Matt 15:21-28
Just A Crumb

As for as we know, this story occurred the only time Jesus ever left
the nation of Israel.  \\#21\\ tells us that for some reason, Jesus
had traveled north to the trade cities of Tyre and Sidon.  That is
about 100 miles north of Jerusalem, outside of Israel’s borders, and
is definitely Gentile.

While in that area, Jesus met a woman—or rather a woman met Jesus.
Let’s consider her for a few moments this morning.

    I. \\#22\\ She was a desperate woman.
        A. She was desperate because her daughter is demon possessed.
            1. Neither Matthew nor Mark ever introduce us to the
                daughter.  It is likely that she was not present at
                this encounter.
            2. And the Bible writers do not tell us what the symptoms
                of the daughter were, only that the symptoms were
                caused by a demon.
                a. Some who were afflicted with demons had physical
                    problems (i.e. could not see or speak).
                b. Others were violent, even suicidal to themselves
                   (i.e. casting themselves into the fire, cutting
                c. Still others seemed mad (i.e. living among the
            3. Whatever the daughters symptoms were, there was no
                mistake in the cause.  The mother knew she was
                possessed by a demon.
        B. She was desperate because the situation was hopeless.
            1. If a child breaks an arm, you go to the doctor.
            2. If a child knocks out a tooth, you go to the dentist.
            3. Where do you go when a child is possessed by a demon?
            4. Hollywood and some religions would tell us you go to
                an exorcist.
                a. However, Jesus told us that Satan does not cast
                    out Satan.
                b. Lost people have no power over demons.  Even if
                    they were to get one demon out of a person, Jesus
                    told us that more demons—more in number and more
                    in wickedness—would come back.
            5. The only one who can get a demon out is God and the
                only ones who represent God are born-again
            6. There were not many true worshipers of God in Canaan
                during that time period.
        C. She was desperate because her daughter’s condition meant
            she was lost.  People may not think of the eternal when
            they are facing the here and now but the eternal is
            always the most important element in every situation.

   II. She was a doubting woman.
        A. There is no Bible verse for that thought but it had to be
            true.  After all, who is going to hear the stories of
            Jesus and not have some doubts?
        B. Can you imagine what she must have heard?
            1. There were stories of Jesus healing the blind, causing
                the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, the mute to
            2. Would you believe such stories if they were being told
                about a man over in Mississippi?
                a. Would you even bother going to Mississippi to see
                    if it were true?
                b. No.  You would not and neither would I.
                c. This woman had not bothered traveling into Israel
                    to see if the stories were true either.
            3. And the stories got more extreme.
                a. there were stories about Jesus raising people
                    from the dead!
                b. And there were plenty of stories about Him casting
                    out demons.
            4. With all of the stories she heard, I am certain the
                woman must have thought about Jesus and her daughter,
                but the doubts were there.
        C. I understand doubts when it comes to Jesus and salvation.
            1. I am not saying I have any, just that I understand
                having them.
            2. I do not understand having any doubts that there is a
                a. The people in this age did not.  They had enough
                    sense to know that all that you see could not
                    just have happened.
                b. That kind of ignorance is of recent origins.
            3. But accepting that Jesus is the God who created the
                universe and holds it in place, that I can
                a. Jesus would have to offer some proof.
                b. He’d have to do some miracles to prove that He was
                    that God—but wait a minute.  That is what He was
                    doing, wasn’t it?
            4. I can understand doubting that if Jesus was God, that
                He would want to help me.
                a. I am sure that is what this mother thought.
                b. Jesus, a Jew, thought by some to be the Jewish
                    Messiah, why would He want to help me?
                c. He would have to make some effort to show me that
                    He loved me.  He’d have to come to me since I
                    can’t get to Him—but wait a minute, that is what
                    He was doing by coming to Tyre and Sidon.  Isn’t
                d. By the way, that is what Jesus did when He came to
                    this planet!
            5. I can understand doubting that even if Jesus is God
                and even if He wants to help me that I could afford
                a. Surely, for such a miracle, God would want some
                    thing in payment.
                b. In this account, the woman was not told but He
                    does want something.  Jesus wants you to be His
                    the remainder of your life.
            6. I can even understand that last hesitance.  That last
                bit of doubt when you can not quite put your finger
                on what you are doubting but you just are not sure.
                a. The last step that we must take is a two-fold
                    (1) It is a step of obedience.
                    (2) It is a step of faith.
                b. There is not by passing either of them.
                    (1) You must surrender to God.
                    (2) You must take a leap of faith.
            7. How much faith is required?  Just enough to find out.
                a. You do not have to have all of your questions
                    answered, all of your doubts settled.
                b. You just have to have enough faith that you are
                    going to take Jesus at His word and find out if
                    He is real or not.
        D. One last thought about the doubt that holds us back.
            1. Sometimes, you just can’t afford not to believe.
            2. This woman had a daughter who was in terrible danger
                to herself, to others, to her eternity.
            3. She simply could not afford NOT to believe, especially
                when Jesus was so close.
            4. By the way, when it comes to salvation, you can’t
                afford not to believe either.  It is your soul!

