Do you have a dog? What do you feed your dog? Canned dog food? Dry dog food? Do you ever feed him scraps from the table? Most veterinarians say that you should not feed your dog table scraps. Why? They say that table scraps are not intended for dogs and may not provide what a dog needs. That may be true, but just try to convince your dog of that as he sits by the table watching you enjoy a juicy steak. Maybe the meal was not intended for him, but that doesn't keep him from sitting by the table, begging for a little scrap, hoping that just one small bite might fall on the floor for him. Keep that picture in your mind as you listen to our Bible lesson today.
When Jesus came to earth, he came to preach and teach first to the Jews. That does not mean that He didn't love the other people of the world, but the first priority in his ministry on earth was to bring God's chosen ones to repentance.
When other people saw Jesus healing the sick and lame, they followed him wherever he went. One day there was a woman from Canaan who came to Jesus and asked him to heal her daughter. Jesus explained to the woman that his first mission on earth was to preach to the people of Israel.
The woman refused to give up. She came closer, knelt down, and begged, "Please help me, Lord!"
Jesus replied, "It isn't right to take food away from children and feed it to dogs."
The woman answered Jesus and said, "Lord, that's true, but even dogs get the crumbs that fall from their owner's table."
Jesus was so touched by the faith of that woman that he told her that because of her faith, her daughter would be healed.
Even though Jesus came first to the Jew, he loved us so much that he shared his love with all of us. I guess we are a little bit like the dog -- even though the meal was not prepared especially for us, it doesn't keep us from enjoying it. We gladly sit at our Master's feet and thankfully receive whatever crumbs might fall from the table.
Dear Father, thank you for loving us so much that you shared your Son with the whole world, so that through him we could be saved. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.