Mark 7:27,28 “‘First let the children eat all they want,’ he told her, ‘for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.’ ‘Lord,’ she replied, ‘even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.’”
Nobody likes to wait in line for anything. But to wait in line and be told that you really don’t deserve to be served? How would you respond if you were told you were no better than a dog? I’d likely walk away angry – unless I was desperate.
This woman was a Greek foreigner and she was asking Jesus to heal her daughter- to cast an unclean spirit from the child. She was desperate. Her daughter was in terrible trouble, she had no one to turn to but Jesus. She was a foreigner and not Jewish! She had to stand in line behind those who came first.
If she had been a proud person, she would have walked away. There just isn’t any room for pride in desperation. Desperation teaches hard lessons on humility. Having no choice, no power, no money and no opportunity humbles a person just as it makes them desperate. As far as God is concerned humility moves you to the front of the line; “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)
Pride makes a person stand by themselves and eventually walk away. The proud Pharisee had no use for anyone but himself; “I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else, especially like that tax collector over there!” (Luke 18:11). The rich young ruler walked away; “He went away sad, because he had great wealth.” (Mark 10:22)
When the woman revealed her humble attitude Jesus moved her to the front of the line; “And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.” (Mark 7:29,30)
The Roman centurion was another example of how humility can exist even in those with authority and power; “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” (Matthew 8:8,9)
Jesus moved him to the front of the line as well; “When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” (Matthew 8:10) He healed the centurion’s servant; “Then Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.’ And his servant was healed at that moment.” (Matthew 8:13)
It’s our attitude not our position in line that gets Jesus’ attention. Jesus was never one for line ups; “But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Mark 10:31)
Praise the Lord!