Understanding Bible Faith! Great Faith? Even Dogs Eat the Crumbs from the Masters’ Table! Part 11
(Ver 1.3) Today is Part 11 in a series of advanced lessons on Understanding Bible faith. If you have not been reading this series from the beginning I would recommend that you go and start with “Part 1”. I think I shocked people with my last Bible lesson on faith and sex. It is amazing how many people read it but did not comment. What do you think when God said you can clearly see the invisible qualities of me in the things that I have made (Romans 1:20)? When I read that verse it made me start looking around at the things that God has made and then I would attempt to learn about God from them, but I guess many people close their eyes and ignore the fact that God made things like sex and marriage and they pretend they don’t exist. As a result they miss the obvious spiritual things in the Bible that God is trying to teach them. You need to start becoming a Sherlock Holmes type of Christian detective and start looking for God in the clues that He has created all around you, for you to find. These are the invisible things of God hidden in plain sight. If you like this series of lessons and have learned something, be brave and leave me a comment.
Faith is a complex subject found in the Bible. God teaches us something about faith in practically every book of the Bible. Faith is a predominate theme of the Bible. Yet so many people do not understand it or they would understand that God says that without it you will never please Him (Heb 11:6). This subject of Bible faith is complex because it involves many other dependent factors and subjects that are also taught in the Bible. In previous lessons, I taught you that everyone in the world has faith in one thing or the other. But, few people have faith in God and His Word. If you believe that Buddha is your way to the state of eternal happiness, then you will soon be very disappointed, but you at least do have faith in Buddha. Jesus the God of the Bible taught us that there is a very narrow way to God that few find and He taught us to search for this path (Mat 7:14). Since we know that Jesus is this path (John 14:6) and that He was the only way to the Father we can have confidence in His words as being faithful and true, if we have believed in Him. Today I heard the national news report on an upcoming book written by a self-proclaimed man of God. You must realize that just because a man says he is a Christian and writes a book, does not mean what is written is based upon the truth. This preacher is teaching people in error and has written a book that claims there is no hell. What an ignorant deceived blind man. Here is what God says about this man’s opinion:
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
We are living in the last days as this scripture is being fulfilled right now. The sinners of the world are departing rapidly from sound doctrine and they want to exalt men who will teach only what they want to hear. A spirit of tolerance and acceptance is what they are after and they will flock to a deceiver whose lies scratch their itchy ears. Beware when a man ignores a large part of the Bible to teach you another part while misapplying it. The word “hell” occurs over 50 times in the KJV Bible. It is also referred to many other times in other scriptures while not being directly named. For example, Jesus spoke frequently about it, telling you there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth there (Mat 8:12, Mat 13:42, 13:50, Mat 22:13, Mat 24:51, Mat 25:30 to show you 6 references found in only 1 book of the Bible). This blind man is teaching that a loving God would not send people to hell. We obviously understand from scripture that God is love and I do not deny this fact. However, this man has exalted one truth in the Bible and has made it the entire truth and this is a very dangerous type of man to follow. You see he is ignoring the Holiness of God, the Wrath of God, the Power of God, and the Judgments of God in favor of only the Love of God. If you do not balance your theology and teaching with every truth in the Bible you are falling into error and deception. You see, I do not deny the fact that God so loved the world that He gave Himself as a sacrifice for us. What I am teaching you today, is that there is more in the Bible than Love. I’ve already written other Bible lessons on this subject of “Why Do People Go to Hell”, and “The Biblical Evidence for the Existence of Hell”. So if you want to know the truth go and read about it, otherwise I’ll miss you in heaven.
