As she approaches Jesus and pleads for Him to heal her daughter, she is ignored by Jesus and the disciples are annoyed by her begging. Finally, the disciples ask Jesus to tell her to go away. And, in what seems to me as uncharacteristically harsh, Jesus has the following conversation with her:
24 Then he said to the woman, “I was sent only to help the people of Israel – God’s lost sheep – not the Gentiles.” 25 But she came and worshiped him and pleaded again, “Lord, help me!” 26 “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs,” he said.
Is He calling her a dog?…because she is a Gentile?
You can look at this two ways. 1) He is being harsh and really wants her to go away and leave them alone. Or, 2) He is trying to teach His disciples (and us) a lesson. I rather think it’s the latter case – as otherwise this one passage would go completely against the nature and consistency of Jesus.
Ultimately, the conversation continues:
27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “but even dogs are permitted to eat crumbs that fall beneath their master’s table.” 28 “Woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.
What faith she had. How does this tie in with the book “Bait of Satan” I mentioned earlier? Well, how would you have reacted if Jesus talked to you as He did this woman? I believe most of us would have either been so hurt or embarassed we would have choked, turned and walked off. Or, we would have been offended and stamped off to join the religious leaders’ movement to end Jesus’ “threat.”
The ultra-condensed version of the book is the premise that once we take the “bait,” satan has us in his trap. What is the bait? Becoming offended. The word for “offense” comes from the same root as the word used to describe the “bait-stick” in a trap. Once you get offended – the trap is sprung.
What would have happened to this woman and her daughter if she became offended by Jesus’ harsh words? Because of her persistance and her ability to let it roll off of her like water on a duck, her daughter was healed and she was blessed.
Something to think about today…