“The Little Dogs”

But He answered and said, “It is not good
to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs
which fall from their masters’ table.”
~ Matthew 15:26-27 ~

This is one of those exchanges which Jesus had with women that touches me deeply. You see, I was one of those little dogs.

The interaction between Jesus and a Canaanite woman speaks of persevering faith that continually presses into Him, in humility.

When this woman came to Jesus, she was humble and worshiped Him as Israel’s Messiah. She was desperate for help and wouldn’t let Jesus’ initial silence to her plea for mercy, nor the disciples efforts to get rid of her, stop her (Matthew 15:21-23). And though Jesus told her afterward, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” (verse 24), she persisted in a manner that told Him, “Yes, Lord, I know that You were sent to Israel, but we also need You; I need You! Help me!”

When He says, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs,” she wasn’t offended. She accepted the distasteful word and responded in humility and hope, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” You could say she “conquered” Him with her faith.

Jesus commends her, “‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour” (verse 28). 

C.H. Spurgeon said, “She had come to her last word, and now Christ gives her his best word. It is his way, sometimes, to make us wait till we are completely exhausted, and can say and do no more; then he comes in with the fulness of his divine power, and gives to us what we have importunately sought at his hands. Our extremity is his opportunity.”

This greatly encourages me. It’s faith that says, “Father, You’re present with me. You know what’s going on and how overwhelmed and discouraged I am, yet I put my trust in You, I won’t let go of You.” This faith, exhibited humbly, perseveres and presses into the heart of God and pleases Him. Faith takes us straight to the throne of God where we’ll receive mercy and grace from Him to carry us through whatever we’re going through (Hebrews 4:16), and if it’s according to His will, will obtain for us what we desire.

If you’re in a situation that is difficult or overwhelming, and there appears to be no way out or possibility of it being resolved, press in, don’t give up. Trust the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He knows what is going on in your life and already has an answer for you. He wants us to “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12, NIV).

He’s also called us to daily “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). We show our faith (trust or confidence) in Him by this:  Every day, regardless of whether our circumstances change or not, we praise, worship, and spend time with Him. When we do this, we give Him the opportunity to adjust our perspective and minister to us.

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Father, You knew we needed You and sent Jesus to redeem us. Once, we were “little dogs” who were separated from You, but Jesus came and found us, loved us, and when we received His gift of life by grace through faith, You adopted us and made us Your own. Father, You “made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6).

Help us to walk by faith and trust You to lead us in the way we should go. Help us to have faith that amazes You and brings You glory and honor. In the name of Jesus, amen.

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