I’m sorry I got off the subject of faith, but liars and deceivers cause me to get into righteous anger. I do not appreciate people who are leading others down a path of destruction simply to sell a book and to make some money. Somebody needs to stand up and tell the truth regardless of what it costs them. I have determined to try to do this. Today’s lesson is about “How to have great faith”. If you have read this series you know that your faith is measureable. You also know that your faith level can vary from none to overflowing. Jesus only looked at two people in the Gospels and told them they had great faith. This was not a derogatory put down; rather it was a praise of the highest magnitude from the Supreme Spiritual Power of the Universe. Jesus tells us very clearly in the Gospels that He was looking for people with faith while He was here on the earth. It further goes on to say that He will be looking for people with faith when He returns for us (Luke 18:8). So it must still be important to learn how to have great faith today. When Jesus ran across individuals who possessed a level of faith that exceeded His expectations, Jesus would stop and marvel saying “I have not found so great of faith in all of Israel”. Therefore, we are going to examine these people that marveled Jesus to find out, why they had such great faith and see if we can become a God marvel also. We will begin with this verse about a woman that caught God’s attention:
Mat 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
I want you to notice in this verse that the Bible says because of this woman’s great faith, her daughter was made whole again. The Greek word translated as “made whole” means to cure or heal. We can therefore conclude the daughter was sick or diseased. The majority of the time when people came to Jesus asking for help it was because they needed physical healing. So today’s lesson is about how to receive healing from God and you might need to know this also, because He is still the same today as He was back then (Heb 13:8). This is actually a very good faith lesson found in the Bible to learn from. We will back up in the chapter and go verse by verse through the information to learn from the context of how this woman possessed such great faith.
Mat 15:21 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
Here is Jesus going into the outer fringes of Canaan into the Gentile population. In these days the Jews mostly settled in and around Jerusalem, but the cities outside of this realm were heavily populated with the Gentile nations. I want to point out that Tyre and Sidon are not even close to Jerusalem. The cities were on the Mediterranean coast nearly 30 miles from the Sea of Galilee through mountainous terrain. Jesus was obviously getting far away from the Jews to be in such a place. It also had to take Jesus significant time to travel to reach this area. You might recall that I have said before that God will move heaven and earth to get to someone with faith and I believe that Jesus is not in this area by chance or accident. Keep this in mind as we continue through the lesson.
Mat 15:22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
Now we are told about the woman for the first time. She is being described to us as a person that is from the coast. She is also described to be a Canaanite which is the greater region’s name sake. Canaan consists of a broad stretch of land and is often called Palestine by many non-Jewish people. This is a wide land area that encompasses land from south of Jerusalem all the way to the north where Tyre and Sidon are located. We know from Genesis 9:18 that Canaan was a son of Ham, one of the three sons of Noah saved in the ark by God. So the Canaanites were descendants from this branch of the family of Noah. It is also interesting to note that in Genesis 9 that Canaan is cursed to be a servant of his brothers by Noah. These are just interesting Bible background facts that are good to note. When I read this story of the Canaanite woman in Matthew, I wondered how the description and message of Jesus had reached a woman all the way on the coast. It is obvious that news traveled in this land even without cell phones. Also note that she is not a Jew, but she calls Jesus the Son of David a covenant title of respect and honor. It also implies that she understood what God had said to David in the O.T. that David’s Son would sit on his throne forever. God had told David that his son would build God a house for His name and He would sit upon your throne. I also wondered how she knew it was Jesus. Was it the presence of the disciples with Jesus or was it what He was wearing, or how He was acting or speaking? Jesus obviously did not walk around with a giant name tag hanging around his neck saying “I’m the Son of David Your Messiah”. Neither was Jesus identifiable by a halo around His head. The angels of the Lord did not surround Him with a visible wall of protection and His appearance had to resemble every other man. It does not say that Jesus has spoken or taught anyone directly in this area. I could only find the following scripture about Tyre and Sidon in Mark:
Mar 3:8 And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.
It would appear that information about Jesus spread by word of mouth. I could not find a direct reference where Jesus ever taught in these cities, yet it clearly says the people there heard of Him and came looking for Him. So when a stranger comes to your town, do you automatically assume it is Jesus the Messiah? I honestly do not know how to answer that question. There was something that this woman must have heard about Him to cause her to know it was Him. We have learned that the Bible says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. So we can easily assume that since Jesus said this woman had faith, she must have heard the Word of God at some time in her recent past. We are told that she comes to Jesus and asks Him to deliver her daughter from a devil. What was Jesus’ reaction to the words of this woman? This is where the story starts to really get good to me.
