One of my favorite lakes to fish when I was growing up was Roy Lake. There was a boat dock there that we always used to fish from. You could typically cast and pick up a few northern throughout the day. I guess I am kind of old-fashioned – I always use live bait. I never have luck with artificial things. So, I always go out with a scoop of minnows. And though I always fished for northern, a minnow would occasionally flip out of my hand into the water to meet roughly one-hundred 3-inch perch. They were not the fish that I chose to feed, but they would occasionally get a scrap.
Jesus famously says in Matthew 15:26 that it is not fair to give the children's food to the dogs. This is a very real example for us. We make sure that all of the humans in the house are fed before the dog gets a chance. There is somewhat of a pecking order.
Of course, Jesus uses this example when He is speaking to one of the "dogs." The lady He is speaking to is not one of the chosen people. She's actually far from it. However, she reminds Jesus of how mercy works. It spills over the sides of the table. By definition, mercy goes to those who do not deserve it.
The Canaanite woman says even the dogs get the scraps from the table. I guess I could say that even a little perch gets a minnow sometimes.
Very rarely do I preach to the chosen ones. I never get to preach to the Jews, to Israel. I always find myself preaching to the 3-inch perch, to the dogs. And I love this, because I get to say to you, “Here’s a crumb. Here’s a beat-up minnow.” Here’s your little piece of the gospel. It’s everything you have always needed. The Lord, Jesus Christ has mercy on you.
Even though you did not begin among the chosen people, you have been chosen now by this word from Christ that has been given to you. And just like the Canaanite woman, your judgment does not come by how well you are doing in life. Again, this woman is the worst of the worst, and she is judged by her faith not by what she does. She got her crumb of mercy.
You receive your crumb today, better yet, you got your minnow.The righteousness of Christ is yours forever. Amen.