Crumbs from under the Table
I Connect: I watched as the Lorikeets dropped bits of their breakfast to the Guinea Fowl and our pet duck waiting below their feeder for leftovers
As I watch, I am reminded of a story in the Bible. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs from under the Master table”. Matthew 15:22-28 I know this story and am amazed at the courage, faith and determination of this woman to receive healing for her daughter.
A Canaanite woman came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment. This woman was desperate over the hopelessness of her daughter’s condition: ‘whatever it takes Lord. ‘
The expression “even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the Master’s table” comes from OT times when the Orientals used their fingers at the table. They then cleaned their fingers by rubbing them with pieces of bread. These pieces (crumbs) were either thrown out the window or dropped on the floor, under the masters table. These ‘crumbs under the table’ speak of something of no value to be thrown away as refuse!
There is much to learn from these words. Here are 2 thoughts:
1. This was a Canaanite woman, not highly regarded in this region. She was from a race of idolatrous people known in Sodom and Gomorrah for their wicked behaviour. She, none the less, must have heard and observed Jesus and knew He was the only hope for her little girl. It took real courage to go beyond her social status, racism and seek Jesus for healing.
2. Jesus words to the Canaanite woman were very harsh. Many of us would be deeply offended and turn away. Not this woman, she appears to be deaf to anything but an answer of healing. If need be, she would humble herself and take the leftovers from the Master’s table. She would NOT give up. She was sure that even ‘crumbs” from Jesus would be more than enough for her child. Jesus replied: “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment
What an amazing, challenging story. I question my own heart; would I be willing to humble myself to this degree? How deep are my desires and willingness to humble myself before Him? It may be simply be that refusing to take offense from another, forgiving things we think are un-forgivable, showing love to someone ‘un-lovable, & choosing to bow to God’s ways. It’s a matter of keeping our hearts right before God at any cost. It’s about de-throning self as this woman did and bowing to the Master.
Today as I feed the birds, the Spirit reminds me that Jesus took my place on the Cross of Calvary. He gave His all so I can be forgiven and live. I don’t’ have to survive on “crumbs”, stale bread. Through the Cross, I am seated at His Table, the Table of His Word and a feast is available to me.
I challenge each of us: Will we come boldly but with humble hearts and feast at His Table.
I trust you too will be blessed as you feed, not just on crumbs but a full course of food of His Word from His table and don’t forget to invite the Holy Spirit to make His Word alive to you.
Do you need healing today? The little girl was healed “at His Word”