Mat 15:23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
Silence was the answer from the Master. That is not what she was after, was it? The disciples who were with Jesus asked Him to send her away. They think that they are the reason for her presence, but they are clearly confused. She had not said anything to them at all. I want to introduce you to a new factor for having great faith and a new partner to receiving anything from God. What does it take to come and ask anyone for help? In the world we live in there are homeless people everywhere you turn. What does it take for them to ask for help? Wow, that is a tough question for people with pride to answer. You can clearly understand that it takes humility to come to ask anyone for help. Of course if you are desperate then you might say people act out of desperation. But, even desperate people can die with pride and not ask for help. No, you have to humble yourself to ask anyone who is capable of helping to help. There is no room for having pride if you need something from God. If you are too proud to ask God to help you, then you are truly in trouble. The Bible says that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). So if you are need of anything that God can do for you, please learn to come to Him in reverent humility. Watch the actions and words of this woman and see what you can learn about what your ways should be.
Mat 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Jesus finally speaks and says something very strange. He tells the woman that He was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. That is a very revealing insightful statement about many things, especially since we see the fact that Jesus purposely left the lost sheep of Israel to get to where this woman was. What is a lost sheep of Israel? First, the name implies that they are no longer in the house of Israel, because they have wandered away and become lost. Do you understand the conflict that is arising in what Jesus has said? Where is Jesus right now? Who is Jesus speaking to? Jesus is in a Gentile costal village of people who He just said He was not sent to. Wow, is God confused? I don’t think so! What we understand from this lesson is that faith will cause God to go out of His way to help someone no matter who it is or how far He has to go. Next notice this, what was the woman’s reaction to the words of Jesus? Jesus had basically told her I was not sent to help you.
Mat 15:25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
Here is where her humility begins to kick in and to shine. Notice how she remained focused, persistent and confident that she was in the right place at the right time. This woman did not give up, nor did she throw away what she had heard because of what she is experiencing right now. You should learn from this woman all that you can to duplicate her efforts. Also notice she is worshipping God. If you want to receive from God, learn to worship Him. If it could not get worse for this woman, it suddenly does:
Mat 15:26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.
Jesus calls this woman a dog and that would cause most religious people to get angry and start yelling about “Who do you think you are?” “Who do you think you are calling a dog?” If Jesus called you a dog, what would have been your reaction? Here is a golden opportunity to get offended at the word of God. Do you know that people getting easily offended is one of the greatest enemies to why they do not possess the Promises of God? I guess I didn’t teach on this enemy before. Offense is a powerful weapon of Satan. Take and learn from this woman, she is not angry, upset, offended nor does she get up to walk away from her answer. This woman was too smart and wise to allow the words of God to offend her and she says this:
Mat 15:27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.
This woman simply agrees with God and said you are right I am a dog, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the masters’ table. WOW! Was that a great reaction or what? You see if you have ever had a dog in the house while you are eating supper you know exactly what she is saying. Children and people accidently drop things off of the table and before you can bend over and pick it up they are gone. A crumb falling from the table is not there long enough to be a problem. Learn what she is saying today. The dog is so focused on getting anything dropped, they do not care what it is and it can be a very small crumb and they are all over it. Do you see why this woman is about to receive from God? She is the dog looking for the crumb. Always agree with God and always stay on God’s side. If He calls you a dog, you just smile and agree. Of course if you are His child now, He is not going to call you a dog, just learn what is happening here and do not get easily side tracked.
