– Inyang Okutinyang
How to Recognise, Accept and Work Within the Confines of Truth
Matthew 15 (NKJV)
25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
Wait a minute; after Jesus said to this woman “I was sent to the lost sheep of Israel”, she falls down and worships Him! “Mumu, mugu!” She would be called a “rank fool of the highest order” if this were playing out today in our society. Jesus would have been called a bigot, racist, prejudiced, abusive, and full of pride by many today in the way He dealt with this woman. And to compound it all Jesus refers to her and her little daughter as “dogs”. Hello! If what Jesus has said up till now hasn’t gotten to her, this is certain to – He called her a dog and that publicly too!
It is so remarkable that this woman does not take offence with what Jesus has said so far. You understand Jesus did not go around everywhere with a visible golden halo around His head so everyone could see He was the Son of God. Most people at this point in the interaction would have said “Mr. Rabbi, who do you think you are, talking to me like that?” And they would have given Him a piece of their mind. Consequently, they would have left in a huff and still would have to deal with the tortuous situation of a demon possessed child. When you know you are right there at the place of blessing and the difference it will make in your life, you won’t let anything push you away from there. This is a prime place of opportunity.
This woman instead said “Yes Lord”. She is acknowledging that “Jesus, You are Lord and You are right. You have told me the solemn truth about myself!” People say the truth could be bitter. However, if you chew on it long enough it will indeed turn out to be sweeter than honey. What a sincerely humble woman. She is not minimizing or making any excuses for her situation or her past. Truly a broken and contrite spirit He does not despise. The Canaanites of which this woman was one, were some of the vilest perverts and amongst the wickedest peoples of all time. That was why God judged them and gave their land to Israel. Jesus in calling the Canaanites “dogs” was speaking spiritually, He was not referring to her race or ethnicity. Dogs were regarded as vile and unclean in the Middle Eastern culture. When you are told the truth, you need to hear it and if it ticks you off, know for sure there is pride in you and you need to deal with it. If you don’t, you have willingly submitted yourself to deception without knowing it.
3 The pride of your heart has deceived you,
You who dwell in the clefts of the rock,
Whose habitation is high;
You who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’
Matthew 15 (NKJV)
28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
What a turnaround! Jesus honours her now publicly before all. Did Jesus make a mistake and prejudged her earlier? Not at all! He used this woman as an object lesson on what great faith is. When she came to Him, Jesus already perceived that great faith in her. He is teaching here that you could not offend, talk down to, or use what could be construed as bigotry, pride or prejudice to stop or thwart great faith from receiving what it came to God for. How many have left a precious place where God planted them on such account as this? Great faith will never take “no” for an answer, even when it is told “this could not be for you, it is for others”. Great faith always finds a way to receive the blessings. If this woman, born outside of the covenant, could find a way to receive blessings she wasn’t entitled to, how much more we should – we who have been given an open and standing invitation to come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy for our times of need. The Lord’s invitation still stands today:
Isaiah 55 (NKJV)
1 Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”