  III. \\#23-27\\ She was a determined woman.
        A. I do not know how much faith this woman had but she had
            enough that she was going to find out whether Jesus could
            or would heal or daughter or not.
        B. Nothing was going to stop her from finding out.  Which was
            good, for there were some obstacles.
            1. She had to get Jesus’ attention.
                a. Mark gives us an additional detail.  Jesus did not
                    want anyone to know He was there.

Mark 7:24  And from thence he arose, and went
into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered
into an house, and would have no man know it: but
he could not be hid.

                b. I do not know why that is the case.
                    (1) If it was anyone but Jesus I would say it was
                         a plan doomed to failure.
                    (2) If 13 orthodox Jewish men come marching down
                         the street of any Gentile village are going
                         to get notice even if one of them is not
                         known as a miracle Worker.
                c. \\Matt 15:22\\ To remedy that condition, the woman
                    "cried unto him."
                    (1) The word "cried" means to call out.
                    (2) It is not a word to imply the use of a meek
                         (a) \\#John 11:40\\ When Jesus called
                              Lazarus out of the tomb.
                         (b) \\#John 18:40\\ When the people demanded
                              Barabbas be released and Jesus be
                         (c) \\#John 19:6\\ When Pilate was trying to
                              get the people to let Jesus go but they
                              insisted He be crucified.
                    (3) A woman speaking to a man in this kind of
                         voice would be pushing the rules of
                         etiquette but especially a Gentile woman to
                         a Jewish man.
            2. She had to get past the disciples.
                a. Typically, the disciples were a helpful lot.  They
                    work to get people TO Jesus not keep them away.
                b. But here, their human, Jewish, sinful nature comes
                    (1) Perhaps this was another of those trips that
                         Jesus planned so the disciples could rest
                         and it was falling apart AGAIN.
                    (2) Perhaps their Jewish prejudice against
                         Gentiles was showing.
                    (3) Perhaps their national prejudice against the
                         the Canaanites was showing.  The Jews were
                         supposed to have destroyed the Canaanites
                         centuries ago.
                c. For whatever the reason, the disciples wanted the
                    woman gone.
            3. She had to get past what seems like Jesus’
                indifference and rejection.
                a. \\#23\\ At first, Jesus ignored the woman.
                b. \\#24\\ Then He rejected her.
                c. \\#26\\ Then He insulted her.
                d. Why would Jesus treat this woman this way?
                    (1) Remember I told you that the last steps are
                         obedience and faith?
                    (2) I also said that you have to have the faith
                         to find out.  To take this question to the
                    (3) Jesus wanted to see if she did.
                    (4) If she left before she got her answer, she
                         did not have enough faith.
                e. I have found myself doing something similar.
                    (1) When I get an opportunity to witness to
                         someone, to make certain that I have not
                         talked someone in to getting saved, I try to
                         talk them out of it.
                    (2) I asked them if they are willing to obey
                         Jesus the rest of their lives or if they
                         really believe that Jesus rose from the
                         dead.  Those kinds of questions.
                    (3) Why?  Because if they can be so easily
                         discouraged from asking Jesus to come into
                         their heart, they do not yet have the faith
                         and obedience necessary to be saved.
        C. By the way, as a Christian, have you ever felt that God
            was ignoring you?
            1. You had a need and you did not get the answer you
            2. Or you just prayed but did not feel the presence of
            3. It always takes enough faith to find out.

   IV. \\#27-28\\ She was a desiring woman.
        A. What did she desire?
            1. You say, "She desired her daughter’s healing."
            2. Yes, that is true; but she put her request before the
                Lord in a different way.
        B. She wanted but a crumb.
            1. A crumb?  She called her daughter’s healing a crumb?
            2. Yes, if Jesus is God, what she was asking for was but
                a crumb.
        C. Jesus had just said that He was Jewish and had come to
            give the meal to the Jews.
            1. This woman could understand that.
            2. She was not attempting to steal the Jew’s meal.
            3. Just give me a crumb and I will be satisfied!
                a. A crumb from God’s table will heal my daughter.
                b. A crumb from God’s table will quite the
                c. A crumb from God’s table will forgive my sins.
                d. A crumb from God’s table will make a place of some
                    sorts for me in heaven.
                e. Just give me a crumb, O Lord.
            4. What a statement of faith!
        D. In case you are wondering, God did not give her a crumb.
            1. God has no crumbs.
            2. God pulled a chair up to a banquet table and let this
                Gentile woman enjoy a feast.
            3. Granted, the Gentiles and Jews do not eat at the same
                table.  (Theirs is a kingdom.  Ours is heaven.)
            4. But I will rejoice whole-heartedly for all eternity
                for my table just as much as I am certain the Jews
                will rejoice for theirs!
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