How we see Jesus changes everything. When we see Jesus as our Christ and see our lives through the gospel, the way we perceive and live our lives completely changes! Then, let’s ask ourselves: How do we see Jesus? Who is Jesus to you?
In the scripture, a Syrophoenician woman is desperate for her daughter to be healed and comes before Jesus, who heals her daughter.
1. The Faith of the Syrophoenician Woman
The woman comes from Canaan, a nation which was considered an outsider and enemy in Israel. Although there was an idol of a pagan God of healing at the temple, the woman came before Jesus. What was the Syrophoenician woman’s faith? Unlike others, who saw Jesus as a teacher, rabbi or prophet, she saw Jesus as the Christ. The crowds followed Jesus so they could get free food or be healed. In that same way, so many Christians today follow Jesus for personal gain, that he can somehow fulfill their desires, like a genie in a bottle. They have an incorrect attitude of entitlement toward Jesus, expecting blessings for their hard work. When we see Christ for who he really is, like the Syrophoenician woman, our lives will completely change.
When the woman comes to Jesus, he doesn’t heal her daughter immediately but tells her. Why does Jesus tell her to “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs,” meaning there is an order to which food should be given. You don’t give your food to dogs first before feeding your children or yourself. God chose Israel first and gave them the gospel. In that same way, Jesus came first for Israel, not for gentiles, and should not help her before helping Israelites. In his statement, Jesus calls the woman a dog, which was the attitude of the Israelites toward foreigners. However, the woman responds “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs”. She is saying she knows she is not an Israelite and that Jesus did not come for her first, but even the crumbs that fall will satisfy her. Jesus tells her “great is your faith”, after seeing the sincerity and depth of her faith. He was testing her faith and in that same way, Jesus tests our faith and when we are able to respond that Jesus is our Christ with the same faith the woman had, he has no choice but to use your life greatly. When we see Jesus as our Christ, although change may seem impossible, your life will have no choice but to change.
2. When We Place Our Trust in Christ, Amazing Changes Take Place
Jesus tells the woman “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” Then the woman goes home and finds her daughter healed. We may think that Jesus needed to go and touch the woman’s daughter, but that is the time-and-space-transcending power of God’s word. In that same way, when we meet the living Lord Jesus Christ, our lives and field have no choice but to change because of God’s word. If nothing in your life is changing then think about the way you see Jesus. The greatest miracle is placing all of our trust and faith in Jesus and becoming his living witnesses, just like the Syrophoenician woman and her daughter.
3. Our Spiritual State Has to Change
How can we experience the amazing miracles God has planned for us? By changing our spiritual state. We can easily fake it and fool others, but God is able to see your heart. The Syrophoenician woman came before Jesus confessing that he was her only solution, her only hope. Let’s make that our heart: all we need is Jesus, and for us his powerful and almighty hand to help us. Matthew 5:3 says “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. Those who are poor in heart are desperate for God’s help and cling to him.
We can see the gospel shifting from the Israelites to the gentiles, the gospel flowing into the Canaanite woman and her daughter. God desires for all nations to hear the gospel, and to do that, we need to prepare our hearts to embrace all people. The church belongs to them.
How can we have victory? First, Limited concentration. We try to concentrate on so many things. Instead, limit our concentration to Christ, his kingdom and Holy Spirit. Next, Selective Concentration. When it comes to our spiritual life, we choose the wrong things. Let’s choose to set aside time to concentrate on his Word. Finally, have oneness and unity of our congregation in Christ.