I really, really enjoy the band U2. Are you a fan? One of their songs came on the radio once, and I said to my sweet friend Shelley, â€œI love U2.â€ And she said, â€œAw, I love you, too.â€ Seriously. That was funny. One really cool song on their How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb album is called Crumbs from Your Table. And one of the most powerful lyrics comes from the chorus: â€œYou speakâ€¦in signs and wonders. But I need something other. I would believe, if I was able, but Iâ€™m waiting on the crumbs, from your table.â€
If I could hazard a guess, since the musicians in U2 are fairly faith-filled guys, they are speaking about a very cool story that is recorded in Matthew 15, and in Mark 7. I promised yesterday I’d talk about the woman whose faith was proved and improved, and this is her story. She was a Syro-Phonecian, in case you were wondering, and her daughter was demon-possessed. Okay before I lose you, tune in the story gets better.
I guess when Jesus showed up on the scene miraculously healing people and speaking with all this power and authority, word kinda got around and people started taking notice. This woman from Canaan was one of those folks who took notice, and when she heard Jesus was going to be around, she was on the first camel headed in his direction. When her camel finally got there, she came to Jesus with a fairly simple request. My daughter is sick, and from what Iâ€™ve been hearing, you are able to make her better. Would you please?Â It reminds me of this little mouse in Asherâ€™s Jungle Babies book. Tangent! The little mouse is the last little creature in the Jungle Babies book, and he says, â€œIâ€™m a Jungle Mouse. I like to eat cheese. If you have some, could I have it please.â€ I think itâ€™s kind of forward for the mouse to just ask for my cheese if I have any, but I guess he likes it, and heâ€™s saying please so, yeah, if I had some, Iâ€™d probably give it to him. Heâ€™s a cute mouse after all.
But back to Jesus. This sweet little S-P lady shows up all gentle, humbly honouring Jesus and, perhaps like the Jungle Baby Mouse, says, â€œIf you do that, could you for me please?â€ Iâ€™m sure youâ€™re expecting the next line to be, and so Jesus did, the end and they all lived happily ever after till the end of their days. But Iâ€™m afraid itâ€™s not so!
Jesus didnâ€™t even say, â€œUghâ€¦no.â€ At first He didnâ€™t even answer her! But she kept bothering him and His disciples got really bovvered and said, â€œWell heck, if youâ€™re not gonna help her at least tell her to ske-daddle!â€ And Jesus said, â€œI was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.â€
But she persisted and kept worshiping and saying, â€œYou have cheese and I love cheese, please please please!â€ Well not exactly but you get the idea. And then Jesus said, (and Iâ€™m not making this up, this is actually in the text) â€œIt is not good to take the childrenâ€™s bread and throw it to the little dogs.â€Â To which she replied (seriously) â€œYes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their mastersâ€™ table.â€ And Jesus answered and said to her, (back to me paraphrasing) â€œWow! You have really, really great faith! Let this thing youâ€™re hoping for happen for you just like you hope it will.â€ And her daughter was healed right then.
It seems like Jesus was being harsh with this woman. He was sent first to the lost sheep of Israel, but did he have to be so abrupt about it? In actual fact, Jesus actually proved and improved her faith over the course of this conversation. She believed Jesus was good. She believed He was able to do what she hoped He could. And even when it appeared on the surface that He might not be so good to her, she pressed on, and continued believing He was good. The text says she worshiped Him even more after He said no. I wonder how often some of us might receive the things we are believing God for if we would press in — if we would not give up and lose heart because on the surface things are not looking so good. Her perseverance paved the way for an incredible miracle, and for her story to be spoken of for centuries to come. Her faith has been spoken of ever since this incident occurred.Â And she received what she believed she would — she went home to a daughter, well and whole.
If you don’t believe that Jesus was who He said He was, you might be asking for a sign — for God to show up with some sign, like some magic trick that would confirm your faith. If you want someone to just prove to you that He’s real, or explain how bad things happen if God’s good, you are probably waiting on crumbs from God’s table. You could be enjoying the meal that’s on the table — the full feast of the goodness of God, but you are asking for crumbs before you’ll believe. If you’ve made it far enough into this blog to still be reading at this point, and you aren’t already following Jesus, I’d like to issue you a challenge.
The Good News is God has more than crumbs for you — He has a life of faith for you, greater than any magic trick, or sign or wonder. And if you diligently seek Him, He will reward you for it. That doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to levitate heavy objects or bend a spoon with your mind. But it does mean you can find peace, joy, and wholeness in the presence of God. The Bad News is, whether you want to admit it or not, you are a sinner. You have done things wrong, and you’ve offended a Holy God. Although your personal belief may be that God doesn’t exist, take a second to consider the possibility that you’re wrong, and the possibility that your incorrect presupposition could have eternal ramifications. We are all sinners in need of a Saviour, and there’s only One who paid the price for our forgiveness. If you diligently seek Him, you will find Him. And He’ll have more than crumbs at the table for you when you show up.