“He said to her, ‘Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.’”
We tend to think Jesus messed up here…but on the contrary Jesus was just being God who said in Isaiah 1:18, “Come…and let us reason together…”
And so she reasoned with God, she said to Him, ‘Look, Mister, I’m not asking for a seat at the table. My daughter is suffering. All I need from you is a crumb or two. I know that will do the job. But I’m going to need it right now.’
He was impressed and said to her, “because of this reasoning…your daughter is healed.”
This episode is not one to be looked over as an error in judgement by the Lord, but rather as a demonstration of what a real relationship with God looks like and how our faith must be practiced within the context of that relationship.
For this woman, faith in practice meant persistent effort – refusing to go away until she got what she came for…it meant hopeful insight – refusing to believe even a tiny speck of grace isn’t out of reach and knowing just a scrap can make the difference, and finally it meant trusting acceptance – a willingness to take Jesus at His word and journey home alone to confirm her daughter’s healing.
What about us…what are we reasoning over with God, and how in this process are we demonstrating our faith?
Dear God, grant me the tenacity of Jacob who like this woman, battled with You and refused to let You go saying “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” (Genesis 32:26). Amen.
Excerpted from Sharon H. Ringe, “A Gentile Woman’s Story.”