Please Pass The Crumbs

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Please Pass The Crumbs

Mark 7:24-30; Matthew 15:21-28

  I have asked for salt, butter, meat, etc.  But I have never said, “Please pass the crumbs.” Think about it; would you rather have a biscuit or the crumbs?  Crumbs generally get thrown away.  We have a toaster with a crumb tray.  It gets emptied and put right into the garbage. I remember eating at an upscale restaurant, and one of the waiters came and scraped our table after we had eaten bread to get rid of the crumbs. 

I think at different times in our lives, the Bible will speak to us in different ways.  I want to show you this morning how the Lord presented His Word to me this week, and preach a message called, “Please pass the crumbs.” 

This Bible goes to great lengths to let us know that this woman was not a Jew.  She was Syrophoenician, and she was a Greek. The account in Matthew also mentions that she was from Canaan.  You will see her referred to as a dog, and that was a reference to her being a Gentile.  This story should help remind us that God’s promises are for all people. 

She had a real problem; her daughter was vexed with a devil.     She cried out to Jesus, Have mercy on me.  Has their ever been a time in your life that you had a deep need and you knew in your heart of hearts that the only remedy would be a touch from the Master’s hand, or as we see here this morning, some crumbs from the Master’s table?    A crumb from the master’s table is much more satisfying that the whole loaf the world can offer you.  A touch of the Master’s hand is more comforting than the embrace of society and culture. 

There is a great difference between a deep need and a strong desire.  We need to be denied some of our desires sometimes, because they are often suggested by our flesh.

James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.  We feel denied because we do not have a nice car, or a bigger home, or another suit in the closet.  We can be fooled into thinking we are suffering because we do not see the desired bottom line in the bank account.  Those are desires, and even though they may run deep at times, you are going to be alright if you never get them.  I am talking about the body being so consumed with sickness that the doctors cannot prescribe the right medication of perform the right procedure.  I am speaking of the mind being so disturbed that the psychologist cannot give the right therapy.  I am thinking of the problems being so terrible and so many, that the preacher cannot give the right words of counsel, and so we cry out and plead for the mercy of God. 

This next phrase in Matthew 15 has to be one of the most painful that we ever experience.  He answered not a word.  Doesn’t it bother you when someone is not speaking to you?  If you are both on non-speaking terms it is a little easier to swallow.  Have you had those periods in your life when you spent time in prayer but you got off your knees and felt as though the heavens had turned to brass?  Like there was no open line of communication?  Lord, I haven’t ever felt this badly physically, and you pray.  I am about to lose my job and you pray. I am about to see my family torn apart, and you pray.  Or you are on the verge of losing the love of your life to death, and you pray to God.  And you hear not a word.  This is a true statement—When you do not hear a word, you do not know where you stand.

Consider the words of the disciples—make her go away, she is bothering us.  Isn’t that just how God’s people are sometimes?  You are trying to bet help form Jesus, but someone is trying to discourage you from asking.  Don’t you worry about those small faith Christians, you keep on keeping on.  These are the same disciples that asked Jesus to send the multitude away because there was not enough food.  These are the same men who stayed in the boat and watched Peter step out on faith.  But she kept on asking, and kept on asking.  Jesus said

Matthew 15:26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.  We are seeing a difference between the Jew and the Gentile.  Not that the Gentile was to be denied the mercy of God, but the time that Jesus was on the earth was focused toward the Jew, but He was able to be a light for the Gentiles.

Romans 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

Romans 15:9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.

She said

Matthew 15:27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.  Truth Lord, I do not deserve this.  I do not want the whole piece of bread, I will be satisfied with some crumbs from the Master’s table.  I cannot help but think how this attitude could help our prayer lives.  Lord,  I know I Don’t deserve it, but…  I don’t deserve healing but could you give me comfort?  I don’t deserve restoration in my marriage, but could you give us peace in our home?  There is nothing wrong in asking for mercy and help.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Let me just leave you with a couple of thoughts this morning.  The Lord has taught us to ask for our daily bread.  Please realize that your daily bread may amount to crumbs.  And that is not minimizing what God does for us, as a matter of fact it shows His power and grace that He knows just what we need.

Psalms 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

Ask Naomi and Ruth if you can live on a few handfuls of God’s mercy. 

Lamentations 3:22-23 It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Job 15:11 Are the consolations of God small with thee? is there any secret thing with thee?

Secondly, when you have received mercy, learn to be merciful.  Isn’t that the thought of one of the beatitudes?  The story in 2 kings 7 illustrates this point well.  The four lepers are outside of the city of Samaria.  Inside there is a great famine.  The Bible talks about the price of dove’s dung, and donkey heads being outrageously high.  They finally get to thinking, we need to do something, because we are going to die.  If we go into the city, we are going to die.  Lets go to the camp of the Syrians, and just ask them to have mercy on us.  Maybe they we see that we are lepers and run away.  Maybe they will kill us and put us out of our misery.  They get to the camp and for some reason, they had deserted the place.  So the four men began to have a little feast.  After some time, one of them said, “We do not well.”  So they went back and told the people about the mercy they had experienced.  Isn’t that what witnessing is all about? One beggar telling another beggar where he found bread. 

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