In bowing she conquered.
By refusing denial she found the answer she desired.
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:14-16
The writer of Hebrews hadn’t copied these words yet, but somehow this Greek woman knew the truth about Jesus. And when the opportunity came, she was there. At His feet, petitioning His help and power and the healing only He could provide.
What mother’s heart wouldn’t crumble every time she watched, agonizing, helpless, as her child’s body and mind writhe from demonic influence?
She hadn’t given up, though—even when Christ rebuked her for impertinence.
Yet, maybe it wasn’t a rebuke at all, but more of a challenge, to verify the basis of her request.
It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs, He told her.
Humble, honest, but bold came the rebuttal:
Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.
And the Teacher acquiesced.
Her answer trumped His for one reason:
For this response of such great faith, you have your request. Your daughter is now whole. You may go back home.
Perhaps she looked up and met His eyes, smiling in gratitude, weeping from relief. I imagine Him smiling and nodding before continuing on His way.
On the ground she remained. Stunned, elated. Finally, it’s over. She was torn, between wanting to run home, and wanting to hold onto the moment—to savor the wonder of humanity meeting the One Divine.
The crowd passed by on both sides, giving this crazy woman space, fearing whatever ailed her to be contagious. Anxious to leave her in the dust.
And there she stayed, glad to hear their babblings fade into the distance. Satisfied to be left alone, to mentally replay the events of the past hour over and over again.
To be amazed at the power of His spoken words.
Bathing in the immensity of His compassion.
And just being, worshiping, reveling in speechlessness.
To know He understands.
When reaching the house, she found her daughter resting quietly, completely healed.
It is true!
They held each other for hours, caressing, whispering, hugging… talking about everything and laughing over nothing, and just being content in being together.
At last, her family was at peace.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Jesus’ silence in no way indicated denial, although His words hinted it wasn’t her place to ask a favor. After all, He had not sought her out. But He had come, to where she would be. Knowing He would be sought by her… anticipating her need, expecting to grant her request.
Because He already knew.
Because He knows all.
And because He is fully aware of every need, public and private, yours and mine.
No step taken, no word to pass from His lips, no activity engaged in was ever wasted or without purpose. He went to where she could find Him.
And He wants to be found by you.
In a delicate balance of reverence and the almost obnoxious audacity of not letting go, of refusing to accept rejection, this woman asked for bread, and received the Bread of Life.
(Remember Jacob’s night of wrestling in the dust with the angel?
I will not let you go until you bless me. – Genesis 32:26)
Jesus left the Sea of Galilee and the region of Gennesaret, crossing the border of Israel to visit the towns of Tyre and Sidon. At that point of His earthly ministry He had not reached out to non-Jews. But He never refused one who came to Him in faith—not a Gentile, no woman or child, not the destitute or diseased, crippled or poor, not the rejects of society.
When He comes near to me, how do I respond?
And although Christ’s ministry began in Israel, it extends today to every island, every continent, every culture.
God’s children are not dogs or scavengers or family pets. At another place in the Gospels He calls us Friends. And He has more than a few crumbs of favor for us. He is more than generous. But He wants to see our faith.
Nothing pleases God more than trust exhibited, and nothing grieves His heart as unbelief.
In persistent asking and by continual wrestling for what is right, we will see victory. Whether God gives it in great chunks or handfuls of crumbs, the point is that He offers to those who crave the grace He wants to give.