Terrible suffering

Jesus travelled north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. While he was there, a Canaanite woman who lived in that area came to see him

“Lord!” she cried. “Son of David! Please help me! My daughter is demon-possessed and she’s suffering terribly!”

Jesus said nothing.

“Send her away,” said his disciples. “She keeps bothering us.”

“Look,” said Jesus to the woman, “I’ve only been sent to the lost sheep of Israel,”

She threw herself on her knees in front of him.

“Please!” she cried. “Help me!”

“It wouldn’t be right,” he said, “to take the children’s food and give it to the dogs.”

“That’s true,” she agreed, “but dogs can eat the crumbs that fall from their owner’s table.”

“You’ve got great faith,” said Jesus. “Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that very moment.

Then Jesus returned to Galilee and walked beside the lake. Climbing a hill, he sat down and a great crowd came to him bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the dumb and many others. They were laid at the feet of Jesus and he healed them all. The crowd was amazed when they saw the dumb speaking, the crippled restored, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

Then Jesus called his disciples to him.

“I’m concerned about these people,” he said. “They’ve been here with us for three days and they’ve nothing left to eat. I don’t want to send them away without food because they’ll collapse on the way.”

“Yes,” said the disciples, “but where can we find enough food out here in the wilderness for such a large crowd?”

“How much bread do we have?” he asked.

“We’ve got seven loaves,” they said, “plus a few small fish.”

Jesus then instructed the people to sit down on the ground. He took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks for them, then broke them into pieces. He gave the pieces to the disciples, and they the food to the crowd.

The people ate as much as they wanted, and afterwards the disciples filled seven baskets with the food which was left over. Four thousand men were fed that day, not to mention all the women and the children.

Finally, Jesus sent the people back to their homes, got into a boat and sailed across the lake to the region of Magadan.

Matthew

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