My wife and I recently took our daughter out for a birthday supper at one of the new, trendy restaurants. Now, my daughter is a huge fan of grilled cheese sandwiches and they had one on the menu that caught her fancy which she ordered and very much enjoyed. We were happy to buy it for her.

 

It was $17.

 

Of course, that included house-made peach preserves, goat cheese, thick-cut bacon, and thinly sliced jalapeños, all on grilled multigrain bread. And frites. (Our waitress explained that “frites” is the restaurant’s fancy word for “fries.” She rolled the “R” when she said “frites.”)  We had a wonderful time and I do not regret this birthday treat for my daughter.

 

Still, it is the very first time in my life I’ve paid $17 for a grilled cheese sandwich and frrrrites. 

 

And that $17 grilled cheese sandwich brings to mind something that recently came up in Bible Study.

 

In Mark 7:24-30 and in Matthew 15:21-28, the story is recounted of how Jesus retired to Tyre to escape the crowds and rest, but he is visited by a Gentile woman who falls at His feet begging and pleading that He free her daughter from a demon. Even though there is no reason to believe she is a convert to Judaism, she calls Him “Son of David” and “Lord.” The disciples urge Jesus to send her away because, well, (to paraphrase) she’s annoying. Jesus tells her he must feed the lost children of Israel first and that it’s just not right to throw the children’s bread to the dogs.

 

I had long understood that as a pretty harsh answer, but keep in mind that He’s not saying He will never help the Gentiles. He’s pointing out the order, the pre-ordained progression of His ministry. And yes, it sure seems like He is calling her a dog –until you look up the actual Greek word in the text which is (according to Strong’s Concordance) κυναρίοις (kynariois), which means, “a little dog, a house dog. Neuter of a presumed derivative of kuon; a puppy.”

 

The reference is not to a stray, garbage-eating street dog. He’s talking about a beloved member of the family, a puppy. 

 

And her response is astounding. She’s not offended or defensive or argumentative in her reply at all: (Mark 7:28)

 

“She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children’s plates.” (NLT)

 

So, not only did she believe that Jesus was the Messiah, God in the flesh (as evidenced by calling Him “Son of David” and “Lord”) she considered His ability to cast out her daughter’s demon a mere crumb, a menial task for one as mighty and powerful as Jesus.

 

And Jesus tells her because of her great faith she may go home where she will find that the demon has left her daughter.

 

She asked for a scrap. 

 

There are so many times when I pray and I ask the Lord for something, somewhere in the back of my mind I think that I ask too much. Sometimes I think we all think God can’t or won’t do what we ask because it’s too hard or the circumstances are too great to overcome or I’m not worthy of it, or some other reason to doubt.

 

But when I really look at what’s going on in this passage, I cannot help but conclude that even the scraps that fall from the table of an infinitely powerful and mighty and awesome God  are infinitely powerful and mighty and effective. 

 

There was probably no one else in all the world who could have freed that woman’s daughter from that demon, but Jesus did it without even going to her. The girl did not even have to touch the hem of His garment. The girl presumably had no faith in Jesus at all, but it was her mother’s faith that did it. 

 

He spoke and it was so.

 

When we ask in prayer, when we humbly believe and ask even for the tiniest crumb that falls from the Lord’s table, nothing is impossible. Mountains crumble and whole forests are uprooted at the Lord’s command. (Matthew 21:21)

 

We are given permission to come boldly before the very throne of God and ask. (Hebrews 4:16) We are encouraged to ask for the power of the Holy Spirit, and I believe Jesus meant we should ask for that Holy Spirit daily. (Luke 11:13) If we ask in His will and in the name of Jesus, for His glory and not for our own foolish passions (James 4:3), if we ask believing it be so (Mark 11:24) I believe there is nothing that can prevent from happening what God has willed to happen. 

 

The crumbs from the Lord’s table are far more valuable and effective and powerful than even the crumbs from a $17 grilled goat cheese sandwich. 

 

Frrrrites or not.

 

Today’s Praise

Ephesians 3:20

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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