Why is trusting so difficult? 

Jesus’ disciples got told off by Jesus on several occasions for their rather pathetic display of trusting him. It was such a disappointment to him, because what was their problem, when it was obvious, surely, that he could meet every need – calm raging storms, feed thousands from pitifully short supplies, heal the most horrible diseases, and send evil packing.

None of those things, however, had made trusting him any easier. His disciples marvelled at his power, but in the middle of a raging storm with Jesus on board their boat, all trust in his power went out the window.  

It must have been slightly embarrassing, then, when a non-Jewish, Greek lady trusted him. She was born in the area of south Lebanon today, which back then was Phoenicia and very much Gentile country. Jesus had travelled up there for a private meeting, hoping to keep it private, but even that far north, in Tyre and Sidon country, people got wind of his arrival (Mark 7:24).

And among them was this Greek lady, whose little daughter was being severely stressed by an evil spirit. Somehow her mother knew of Jesus and his exploits, and she’d hurried down to beg him to heal her daughter, even referring to Jesus as “Lord” and “Son of David,” an amazing understanding and acceptance that Jesus was the promised healing Messiah predicted in Scripture (Matthew 15:22).

But even when she followed him around begging for his help, Jesus totally ignored her. Exasperated, the disciples urged him to get rid of her (verse 23). To which he replied in verse 24, that he’d only been sent to the “lost sheep of Israel,” not Gentiles. And “lost” fitted in here, because most of Israel hadn’t accepted him as the Messiah, whereas this Greek lady had. So a bit of a dig here, that Israel had difficulty trusting him, but this Gentile lady did not.

And she wasn’t giving up either. This time she threw herself at Jesus’ feet, crying out, “Lord, help me.” To which he replied, “Hey, let the children eat first, not throw their food to the dogs.” “Dog” here meant a household pet, so it wasn’t meant as an insult, but as a reminder to her that he’d been sent as the Deliverer of Israel, not Gentiles.  

“Ah, but,“ she says, “the dogs get to eat the children’s crumbs, don’t they?” In other words, I know what you’re really all about; you’re not limited to just healing salvation for Israel, you were sent to be the healing Saviour of us all.    

Jesus was ecstatic: “You wonderful woman,” verse 28, “great is your faith.” In other words, when we understand what Jesus was sent for, as this Greek lady did, trust comes easy, right?

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