THE ANSWER TO A MOTHER'S PRAYER
Matthew xv: 21 to 39; Mark vii: 24, to viii: 26.
FTER the feeding of the five thousand, and the talk which
followed it in the synagogue of Capernaum, Jesus no
longer sought to preach to the people in crowds, as he
had preached before. He had spoken his last words to
the people of Galilee, and now he sought to be alone
with his disciples, that he might teach them many
things which they needed. Jesus knew that in a few
months, less than a year, he would leave his disciples
to carry on the work of preaching his gospel to the
world. Before that time should come Jesus wished to
teach and train his disciples; so he tried to be apart
from the people and alone with these twelve men.
With this purpose in his mind, Jesus led his disciples
away from Capernaum, across Galilee westward, to the
land of Tyre and Sidon, near the Great Sea. On the
border of this land he came to a village, and in it
went with his disciples into a house. Jesus did not
wish the people of the place to know that he was there;
but he could not be hid.
A woman of that place, who was not of the Jewish race,
but belonged to the old Canaanite people, heard of
Jesus' coming. She sought out Jesus, and fell down
before him, and begged him to come to her house and
cure her daughter, in whom was an evil spirit. At first
Jesus would not answer her, for he had not come to that
place to do works of healing. But she kept on crying
and calling upon Jesus to help her daughter, until the
disciples said, "Master, send this woman away, for she
is a trouble to us, crying out after us!"
THE GENTILE WOMAN SEEKS JESUS FOR HELP
They thought that a Gentile woman, one who did not
belong to the race of Israel, was not worthy of the
Lord's care. But Jesus wished to teach his disciples
that he did care for this woman, though she was a
Gentile and a stranger. To show them how strong was
 her faith, he said to her, "I am not sent to the
Gentiles, but only to the lost sheep of the house of
But the woman would not be discouraged; she kept on
saying, "Lord, help me!"
Jesus said to her again, "It is not fitting to take the
children's bread, and throw it to the dogs!"
Then the woman said, "It is true, Lord; yet the little
dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs!"
And Jesus said to her, "O woman, your faith is great!
It shall be done even as you ask. Go your way; the evil
spirit is sent out of your daughter."
The woman believed the words that Jesus spoke. She went
to her home, and there found her daughter resting upon
the bed, freed from the evil spirit.
So many people sought to see Jesus in that place, that
he left that land with his disciples, and went around
Galilee, and came again to the country called
Decapolis, on the east of the Sea of Galilee. You
remember that Jesus had visited this country before,
when he cast the army of evil spirits out of a man into
the hogs, as we read in Story 125. At
that time the people almost drove Jesus away from their
land; but now they were glad to see him, and brought
their sick to him to be healed. Perhaps
 they had heard from the man out of whom the evil
spirits had gone; how kind and good and helpful Jesus
They led to Jesus a man who was deaf, and could not
speak plainly. He was what we would call "tongue-tied."
They asked Jesus to cure him; but Jesus would not do
his work as a sight for men to look upon. He took the
man away from the crowd, and when he was alone with him
he put his fingers into the man's ears and touched his
tongue. Then he looked up to heaven, and gave a sigh,
and said to the man, "Be opened!"
Then the man's ears were opened, and his tongue was set
free, so that he heard and spoke plainly. Jesus told
the man, and those with him, not to let others know
what he had done; but they could not keep from telling
the good news to everybody. They were full of wonder,
for they had not before seen the works of Jesus; and
they said, "He has done all things well; he makes even
the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak!"
And in the land of Decapolis, as before in Galilee,
great crowds of people came to see and hear Jesus. They
followed him, without thinking that they would need any
food to eat; and Jesus said to his disciples, "I feel a
pity for this people, for they have now been with me
three days, and they have nothing to eat. If I send
them home hungry, they will faint by the way, for many
of them came from far."
The disciples answered him, "How can we find bread for
such a great crowd of people, here in a desert place,
so far from the villages?"
"How many loaves of bread have you?" asked Jesus. They
said, "We have seven loaves and a few small fishes."
Then he told all the people to sit down on the ground.
When they were seated, Jesus took the seven loaves and
the fishes, and gave thanks to God, and broke them, and
gave them to his disciples, and they gave them to the
people. Then, as before, he caused them to gather up
the food that was left, and they filled seven large
baskets with the pieces. At this time four thousand men
were fed, besides women and children. And at once after
the meal, he sent the people to their homes, and with
his disciples went on board a boat, and sailed across
the lake to a place on the western shore. There he
stayed only a short time, and then sailed northward to
Bethsaida, at the head of the lake.
 At Bethsaida they brought to him a blind man, and asked
him to touch his eyes. But Jesus would not heal the man
while a crowd was looking on. He led the man by his
hand out of the village alone. Then he spat on the
man's eyes, and touched them with his hands, and said
to him, "Can you see anything?"
The man looked up, and said, "I see men; but they look
like trees walking."
Then again Jesus laid his hands upon the man's eyes. He
looked once more, and now could see all things clearly.
Jesus sent him to his home, and said to him, "Do not
even go into the village, nor tell it to any one in the
For Jesus wished not to have crowds of people coming to
him, but to be alone with his disciples, for he had
many things to teach them.