Crumbs from the Table for Syrians

…in response to suggestions that Australia should take Christians fleeing Syria first before other minorities and Muslims.  


So the Holy Trinity was/were sitting around devising the best plan they could in order to rescue humans from the kingdom of darkness and bring them into the marvellous light of God’s own country.  And The conversation did NOT go a little something like this:

Ok, let’s do some research.  Let’s find out who among the humans we have created are most like us.”

“Yep, good plan. Let’s find out who is most likely to assimilate with us, who is already on the pathway towards being like us.”

“I’m in full agreement with both of you (obviously).  I reckon we should case the joint and find out where those people hang out.”

“That’s a great idea.”

“Knew you would like it!”

“I reckon we should start in the most obvious places first.”

“Like where?”

“Well, religious establishments, places of sacrifice, centres of worship, self-improvement retreats. The kind of people who are trying to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and make something of themselves.”

“Brilliant – they’ll love us for it!”

“Great.  That’s sorted.  Now for a strategic plan. Anyone?

Here’s what actually did happen in Mark 7:

24 And from there Jesus arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon.[g] And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden. 25 But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28 But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” 30 And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.

Now just in case you are thinking  “Aha, see, the children get the bread first!”, just remember that unless you are of Jewish birth, you’re the Syrian here. It’s only as we see our abject poverty, our need and our unworthiness before Jesus, that our hearts melt for those unlike us, but for whom our Saviour not only gave the crumbs from the table, but gave himself up for as the bread of life.


  1. I would like to see those who have already spent extensive time in refugee camps be given opportunities before those recently displaced. Black, white or brindle, if they are truly oppressed and are genuine refugees, then let them come, whatever their caste or creed.

    Having said this, Islam is a well documented threat to world peace and democracy whether adherents are in large or small numbers. Where Islam goes, trouble is sure to follow.One hopes, that those taking the high moral ground for Islam followers today, should agree to also accept the responsibility for their support, and be equally vocal that they did indeed support, long after the tragic images of a dead little boy are forgotten, and all hell is breaking out in what was once quiet, peaceful streets.

    1. Hi Rod – yep I think Islam has some problems to deal with, but I have also lived among many moderate Muslims in a large UK city and it was fine. I want to write more on this tomorrow, but my guess is that your freedoms as a Christian are far more likely to be threatened by a hard secularist at the moment than they are by a Muslim. In fact Muslims coming to the West often find themselves more aligned with the Christians on matters of ethics and family etc, and look askance at the well-meaning liberals who are ethically all over the place. That too was my experience in the UK.

      1. Thanks for the reply Stephen.

        I cannot disagree with “……..but my guess is that your freedoms as a Christian are far more likely to be threatened by a hard secularist at the moment…………………..” but to my mind the Muslim minority are indistinguishable, in threat terms, to the secularists. The issue for me I guess is which is the lesser of two evils?

        Whilst I would accept that Muslims are demonised because of the actions of ISIL, Palestinian, and other terror groups, the facts remain that, whilst a large majority may seem acceptably socialised to our western society, the underlying agenda for Muslims is world dominance, and Sharia law.

        In my present mindset, I feel I could best manage the threat from the humanists, than that from the Muslims.

        Whilst I often feel somewhat “unChristian” in my view of Islam and its adherents, I am a;so mindful that God did warn us about the decendants of Ismael, and the grief they would bring to the “sons of Abraham”. For this and other reasons, I hold jaundiced views of them.

  2. Hi Rod. Thanks for your thoughts. I do find many Muslims more open to talk about things though. I would presume that most Muslim people in the West just want to get on with leading a quiet life. When we lived in Sheffield there were many opportunities to share the gospel with Muslim people – far more – and far more easily than secularists. They also recognised a similar sexual and family ethic to Christians. In one sense they could feel that Christians too were on the margins of mainstream thinking.

  3. What should be the attitude of beloved NT saints to people in need?
    As we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith (Gal 6:10).
    The NT does command love for personal enemies, but at least 20 places have expectations of distinctive love for members of the body of Christ; the one anothers, the each others, the saints, etc (John 13:34-35). So maybe saints should first reveal Christ who loves the Church (Eph 5:25, 29-30)?

    1. Hi Paul
      I agree that the New Testament has at least 20 places of expectations of distinctive love FOR members of the body of Christ, but would also point out that those 20 are specifically FROM the body of Christ TO the body of Christ. The argument in our context would surely be that the “one anothers” refer to “church to church”. It’s hard to impose that setting on our secular context. I do think we need to be careful not to read “Christian nation” when we read “church” in NT

      1. You seem to be missing the point here Steve. As a Christian, making an argument based on scripture, you are clearly making an argument to the body of Christ. If your argument was to secular Australia then why use the bible as your authority, when they do not believe it or obey its teaching? So Paul’s comment here is a logical response showing that in fact we Christians should be taking care of the needs of our brother’s and sister’s in Christ as a first priority.
        I also need to point out that in Mark 7, the reason Jesus gives for delivering the gentile woman’s daughter is because of her faith statement in Him alone. Because of her faith in Jesus, shouldn’t we also consider her to be a Syrian Christian?

      2. Though the call was for secular Australia to do that. I certainly think we should take in persecuted minorities, but are we calling on a secular government to take in OUR minority tribe on the basis of our country being Australian? I think that’s where we need to be careful. I do think the secular Left has a problem with Christianity per se, so I would push back on them and ask why they might have a prejudice against Christians in general. So the bigger question for me is whether we can as Christians expect our secular government to preference those we would preference? We have to be careful there I think, though I am glad that cultural Christians are being helped if they are being overtly persecuted. So I have no problem with Christians finding ways to support other Christians – those who actually have faith in Christ or those who are simply culturally aligned to a Christian framework – but I don’t expect a secular government to preference them. But need to keep discussing this.

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