The Kindness Habit: The Fourth Monday in Lent
Part 3: Jesus Shows Kindness to Women: The Gentile Woman Matthew 15:21-28
Jesus knew His time among us was limited. His ministry had a focus: Kingdom of God. This message was used to bring the lost sheep of Israel back to His Father. Jesus used a variety of means to share & spread this message, including healing. Word of His healings spread & soon, people were coming to Him for help.
One of these people was a Gentile woman, a Syro-Phoenecian woman, a non-Jew. Her daughter was possessed & she wanted Jesus to help her by healing her daughter. Jesus explained He only had so much time, that He needed to focus His work on the children of Israel. “You wouldn’t take food from your children to give to the dogs, would you?” He asked. “Even the dogs get the crumbs off the table after the meal,” she replied. Jesus healed her daughter because of the incredible amount of faith she showed with her answer.
The woman had so much faith in Jesus, she knew even His smallest effort could heal her daughter. She basically told Him, “It won’t take much on your part to heal my daughter, just the crumbs You have left. Certainly you can spare that much?”
Jesus showed kindness to the woman by healing her daughter. He wasn’t being mean to her at first, by denying her request. He was following the instructions of His Father: Take care of My children. Yet Jesus understood His whole purpose was to spread the message of the Kingdom of God. This woman demonstrated she had received & understood the message.
We may think we understand God’s leading in our lives, the work He wants us to do, the people He wants us to serve. Sometimes, though, it’s the people who tell us what the Lord wants. Their requests, their needs may seem to lead us away from the path God has set us on. In reality, they lead us to the correct path, a slight course correction, allowing us to broaden our work to fulfill His call.