God is on Your Side – Be Bold in all Humility! - 10 October 2019

Louise Gevers

“The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. ‘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 their dogs.’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ she replied, ‘but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he told her, ‘For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.’ She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.” Mark 7:26-30

She came to Jesus from the lowest position in society at that time as a Gentile woman. She knew very well that she was doubly discriminated against in Israel, yet her mission to save her daughter was far more important to her than what others thought of her, and her faith in Jesus’ power was her driving force. Her actions showed boldness and spirit.

The woman who begged Jesus to free her daughter from the grips of a demon had heard of Him healing so many others and believed with all her heart that He could liberate her precious child too. Surely He’d be compassionate? Matthew says that she followed Him around begging Him to have mercy on her (Matthew 15:21-28) until the disciples, themselves, begged Jesus to send her away. She understood that Jesus’ mission at the time was to the Jews, but she believed that God’s mercy was big enough for everyone. She didn’t take offence though she recognised that Jesus was referring to her, a Gentile, as a dog, but understood the analogy He used in light of His mission. Her humility was startling. She humbly accepted that she was very small in the big picture, but needed help that only He could give.

Because she was humble, she had the insight to use Jesus’ analogy to her own advantage and show her great faith in Him by asking for only a little, modestly pointing out that dogs don’t expect more than the crumbs that are left over, which would be sufficient for her needs. How often do we show such tenacity coupled with humility like hers when we are praying for someone or something?

We can learn from her principles. Firstly, she believed completely in Jesus’ power to heal, and to liberate from things that destroy blessings and life in their fullness. Secondly, she wasn’t deterred when Jesus apparently ignored her pleas, but persisted in pursuing Him until He engaged with her. Thirdly, she boldly put her faith into action by arguing against Jesus’ assertion that it was not yet time for Him to give her her request. She showed unwavering faith nonetheless. Lastly, she maintained complete humility.

And He granted her prayer. He can grant ours too: He is on our side.

Prayer: “Lord, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you.  May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry” …. “from the ends of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 88:1-2 & Psalm 61:2)

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