Isn’t it funny whenever someone says, “No offense, but…” and you just know something super offensive is about to come flying out of their mouth? No judgement, I’m sure I’ve done the same thing.
We seem to be living in a culture where it is almost fashionable to be offended. If we’re not upset about how we are personally being treated, we’re offended on behalf of someone else!
Injustice is not cool! It is not God’s heart to see people mistreated. So, you could imagine my surprise when I read the story of the Syrophonecian woman that approached Jesus to help her daughter (Matthew 15:21-28).
How brave that Momma must have been to muster up the courage and go into a place where she was categorically unwelcome. She was not a man, nor a Jew. But there is nothing that can stop a Momma when her child is suffering.
Boldly she approaches the only One who could send the demons flying: Jesus, her only hope. She cries out to him for mercy and… he totally ignores her! Cringe! Jesus, how could you not see this desperate Momma and reach out to help her.
Momma does not relent. She doesn’t care if everyone is socially uncomfortable or staring at her. Her eye is on the prize: freedom for her child. “Please, Jesus, my daughter is tormented. Make it stop!”
Surely Jesus will help this desperate woman? But instead he replies: “Why should I give the children’s bread to the dogs?” Wait, what? Jesus, you didn’t just call that poor woman a dog?!
Honestly, at that point I don’t know if I would have had it in me to have a graceful response. I would’ve run out of there! Embarrassed. Disappointed. Offended.
But this Momma did not let anything interfere with the miracle she needed. Humbly, she replied: “Well, even the dogs get to eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table.” That one phrase, contained a seed of faith, that unlocked her miracle.
Offence steals our miracles!
The Syrophonecian woman’s story makes me wonder how many times I have missed out on a breakthrough, because I allowed offense access to my heart.
What would have happened to her precious daughter if she got offended at being ignored, or by being called a dog?
Often times we don’t see God working all things for our good, when we are being overlooked or mistreated. It’s easy to get mad and upset, especially when our perspective is so limited and we can’t see the bigger picture.
Proverbs 19:11 says it so beautifully… “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger. It is his glory to overlook an offense.”
This Momma’s superpower was overlooking an offense, and it lead her to experience the glory of God.
A hidden opportunity…
From what I know about Jesus, I am pretty confident that his intention was not to humiliate this woman. What if he was offering her an opportunity to partner her faith with his miracle working power?
What seemed like an outright rejection was an opportunity to declare what she truly believed in her heart. An opportunity to release her faith.
She must have heard a lot of stories about all the miracles that Jesus performed. Enough to drive her into a house filled with people who despised her and would have no qualms about throwing her out.
Whatever is hiding in our hearts tends to make an appearance, when things don’t go the way we planned. For this marvellous Momma it wasn’t pride, or fear, or hopelessness that showed its face. It was faith: a confident expectation in the goodness and power of the One she was approaching.
Our merit or God’s goodness?
You see, this Momma knew that Jesus didn’t heal people because they were good, but because He is good. Even the crumbs are good enough when He is your master.
How many times have I walked away from what appeared to be a dead end. Thinking that God was witholding my breakthrough from me, because I can’t measure up to his standards? Or feeling offended as I have been doing all the good stuff, but never get the breakthrough? Do you not see what a good person I’m being, God? Do you not care about my pain?
This beautiful Momma had the right attitude: I’ll gladly be the dog, Jesus, as long as I can be YOUR dog!
Whether you feel like the favourite child in the household or the dog under the table, you have a good master. The truth is that you have a seat at the table because of His goodness and not because of your performance, or even the enormity of your need.
This Momma inspires me! To have the boldness to approach God with confidence and faith in HIS goodness. Focusing on HIM, instead of my pain or my performance, will allow His goodness to flow to me and meet my every need.
Today, I hear God saying: “Do not disqualify yourself from the promises I made to you. It is not about what you do, or do not do, but about what I have done for you. Take your seat at my table, where I have provided for every need you will ever have. You are my child and I love you.” ❤