What is Jesus teaching us in this faith lesson? Do you remember what the woman came for? Her daughter was being grievously vexed by a devil. What does that mean? By looking up the words “grievously vexed by a devil” in the Strong’s we learn that the child was possessed by an evil spirit that caused her to be greatly sick or diseased. We understand one of the reasons that Jesus came to the earth was to do the following:
Act 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
The Bible tells us very clearly that Jesus was anointed by God to heal those oppressed of the devil. So when a woman comes to Jesus because her daughter is possessed by a devil that makes her sick, this is one of the reasons we are told that Jesus was here. However, notice again what Jesus said in Matthew 15:26. He said “I have the children’s bread and it is not for dogs”. Remember she is asking for Jesus to heal her daughter and Jesus says this “bread” is only for the “children”. Do you understand what Jesus is saying? Jesus is saying healing is the children’s bread. This of course is a hard saying of Jesus to fully comprehend. The woman is talking about healing and Jesus is talking about bread. How did He make that transition? It is clear to me that Jesus is not speaking of physical bread, butHe is speaking symbolically of something spiritual. Therefore we must determine what this spiritual bread is? This is why you have to use the Bible to interpret the Bible or you will be totally confused.
Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Here is Jesus teaching us using another radical shift with the transition of words. Here we have God in the flesh beginning to talk about natural bread and then moving into the spiritual realm and telling you that the Word of God is this true bread from heaven that will cause you to live. Jesus is basically revealing the definition of spiritual bread in this verse. God’s word is proclaimed to be this spiritual food. Of course Jesus is simply quoting this information from an Old Testament prophet Moses found in Deuteronomy 8:3. If you read this verse you will know that the bread from heaven was a type of food given to the children of Israel called manna. This was equivalent to a spiritual food source and Jesus teaches us that this bread comes from the mouth of God when He speaks.
Joh 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
If you read the context of this verse you can clearly see that Jesus is comparing two things. Natural things are being compared to spiritual things. Jesus is calling natural things false and spiritual things to be the true. I hope you can see this. Here is God telling you something very significant about spiritual things. Jesus is saying I have come to bring you the words of life. Jesus is inferring His words have life in them that causes people to live and even to get healed. Here is an Old Testament scripture that will fit in very nicely with our study today:
Psa 107:20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
As you can again see from this verse, God says “I sent my Bread and the bread Healed them”. So when Jesus is telling the Gentile woman that healing is the children’s bread, He is referring to His words as being the bread of life that brings healing. Jesus then told the woman these words are only for the children at the table. But, the woman makes a statement that truly astounds God. She said it won’t take but a crumb from the table to heal my daughter. This is so powerful if you can see it. The woman did not ask for any of the bread, she only needed a crumb and God called this having great faith. The woman recognized that the Power of God was in His Word and that it did not take great power to heal even a significant disease. Change your perspective today to see your disease as insignificant compared to the power of God which is far superior. Many times people are so consumed by their circumstances they lose sight of the power of God’s Word. Shift your focus so that you understand that it does not take very much power to heal any disease. You only need a crumb like this woman needed to fix her problem. God called this great faith. If you noticed this story of the woman, she went away to her home and her daughter was healed already when she got there. Here is a review of the key factors we learned in this faith lesson today:
- Humility, Stay Humble to Receive God’s Grace.
- Persistence, don’t give up even if it looks worse.
- Not being offended when you are called a dog.
- Worship the God who can solve your problem.
- See your problem as being small and insignificant.
- See the Word of God as Powerful and capable of solving any problem.
- Expect a Crumb to solve Your Problem.
Today’s study was another very different faith lesson found in the Bible about the faith of dogs eating crumbs from the table of the Master. Remember what Jesus said? Jesus told us that “Healing was the children’s bread”. Are you one of His children? I know that I am. The Bible calls us His children in several places for example: Romans 8:16-21, 9:26, Galatians 3:26, Ephesians 5:8, 1 Thessalonians 5:5 and 1 John 3:10. If God calls us children and God says “healing is our bread” now, then why don’t we have it? You better learn to partake of the true bread from heaven. I hope and pray that you learned something from this lesson today and that you can apply it to your situation. If the Word of God is not relevant to you today then it will never be relevant to you at any time. You may not need healing, but there is always something that can be challenging you. The Bible faith concepts work for whatever the situation when applied correctly with the right attitude. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading in this series of lesson on understanding Bible faith you may go to “Part 12“.
Posted on March 9, 2011, in Bible Study, Faith, Understanding and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, Faith, God, Healing, Holy Spirit, Interpretation, Jesus, Knowledge, Religion, Revelation, Salvation, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.