Summary: This is a call to examine our hearts through a thought provoking and shocking story to determine what type of faith we have.
Crumbs of Faith
by Rev. Andrew Chan
Valentine’s Day, what shall I preach on?
Since we have been going through Mark I thought we continue…
Tempted not to preach on this. Rather difficult esp. on Valentine’s Day!
Seems like not a very convincing love story…or is it?
Shocking to hear, is it not?
What is Jesus trying to do here? Why did he say what he said? Not the most romantic…
Racist?? Dogs??? Even in that culture it is not a very highly esteemed term to use.
What is this all about?
Remember in 1 Sam.17:43 Goliath said to David “Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks?”
term of contempt
But is Jesus showing contempt here?
Let’s look closely.
Look at how Jesus phrased it “First, let the children eat all they want….”
i.e. there’re seconds, thirds. Etc. they will be leftovers….
Matthew Henry - intimates that there is mercy leftover, held in reserve and there seems to be also indications that the children are playing their food (refusal of Jews re: Jesus)
primary mission - Jews (v.24-25) and preparing disciples teaching them (9:30-31) -time is short
specific mission Declaration in Gal.3:28 in Mk.3:19
even in Mark’s writing of this Gospel tells of inclusion of Gentiles see context of Chap.7
with numerous parenthesis to explain to non-Jewish readers and appeal to them
But why dogs, emotionally laden word?
Is Jesus encouraging us to label others as dogs?
To us who read it, it seems so inconsistent with Jesus, isn’t it?
How come woman did not seem offended?
Yeah, treat me like a dog will ya….?
1. She really wanted her daughter healed
2. what if there was a twinkle in Jesus’ eye as FF Bruce would suggest as he spoke
“You know what we Jews are supposed to think of you Gentiles, do you think it is right for
you to come and ask…” Written record cannot convey tone of voice?
3. Not pariah street dogs implied here household pets children’s playmates, loved and cared for and do get leftovers after children ate
4. woman knew it, that’s why quick to answer crumbs, not asking for leftover lasagna,
just the crumbs that comes with the garlic bread served with it, that’s enuff to cure
crumbs of faith
Jesus was aware of her faith in him, daughter was healed immediately,
And how is this story of the encounter of the Greek woman with Jesus relevant for today?
What’s story about?
Here’s the valentine day slant I’m giving today’s sermon answer, this story is about hearts, two kinds of hearts?
1st heart - Heart of Unbelief - e.g. Pharisee Describe… self-sufficient kind of faith
2nd Heart - Heart of Belief - crumbs kind of faith
Faith that responded “as soon as she heard about him” (v.25)
Faith that recognizes Jesus is someone greater she “fell at his feet” (v.25)
Faith that requested boldly she was Greek,(v.26) even though she knew no right to it
crumbs will do,
but yet hoped she would based on what she knew and heard about Jesus, i.e. it was a
Faith that trusted Jesus’ character and power
Contrast is made between
male Pharisees and teachers of law who were of Jesus’ own race, and even the disciples
who saw firsthand miracles and whose hearts were hardened (6:52) and minds dull (7:8)