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Faith Tested and Blest

(Mark 7:24-37)

Lesson 10 -- second quarter 2003
May 4, 2003

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2003, Christian Light Publications

Of dogs

Does it bother you that Jesus seems to call this woman a dog? It sounds so racist and contrary to His loving character. And have you ever wondered why she went along with the analogy? It seems so groveling and overly subservient. Well, I do not believe the Lord called her a dog, much less considered her one. It seems to me that He merely used a figure of speech to call attention to the boldness and enormity of her request. She continued using the figure of speech in order to convey her knowledge of her own unworthiness as well as her willingness to accept even the smallest favor from His hand.

I suspect most of us need more of her attitude. We tend to have quite a formidable opinion of ourselves. While it is true that we are joint heirs with the King of Kings, He also expects us to walk with one another in humility and service. Rank and pride, positioning and preening, arrogance and presumption -- none of these have a place of honor in the King's court and family. "It shall not be so among you," said Jesus (Matthew 20:26). "I am among you as he that serveth" (Luke 22:27). Why shall we do differently?

Oh, if you're still troubled by the canine comparison Jesus seemed to stoop to, have you ever said you wanted to hear something "straight from the horse's mouth"? If you have, I doubt you had in mind hearing some horse talk. No, you simply used a familiar figure of speech to communicate your wish to hear something directly from the source. You had no intention of demeaning anyone by calling them a horse.

And crumbs

This woman would settle from table crumbs. She wasn't after the whole portion. She didn't even ask for the leftovers. How could she ask for so little? Because she knew that was all she needed! And because she knew the "little" was actually plenty large. She believed crumbs from the Master would amply satisfy the desire of her heart. She understood the Lord's greatness and, therefore, also understood the amazing sufficiency of His crumbs.

How easily satisfied am I? How readily do I get hurt and offended because I got less than what I thought I deserved (or needed, for that matter)? When I have those sufficient crumbs from the Master, shall I quibble with Him for giving the leftovers or even the main course to another? Here are some truths I need to remember better:

"No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly" (Psalm 84:11).

"Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32).

"Godliness with contentment is great gain" (1 Timothy 6:6).

"Having food and raiment let us be therewith content" (1 Timothy 6:8).

"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5).

He has!

The people were dumbfounded like they had never been before: "He hath done all things well" (Mark 7:37). What He set out to do, He accomplished. And He did so with absolutely perfection. The solutions He brought forth met each need exactly. You can detect that in the observations of the people: "He maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak" (Mark 7:37). If Jesus ever brings you a solution that just doesn't seem to meet you need, consider this: Your perception of your own need may be incorrect. But He Who has "done all things well" knows what you need. It will never be otherwise!

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