumbs” have God thrown at you? And further, how are you reacting to that? Like the Canaanite woman are you accepting it in faith and continuing to worship Jesus? Or are you becoming frustrated and angry about your “little crumb.” The person who is able to see the “little crumb” as a season of refinement or preparation, either in terms of spiritual growth or change in behavior/morals, will always at the end receive his or her miracle. On the contrary, the person who gets frustrated and angry at the “little crumb,” cannot see the hand of God in the situation, becomes angry and frustrated, will eventually move away from God. The Lord wants to see if we will be content with the “little crumb,” that is, if we will do our best to use it and work with it. Here, patience, persistence, and continued prayer is vitally important. If you do that, God will not only move you out of the “little crumbs” and into “big loaf;” but He will also use you in ways that you have never imagined.
- We would think by now Jesus would have provided the miracle that the women desired; but on the contrary, Jesus, or so it seems, replies rudely, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and feed it to the dogs.” The woman, ever more persistent, provides a stunning reply, “But even the little dogs eat the crumbs from their master’s table.” Comment! Discuss!
- Do you find that you have areas in your life that are moving very slowly, or maybe not going anywhere? What have you done spiritually during those times to maintain hope and stability in your life?
- What advice would you provide for others who are experiencing the “little crumbs” in their life?
- Spiritually what Orthodox practices could you use when going through the “little crumb” circumstances of your life?
- Do you have a testimony where you experienced circumstance where you weren’t going anywhere or making any progress spiritually? What did you do? And how are you now?