Then Jesus went there, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.…
1. When her case was come to such a point, she heard of the Lord Jesus; and what she heard she acted upon. They told her that He was a great Healer of the sick, and able to cast out devils. She was not content with that information, but she set to work at once to try its value.
2. This woman was most desperately resolved. She had made up her mind, I believe, that she would never go back to the place from whence she came till she had received the blessing.
3. I may not leave this picture without observing that this woman triumphantly endured a trial very common among seeking souls. Here is a woman who conquered Christ; let us go by her rule and we will conquer Christ too by His own grace.
I. In the first place, observe that SHE ADMITS THE ACCUSATION BROUGHT AGAINST HER. JESUS called her a dog, and she meekly said, "Truth. Lord." Never play into the devil's hands by excusing sinners in their sins. The woman in this case, if it had been a sound way of getting comfort, would have argued, ".No, Lord, I am not a dog; I may not be all I ought to be, but I am not a dog at any rate; I am a human being. Thou speakest too sharply; good Master, do not be unjust." Instead of that she admits the whole. This showed that she was in a right state of mind, since she admitted in its blackest, heaviest meaning whatever the Saviour might choose to say against her. By night, the glow-worm is bright like a star, and rotten touchwood glistens like molten gold; by the light of day the glow-worm is a miserable insect, and the rotten wood is decay, and nothing more. So with us; until the light comes into us we count ourselves good, but when heaven's light shines our heart is discovered to be rottenness, corruption, and decay. Do not whisper in the mourner's ear that it is not so, and do not delude yourself into the belief that it is not so.
II. But notice, in the second place, SEE ADHERES TO CHRIST NOTWITHSTANDING. Did you notice the force of what she said? "Truth, Lord, yet the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from" — where? "From their Master's table."
III. Furthermore, the woman's great master weapon, the needle gun which she used in her battle, was this, SHE HAD LEARNED THE ART OF GETTING COMFORT OUT OF HER MISERIES. Jesus called her a dog. "Yes," said she, "but then dogs get the crumbs." She could see a silver lining to the black cloud. If I deserved anything there would be the less room for mercy, for something would be due to me as a matter of justice, but as I am a sheer mass of undeservingness, there is room for the Lord to reveal the aboundings of His grace. There is no room for a man to be generous amongst yonder splendid mansions in Belgravia. Suppose a man had thousands of pounds in his pocket, and desired to give it away in charity, he would be terribly hampered amid princely palaces. If he were to knock at the doors of those great houses, and say he wanted an opportunity of being charitable, powdered footmen would slam the door in his face, and tell him to be gone with his impudence. But come along with me; let us wander down the mews, all among the dunghills, and get away into back alleys, where crowds of ragged children are playing amid filth and squalor, where all the people are miserably poor, and where cholera is festering. Now, sir, down with your money-bags; here is plenty of room for your charity; now you may put both your hands into your pocket, and not fear that anybody will refuse you. You may spend your money right and left now with ease and satisfaction. When the God of mercy comes down to distribute mercy, He cannot give it to those who do not want it; but you need forgiveness, for you are full of sin, and you are just the person likely to receive it. "Ah!" saith one, "I am so sick at heart; I cannot believe, I cannot pray." If I saw the doctor's brougham driving along at a great rate through the streets, I should be sure that he was not coming to my house, for I do not require him; but if I had to guess where he was going, I should conclude that he was hastening to some sick or dying person. The Lord Jesus is the Physician of souls. Do try now, thus to find hope in the very hopelessness of thy condition, in whatever aspect that hopelessness may come to thee. The Bible says that thou art dead in sin, conclude then that there is space for Jesus to come, since He is the Resurrection and the Life. Your ruin is your argument for mercy; your poverty is your plea for heavenly alms; and your need is your motive for heavenly goodness. Go as you are, and let your miseries plead for you.
IV. Let me, in the fourth place, notice THE WAY IN WHICH THE WOMAN GAINED COMFORT. SHE THOUGHT GREAT THOUGHTS OF CHRIST. It was a very great thing to her — but she had a high esteem of Christ. She said, "It is nothing to Him — it is but a crumb for Christ to give."
V. And so you see, in the last place, she WON THE VICTORY. She had, first of all, overcome herself. She had conquered in another fight before she wrestled with the Saviour — and that with her own soul.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.