The Story of Jesus

Jesus In Phoenicia

Near Galilee was the small country of Phoenicia. The people who lived there were Gentiles. Many of them worshiped idols. Since they lived so close to Galilee, they knew about the Jewish religion too.

So many people followed Jesus that he could not find time to be alone with his disciples. Perhaps he would have more time to teach his 

friends if he left Galilee. And so Jesus took his disciples and went to the neighboring country of Phoenicia.

But even the Phoenicians had heard about Jesus. They were eager to see him. News of his coming spread throughout the region. Even in a strange land Jesus could not hide himself.

In this region there was a poor Gentile mother who was very sad. Her little girl was tormented by an evil spirit. This worried mother had heard that Jesus could cast out evil spirits and restore people to their right minds. As soon as she learned that Jesus was near by, she left her work and ran to find him.

When she reached Jesus, she pleaded, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David, for my daughter is very ill."

Jesus did not seem to hear the woman. He paid no attention to her request. Still the woman followed, begging for his help. The disciples were annoyed at her. Scorning her, they told Jesus, "Send her away, for she calls after us." Perhaps the woman was afraid Jesus would do that. At once she fell at his feet and worshiped him. "Lord, help me," she begged.

The loving heart of Jesus was touched. He wanted to help this poor woman. To test her faith he answered, "I am not sent to the Gentiles, but to the lost children of Israel. It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to dogs."

The proud Jews called the Gentiles "dogs." The woman understood that Jesus referred to the Jews and the Gentiles. She did not mind being called a dog if only her daughter could be healed.

She said, "I know the children's bread should not be given to the dogs, but the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the children's table." As a Gentile, the woman wanted a crumb of healing for her child.

Jesus did not make the woman wait any longer for his answer. He was so pleased with her faith and her wise words that he said, "O woman, you have great faith. Go back home, for your daughter is well."

Gladly the woman jumped to her feet and obeyed Jesus. She was sure her child was well. When she reached home, the little girl was lying on the bed, resting quietly. The evil spirit was gone.

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