July 8, 2015
24 Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. 25 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
27 “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
28 “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
29 Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”
30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
107. Jesus, still in search of respite for he and his disciples, left Galilee and crossed over into Gentile territory. He tried desperately to keep his presence there on the down low but to no avail. A Gentile woman apparently knew Jesus’ reputation. She was desperate to get help for her daughter who was possessed by a demon.
108. This interaction between Jesus and the woman sounds somewhat harsh to modern readers; however, there’s something of a cultural inside idiom at play here. The word that comes to mind to describe Jesus tone and demeanor is “cheeky.” When the woman responded as she did, Jesus responded back with a kind of “touché.”
109. The big deal in today’s text is the faith of the woman. First she fell at his feet. Second, she pleaded with Jesus to heal her daughter. Third, Jesus prayed no prayer, spoke no particular words of deliverance or exorcism. He didn’t ask to see the daughter. He merely told the woman the demon had left her daughter and to go. And she went. She simply believed Jesus and acted in response.
110. This is the kind of faith Jesus is looking for. We’ve seen it before in Mark. The interesting thing is where he is finding this faith. The religious leaders opposed him. His disciples weren’t grasping who he was. Bottom line: the ones we would expect to “get it” didn’t and the one’s we would least expect to “get it” did.
111. Final thought. The people who most “get Jesus” are the ones who find themselves most in touch with their need of him. Jesus’ Kingdom Manifesto comes to mind again, particularly the opening line, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. Matthew 5:3.
Poverty of spirit comes from knowing one’s need of God. The most interesting thing to me is the thing I’ve never noticed before. Of all the people in Jesus’ orbit, it’s his own disciples who don’t seem to be that in need of him; to embody poverty of spirit. I will be thinking about that for awhile. One can claim to be a disciple of Jesus without really knowing their need of him. It causes me to examine myself along these lines.
SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD, FALL AFRESH ON ME.
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J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the Daily Text delivered to your inbox fresh every morning. Subscribe HERE.