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)
and the woman of no particular education, another race outside of the covenant, who just heard about Jesus
Pharisees thinking they were better than Jesus with their traditions
Contrast of Gentile that has “unclean” written all over them
Acknowledge the damage sin has done
Can’t see sin at all, in fact complain that others sin and not them (7:5)
Did you hear about the farmer that decided to buy a chain saw?
A logging foreman sold him one that he guaranteed would cut down 15 trees in a single day.
A week later, a very unhappy farmer came back to report that the power saw must be faulty - it averaged only 3 trees a day. The foreman grabbed the saw, pulled the cord, and the saw promptly went “Bzzzzzzzz.”
“Hey” demanded the startled farmer, “what’s that noise?”
I wonder if we’re kinda like that farmer, we just don’t get it….
Can’t see how faith works - all we can say is “hey what’s that noise?” –loud complaining.
Can’t see how ineffective and inadequate our lives are when we trust our own goodness rather than the goodness of God shown through Jesus.
The place was a suburb of Detroit. The speaker, Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel. The subject: "After Auschwitz, Can We Still Believe!" Jews and Gentiles alike filled the great synagogue to listen to the recollections of one who survived the furnaces of Dachau. Thin and fragile, Wiesel stood at the podium for nearly an hour telling one story after another of the horror and despair of those bleak days in the ’30s. His stories were of people confused with their imprisonment and sometimes destroyed with their release. Painfully, silently, the audience relived the events of Wiesel’s young life when he was the only surviving member of his family. Finally the stories