In light of all I’m doing this week and what I’m preparing for another online conference (which require me to design my own self sheet for my book and preparing a potential pitch,) I have asked my dad to help with today’s wisdom Wednesday: Prayers would be appreciated as I have no idea what I’m doing and my dad doesn’t either. I just want someone who sees the potential in my story and is willing to work with me. Anyway, here’s my dad’s blog:
A Wise Woman from Lebanon
The Gospels record that Jesus traveled north from Galilee into what is today Lebanon, into the area near two coastal cities, Tyre and Sidon. (Both cities exist today, Sidon, is called Saida today, and Tyre is called Sour in Arabic.) Gentiles of this region came to meet Him (Mark 3:8) and to be healed by Him (Luke 6:17).
In one visit north, Matthew recorded how Jesus encountered a wise woman who was a Canaanite – non-Jewish woman who was a descendant of the original people who dwelled in Canaan – the name of land along the coast of the Mediterranean (Numbers 13:29). The woman must have heard of Jesus, because she sought Him out and cried out “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”. But Jesus did not respond and the disciples asked Jesus to send her away. Jesus told the disciples that He had come not only for Jews, but also to reach non-Jewish people (like this Canaanite woman).
Perhaps, as Jesus stopped to explain this to the disciples, the woman came and worshiped and appealed to Jesus, “Lord, help me!” At this point, Jesus entered into one of the more unusual (and confusing to some) dialogues in the Gospels:
Jesus said to her, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
The woman responded, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
Now, did Jesus just refer to her as a “little dog” begging for good at the table? It seems very belittling! We have a nice little dog, Holly, at our house and she begs at the table for scraps of food. But to infer she was a dog! In those days, non-Jewish people were referred to as dogs, because the Jews considered them inferior spiritually since Jehovah had come to the Jews. Jesus came as Messiah (King) to the Jews, but the blessings of good King were also available to those the Jews considered to be dogs.
Rather than demeaning her, Jesus acknowledged her humbled attitude and exclaimed, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” Matthew simply states that her daughter was healed from that very hour. Her wisdom and faith led to the restoration of her daughter and a big lesson for the disciples who almost sent her away. (You can find this account in Matthew 15:22-28 and also in Mark 7:24-31.)
Why do we consider this dear woman to be wise? It is because she demonstrated the most fundamental elements of Godly wisdom:
- She feared God in reverence, calling Jesus Lord, Son of David a term respecting Jesus as the Messiah of Israel. (Proverbs 9:10″The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.)
- She humbly worshipped Jesus and appealed directly to Him, acknowledging her need. (Proverbs 11:2 But with the humble is wisdom) Her wise reverence and humility brought restoration to her family!