The Crust or The Crumb

In the book of Matthew there is an interesting encounter between Jesus and a Canaanite woman. This is what Matthew writes:

“When Jesus left there, He withdrew to the area of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came and kept crying out, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is cruelly tormented by a demon.”
Yet He did not say a word to her. So His disciples approached Him and urged Him, “Send her away because she cries out after us.”
He replied, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But she came, knelt before Him, and said, “Lord, help me!”
He answered, “It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to their dogs.”
“Yes, Lord,” she said, “yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table!”
Then Jesus replied to her, “Woman, your faith is great. Let it be done for you as you want.” And from that moment her daughter was cured.” (Matthew 15:21-28 HCSB)

Jesus first ignores the woman and then He gives her an answer that I don’t think she was expecting. But her response to Jesus’ answer is shocking. It sort of catches Jesus by surprise. This interaction is very similar to when Jesus encounters the Roman Centurion. In both cases Jesus’ expectations were exceeded. In the case of the Roman Centurion, Jesus expected that he wanted Jesus to come to his house in order to heal his servant. But the Roman Centurion understood something that others didn’t. He understood that the Kingdom of God does not operate on visits or house calls, but the Kingdom operates on the Word of God. In the case of the Canaanite woman, she understood that everything that could be found in the bread was also contained in the crumbs. She knew that every ingredient that is in the bread is also in the crumbs. She knew that if she could just get a crumb from the Master, her daughter would be made whole.

While other people needed Jesus to give them the bread in order for them to believe, this woman only needed a crumb. While other people need a big house to praise God, she only needed a roof over her head. While other people need a nice car to give God glory, she only needed a vehicle that can get her from point A to point B. While other people need the corner office with the fancy view to trust in God, she only needed a job to provide her needs.

How about you? Are you exceeding God’s expectations? While others need Jesus to give them the bread, what does it take for you? Do you need the crust or do you just need the crumb?


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