At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her. Jesus’ disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.
In English slang language, table scraps are what many commonly refer to as the left-over bits of food from a meal. Typically, these scraps are not “worth” saving for another meal or snack. The scraps are usually-destined for the garbage. But, if you have ever experienced true hunger, table scraps are a welcomed option. I’m not talking about skipping a meal or fasting; I’m talking about true, guttural starvation. The kind that is only brought-on by many days without eating. A lot of poor people understand this kind of hunger; and, unfortunately, many who will read this blog today are experiencing it right now. Every year, around 9 million people die of hunger globally (according to the international relief agency Mercy Corps). That’s more than the death toll of AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined… Just before starting His earthly Ministry, Jesus fasted for 40 days ahead of entering the desert to be tempted by the devil. To give us some perspective on what not eating for 40 days is like, one study in the British Medical Journal cited several hunger strikes that ended after 21 to 40 days. These hunger strikes ended because of the severe, life-threatening symptoms the participants were experiencing. So, Jesus clearly knew hunger first-hand. The woman in the Gospel was so “hungry” (desperate) for Salvation that she was willing to “eat” of even the “table scraps” of the Lord. God’s Heavenly Feast is so Good that even its “Table Scraps” are Life-giving. That’s the kind of Faith that God is Calling us to. I Pray that all of us become so hungry for Jesus that we will eat from His Table whether seated at It or while crawling underneath It in the shadows of the Almighty!