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March 1st: Crumbs

Today we get another devotional from Taryn Flake. On crumbs and faith. I am struck by how we often think that crumbs or seeds aren't enough. They are more than enough.




Scripture: Mark 7:24-37


Crumbs

Yay! Another passage about demons! That is actually not my focus today. I want to focus on the interaction between Jesus and the Syrophoenician woman. This interaction has always confused me. So after some research, let me hopefully explain it in case you are confused as well.


The first fact that is helpful in understanding the story is that because the woman was a Greek, this meant according to the Jews, she was unclean. Another word a Jew might have described her as would be a “dog,” not that cool kind of “dawg” or four-legged animal, but a derogatory “dog.”


The woman begs Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. Jesus replies, “First let the children eat all they want, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” (v. 27) Huh? Jesus is speaking in code here. If the children are the Israelites, the Jewish, the clean, then God’s teaching, or bread, isn’t currently being given to the Gentiles, the Greeks, the unclean, the dogs.


The woman catches on to Jesus’ parable lingo and realizes that all she needs from Jesus is a word and her daughter will be healed - just the crumbs of faith. So she replies, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” (v. 28) Based on her clever reply and understanding of His cryptic speaking, Jesus heals the daughter (v. 29-30). This faith reminds us of that of the centurion (Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-10), or the bleeding woman, who just needed to touch Jesus’ cloak (Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 9:25-34, Luke 8:43-48). The Syrophoenician woman’s faith is so great that she trusts that her daughter can be healed with just the word from Jesus, just the crumbs.


How often are we okay with just the crumbs of faith? We have all been through seasons where life is hard, life is busy, and it feels like we are all alone. Can we take the crumbs that Jesus is offering us? Maybe instead of hopping on your cell phone to check your email or Instagram for the billionth time, you stop and breathe and say a prayer to God. The Syrophoenician woman, the centurion, and the bleeding woman all were outcasts of society, but who had great faith - just crumbs of faith. If the crumbs of faith were enough for those we would consider the least of these, then they should be enough for us. Draw strength from those for whom just a little bit of faith was enough.

 

Questions:

  1. How do you find moments in your day to connect with Jesus when you are stressed, anxious, angry, frazzled?

  2. Do you have the faith that God will answer your prayers? Why?

  3. How does the faith of others give you strength?

 

Prayer:

Dear God, Thank You for extending the crumbs of faith to us, as Gentiles through the death of Your Son on the cross. Thank You for the example of those who have strong faith (the Syrophonecian woman, the centurion, the bleeding woman). Allow me to learn from these stories and examples and apply them in my own life and faith. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

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