Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Salvation for all in Christ
Vs 28-30 "LORD," she replied, "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”.
We meet several gentiles in the Bible who were helped by God. Among them, the account of the Syrophoenician woman is quite significant because of her conversation with Jesus. First, He is bringing out the central truth that salvation is to the Jew first. Even Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, drives that point home in Romans 1:16, “for I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Mark 7:25 reveals that when this woman heard that Jesus was in the area, she came immediately and fell down at his feet. She was a Gentile, a Greek, a Syrophoenician by race. She kept on asking him to cast forth the demon out of her daughter. The following qualities of the Syrophoenician woman helped in the healing her daughter.
Humility: Her reply was a statement of humility. In ancient Israel dogs were not household pets. They were considered unclean and not allowed in Jewish homes. The gentiles were compared to dogs and Jews did not associate with them in any way. Neither the Greeks paid any regard to Jews. Jews were inferior in their sight. The Greeks took prestige in their quest for wisdom and knowledge. The woman admitted that Jesus’ wisdom and power exceed the wisdom and knowledge of humans and he alone could set her daughter free. She fell at his feet and begged for his mercy.
Faith: Her reply was a statement of faith. The Bible says that the news about Jesus spread like wildfire because of the miracles he performed. She was aware of the custom that Jews did not associate themselves with gentiles because it made them ceremonially unclean. That is why she came to meet Jesus while he was alone. When Jesus said it’s not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to dogs, he was actually testing how genuine her faith was? He was pleased with her reply so much that He granted her wish.
Persistence: Her reply was a statement of persistence. Instead of feeling embarrassed and going back home at Jesus’ seemingly rude saying, she insisted Jesus to heal. Persistency is an indispensable quality of prayer that God answers. Persistency cannot be used to limit God to the frame of our own thinking, (Luke 22:41-42). There are times that God’s answer is a “no” because he has a greater purpose and he grants us grace to move on with life, (2 Corinthians 12:8-9).
We learn from the account of the Syrophoenician woman about humility, faith and persistence. It reminds us that we must not lose heart when answers delay but pray without ceasing, (1 Thessalonians 5:17) because it’s persistence that releases the answers. We need to cultivate great faith so that we may obtain salvation through the Great Physician.
Lord, teach us to be humble and persistent in our faith journey and fill us with Your grace to discern that You have a greater purpose for us all to move on with life.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
“Without faith, we cannot please God; Faith generates persistence that leads to Salvation. Great faith endures and leads to Salvation for all in Christ.”
Rev. Manoj Idiculla
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church