24From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, 25but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. 26Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” 28But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go – the demon has left your daughter.” 30So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
31Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 32They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 33He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. 34Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
When it feels like God is far away, this is encouragement not to give up. A woman is desperate. Her daughter has a demon—a supernatural force that is beyond anyone’s ability to heal. What’s more, she’s a Syrophoenician—an outsider from Israel. And now her only hope is this wandering Jewish prophet who she has heard has miraculous powers. All she can do is beg; but Jesus turns to her with one of his harshest rebukes: “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” But she does not give up: “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” It’s enough, and Jesus heals her daughter. That is our hope: that even the crumbs of God’s grace will be enough to satisfy us. We may not have more than crumbs now; but sometimes that’s enough.
Gracious God, feed us with all we need to be sustained in the wilderness way. Fill us with all that is good, just as you have fed us with your own life, that we might have bread to share with a hungry world. We pray in Christ’s name. Amen.