Both Matthew and Mark record the narrative of Jesus being begged by a Syrophoenician woman to help her daughter. The daughter was grievously vexed with a demon. Image the desperate emotion of a loving mother who is helpless in caring for her child! Further, recognize that the woman, being a Gentile, was not considered “worthy” of the help of any Israelite, let alone the Lord Himself! The Lord’s disciples refused her; they even came to Jesus and begged Him to send her away for “she [cried] after [them].” Can you grasp how insignificant this woman felt; how despised and rejected and worthless she must have felt? And it was all because they left her thinking, “No one cares about me, and especially not my daughter!”
In absolute disparity, she comes to Jesus in as humble and as pleading a fashion as she knows how and says, “Lord, help me!” Change the emphasis from word to word: how did she express it? And note carefully she truly did not ask for herself, but in concern for her daughter! The Lord pointed out her unworthiness, to which she responded, “Truth, Lord. But the dogs (the unworthy) eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” The Lord’s response: “O woman, great is thy faith.” It wasn’t difficult for the Lord to help her, and He wanted to help her. He recognized her faith, and one can’t help but muse on the lesson taught to His disciples as they witnessed Him helping this worthy, faithful woman – regardless of their consideration of her worthiness or unfaithfulness!
I muse on how often such opportunities arise in our lives, and if we even notice the opportunities! So frequently, souls are simply looking for a friend, a smile, someone to talk to, someone to simply express friendliness, care, and interest in them! But because they are a little “different” than our “expectations” we don’t grant them the courtesy of simple acknowledgment! How would WE feel if such refusal were extended toward us? Are we better than they? Would it not be wiser, friendlier, and more conducive to learning about their spiritual needs, were we to treat them with the kindness we would desire from others? (Matthew 7:12)
I muse on how powerful simplicity is: a simple “It’s nice to meet you,” or “I noticed you’re having trouble with … can I help you?” People appreciate acknowledgment from others; a means of showing interest in them and their concerns. “Can you help me?” isn’t hard to ask … and it should never be hard to answer!!