Sunday, September 6, 2015

The child like faith of the Syro-Phoenician woman

Matthew 15:21-28:
Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He answered her not a word.
And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” 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.

The other day I understood this in a way that I hadn't before--it was when my daughter was clinging to my leg crying for relief.
I had been holding her and although she'd been fussy that day she'd been fine as long as I held her, but when the wife called from the other room that it was time to make her a bottle I put her down to go make it. No sooner had I set her down than the most pitiful wail of sorrow erupted from her, letting the whole house know the agony of our separation. How cruel was I, turning my back on her and walking away?

How could I explain to her that she needed to eat now and I needed two hands to make the bottle? I couldn't, so I didn't, I just put her down and walked into the kitchen. She of course did the sensible thing, she came at me as fast as she could crawl. 
That's faith.

The syro-phoenician woman is proof that faith is the thing which moves you toward God. Jesus put the woman away, put distance between them, and yet she came on. When He stepped away she came after him. Faith is that which pursues God.

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