Even if I am a dog, He’s my Master!
Even if I am a Dog,
He is MY Master
† Kyrie Iesou, Eleison †
May you realize that when God is your Master, your Lord, which means He obligates Himself to showing you love, and mercy, so that you live in peace!
It’s not about tenacity; it’s about recognition
A question for you to start this message.
Does God simply answer our prayers because we are so tenacious? Did Jesus answer this lady’s prayers just because she followed them through town, or did Jesus answer her to silence the apostles who were whining about her bothering them with her begging?
Is that the way God works, that He rewards those who are persistent, who are tenacious? Who don’t give up? Do we have to workout spiritually, so that we can endure, and then receive that which is promised?
We might say, “No, that doesn’t sound right.” But when it comes to unanswered prayer, do we sometimes hear this story, or the parable of the elderly woman and the judge, and wonder; is that the key to getting a prayer answered?
Persistence, dedication to the cause, determination and good old-fashioned stubbornness?
Or is there something else…. Perhaps something like recognizing the Truth?
The truth that it is okay to be a dog; if that means that He is our Lord, that He is our Master?
That is what was revealed to her, which confirmed to her that He was her Lord!
What She Saw: Lord Son of David!
A little background helps. When the lady first starts yelling to Jesus “Kyrie Eleison” she is saying something we sang a few moments ago.
The translation phrases it, “have mercy Lord.” We sing it the Kyrie in the opposite order, but the plea is the same. Lord, love us and because of that love, care for us. That is what the word mercy means. cHesed means to have great love, care for, provide, protect, forgive and do everything in your power to care for and help those who with who you have a relationship. She demands this of him.
Pour out you love and care on us Lord, she cries, Over and over, she begs this very thing.
She goes one step further; she calls Him Lord! She acknowledges that He is her master. She lays herself at his feet, and she worships Him as her Lord.
You see, cHesed is that loving-mercy of God. It is an obligation of the Lord to His people. I’ve mentioned that word here before, this incredible word that binds a Lord, a Master to His people. He will take care of them, for He has made that commitment to them, as their Lord. He has become their Master.
That is what she wants! That is why she keeps calling Him Lord! Every time she speaks, this is how she addresses Him, as the one who is obligated to care for her.
She wants to be part of His Kingdom, His Household, to be His!
The first time she calls out for mercy, she adds something to it.
Have mercy Lord, Son of David!
Somehow, she knew about this promise of the Messiah. She uses one of the titles for the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed one of God! The Lord through whom salvation would come! Salvation to the Jewish people, but also to all who would call out to the Messiah.
When she cries out for mercy, she is crying out to the Messiah! She is crying out to the long-awaited Son of David! She recognizes that He is the Lord and Master; the One who would bring about what we heard from the prophet Isaiah,
“I will also bless the foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord, who serve him and love his name, who worship him!”
She knows who Jesus is, she knows the help that only He can offer! She comes and places herself in His care, begging that He would accept Her!
His response finally is heard.
You are nothing but a dog.
Surprisingly, that is what she is longing to hear!
Dogs are part of the family
Consider this quote, about John Chrysostom, one of the most-quoted preachers in history.
Chrysostom seems to recognise the shade of meaning conveyed by τὰ κυνάρια (the dogs of the household). “On the very words of the Lord she founds her plea. If I am a dog (κυνάριον), she says, I am no alien.”[i]
She understands these “terms”; that the promises go first to the people of God, those he counts as His children. She rejoices in knowing that the promise is there for her as well. This Lord has accepted her as part of the household, part of the family of God.
Think about it! How many people refer to their dogs as their children!
She’ll take it, even as the Psalm 84 talks of a similar attitude:
A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. Psalm 84:10 (NLT)
To be the mutt, waiting under the table for scraps, the Kingdom of God is a great place to be, knowing the love of the Master. As long as she knows the love of the Lord, as long as she is one of the people He brings home, she will be content.
She will trust in her Master; she will bask in His love…she will trust His reign over her life.
Scraps aren’t good enough!
He will at first acknowledge her faith, by providing the salvation of her daughter, freeing her from the demons that afflict her.
That is only the beginning of the fulfillment of His promises to her, and to all of us, who though not physical descendants of Abraham, are the spiritual descendants. It is just the beginning for those who trust in God as our Lord, our Master!
A blessing for those who know that our cries for His love are answered. His mercy is always the answer! He hears us and will bring us home. That woman didn’t get the scraps from the table; neither will any who trust in the promises that are made ours in Christ.
She is invited to a feast – one beyond all comparison…the wedding feast of the Lamb, the feast to celebrate the welcoming home of all the people of God.
Including this gentile woman and her daughter.
When we approach this altar, we see this feast in part. The love of God, the love of our Master, our Lord, and the mercy which makes it possible. These are not bread scraps and the last drops of wine. This is the body and blood of Jesus Christ!
This feast is the answer of a God, who would provide for all of His children, for all who will call upon His name.
Yes, I am your Lord. Come and feast with me!
Yes, dear friends, Jesus says I will be your Lord, your Messiah, I will care for you. I will provide. That was what the cross was about, not just saving us from our sins, but opening up a relationship for all people with God the Father. He says, “You are my people, come and know my peace!” For this, this peace of God, is promised, which passes all understanding, and in which our hearts and minds are kept safe, by our Lord.
[i] Chase, F. H. (1887). Chrysostom: A Study in the History of Biblical Interpretation (p. 130). Cambridge; London: Deighton Bell and Co.; George Bell and Sons.
Posted on August 17, 2014, in Sermons and tagged despair, Gentile, gospel, Jesus, John Chrysostom, Lady, Lord Son of David, Master, Miracle, prayer, Son of David, trust. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.