As Jesus tries to quietly enter a home away from the crowds, a Greek woman falls at His feet begging Him to heal her demon-possessed daughter. Jesus responds, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” 😬 Yikes!
But if we look at the meaning behind His response, this is actually Jesus being loving, as He always is to anyone who throws themselves at His feet. The bread is the ministry of the Gospel and the little children are the Jews, God’s chosen people. We read on Oct 8th that Jesus told his disciples to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, not the Gentiles or a city of Samaritans (Matthew 10:6). By God’s design, the Jews are to be reached first. The dogs in Jesus’s statement are the Gentiles, as this is how the Jews perceive the Gentiles. Jesus came to die for all. Therefore, after His death and resurrection, Jesus will send his disciples out to the Gentiles as well as the Jews, just as God planned before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-7). God worked His plan through His chosen people, the Jews, but eternal life is available for anyone who puts their trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior.
So instead of getting offended at what Jesus said, the woman responds by saying, “’Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.’” Then Jesus answered and said to her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour.” 🙌
Jesus also has compassion on the multitudes, about 4,000 people, who have been with Him for 3 days with nothing to eat. Jesus tells His disciples His desire to feed the people. And the disciples question Him, “Where could we get enough bread in the wilderness to fill such a great multitude?” 🤔 Didn’t they just see Jesus feed 5,000 people with only five loaves and 2 fish (Matthew 14:13-21)? The disciples are still shaky in their faith. But Jesus simply asks them how many loaves do they have. Jesus knows the answer to this. He is asking for their benefit bc He is patiently working to grow their faith in Him. So when they respond 7 loaves and a few fish, Jesus does what Jesus always does…He makes possible what is seemingly impossible. He feeds the multitude until they are filled, leaving 7 baskets full of leftovers.
However, the Pharisees are still trying to trap Jesus by asking Him to show them a sign. 🙄Jesus rebukes them for not being discerning bc they are blinded to Him as the Messiah.
Jesus warns His disciples of the false doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees. The Pharisees believe in justification by works and elevate the man-made laws over God’s commands. The Sadducees believe there is no resurrection, angels, or spirit. Jesus has been clear that salvation is obtained by grace through faith in Jesus Christ who will die for our sins and rise 3 days later defeating death.
Tomorrow Jesus has an encounter with Elijah and Moses. Keep reading.
(Mark 7:24-30, Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 7:31-37, Matthew 15:29-31, Mark 8:1-10, Matthew 15:32-16:4, Mark 8:11-21, Matthew 16:5-12)