The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
“Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
Matthew 15: 25 – 28
Jesus words seem quite hurtful. Here is a woman clearly in need who has approached him for help so why would he portray her as a dog? This is in contrast to the Jesus we see elsewhere in the gospel who went out of his way to welcome and accommodate people. As always there is more going on.
Jesus character was such that he never turned anyone away. Yet he was also known for testing people so they would examine their own motivations as a much deeper level. Think of the rich young ruler who claimed to be keeping all the commandments until Jesus challenged him over his wealth and following. Or even many of the beggars whom he healed but first asked them what they truly wanted?
Repeatedly Jesus engages with people to explore the deeper part of their faith so that faith will come to the surface and grow; as he does here. How will you engage with Jesus today? Are you brave enough to let him look deep into your life and character?
Pray: Jesus, you know me better than I know myself. You can see into the places where I don’t go and you know the thoughts I try to bury deep. There is no part of my hidden from you. Please help me not to be afraid to come to you or to open up to you.
Act: Take time to engage with Jesus. Make it a thoughtful, meaningful experience by not rushing it.