Unmerited Favor

August 11, 2018

Mark 7:28-29… A non-Jew lady asked Jesus to help her; her daughter was demon possessed. He told her that the Jews should receive the gifts first; to which she replied that even the dogs under the table received the crumbs from the meal.(verses 26-28)

Verse 28… “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

Verse 29… And He said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.

            “For this statement…”  Jesus had just taught the people that what comes out of the mouth defiles a person. In our relationship with God, it is not just what we think that matters. Yes, that is important, because from what we think, we speak. Some people hide behind what we call “good intentions.” Having good intentions is an excuse for not saying what we ought. Jesus might look at you and ask, “What did you just say?” Don’t lie to Him in that moment, by saying, “What I meant was…” Most likely, you meant what you said.

            The woman in the story did not tell about any of her qualifications. She didn’t mention how many pies she had made for visiting ministries or how often she had helped the poor. She very willingly let herself be compared to a dog, and used that analogy.

            Do you think you can persuade God to help you? Which of your actions do you think qualifies you for His intervention in your life? Avoid that thinking. It is evil. Our actions only qualify us for God’s anger. His love is unmerited. When we think as if we are entitled, we say, not always vocally, “Thanks for salvation but what I really want is more money.” You would never pray that, right? We don’t want God to know, that is how we really feel. In our story, this Syrophoenician woman did not try to impress Jesus with her accomplishments or her intentions.

In fact, she admitted her unworthiness and trusted entirely in His love and compassion. Jesus’ response was epic, “For this statement, you have received your request.”

            Don’t try to impress God. Be impressed by Him.