Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre. He didn’t want anyone to know which house he was staying in, but he couldn’t keep it a secret. Right away a woman who had heard about him came and fell at his feet. Her little girl was possessed by an evil spirit, and she begged him to cast out the demon from her daughter. Since she was a Gentile, born in Syrian Phoenicia, Jesus told her, “First I should feed the children—my own family, the Jews. It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.” She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children’s plates.” “Good answer!” he said. “Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter.” And when she arrived home, she found her little girl lying quietly in bed, and the demon was gone.
Mark 7:24-30 NLT
This narrative is recorded twice in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke.) The other version is in Matthew 15. It is a story of overcoming faith. There were several barriers this woman had to overcome. She had to overcome the racial barrier—she was a Gentile and not a Jew. The Jew’s were the chosen children of God and had a covenant relationship with God. She had to overcome the gender barrier—that society was very male dominated, and women had very few rights. She had to overcome Satan himself who had commissioned one of his demons to torment her daughter. She had to overcome Jesus’ disciples (Matthew’s version tells us they asked Jesus to send her away because she bothered them). And finally, she had to overcome the initial reluctance of Jesus—in Matthew’s version we discover at first Jesus didn’t answer her, and then when He did it was not a kind response. In Matthew’s version Jesus calls this woman a woman of great faith. Her faith was demonstrated by her unwillingness to give up. She kept coming to Jesus regardless of what others thought or what Satan did. She was not going to give up. For many people all it takes is a few rain clouds and we decide to stay in bed and miss church. Or, we have a problem, we say a prayer and if nothing happens immediately, we give up. Great faith doesn’t give up. Great faith pushes forward regardless of what others say or do. God sees our persistence as a sign of our faith. May God give us more faith to keep pushing forward regardless of the barriers we face.
Holy Spirit help me to be a person of persistence. Help me to have the faith to fight for Your kingdom to come in my world.
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