All year I have been working my way through 2 Peter (by “accident”), but this morning I detour with Jesus to the region of Tyre and Sidon. I read the heart-stirring incident of magnificent faith and wonder about my own faith…and about Jesus’ generosity toward me.
Here. You read it. The telling of a great faith that moved…a Phoenician woman:
- Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
- And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
- But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
- But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
- Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
- But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.
- And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.
- Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
- And Jesus departed from thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there.
- And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them:
- Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.
I know the record here hits a high point, skipping over many details. But I’m blessed that “Jesus went thence” (21), made a Canaanite woman’s daughter whole, and “departed from thence” (31). Browsing backward through Matthew to find His last stated geographic location, I find “the land of Gennesaret” (Matthew 14:34). That’s on the east side of the Jordan River. It looks to me like Jesus skipped a direct route to the Sea of Galilee and made a big, long loop out close to the Mediterranean Sea in order to give a crumb to a dog, as it were. Wow!
My heart sings at the woman’s faith and tenacity. She didn’t turn away from Jesus’ “insensitive, rude, racist rejections” — nope, none of that quitting stuff for her. Listen… Continue reading