Crumbs Matt 15:27 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In the Bible we have some things that we can definitely learn from crumbs.
We all have some crumbs – Matt 14:20; 15:37 – after the feeding of the 5,000 and the feeding of the 4,000 the disciples picked up the fragments. There were 12 baskets of fragments after feeding the 5,000 and 7 baskets after feeding the 4,000. We don’t know what they did with the fragments but you know they fed somebody with them. In our society of over abundance and over indulgence, we would have thrown these fragments away. At the Jefferson awards national ceremony in Washington, D.C., honoring community and public volunteers, one community group was honored for collecting leftovers from area restaurants, re-preparing the food and feeding 1,000’s of hungry people in their community. What’s the lesson for us?
Don’t be wasteful – Waste makes you like a lazy man, “he also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster,” Prov 18:9. The manager of a Golden Corral several years ago told me that his store operated on a net profit margin of $0.25 per plate. He added that at lunch the table staff was throwing out a 40 gallon trash can of scraps every 5 minutes. Get used to taking only what you need. We have developed a mentality of greed that comes from having all this stuff and wanting more. And that produces a lack of contentment which has adverse spiritual consequences because “godliness with contentment is great gain.” Take only what you need so that there will be some for others “that he may have to give to him that needeth,” Eph 4:28. In Guatemala, our folks on a missions trip marveled at how the people seemed to be so content with so little.
Start by giving the leftovers – You don’t have to start big if loose change is all you have to give. Give something. The widow gave two mites. Paul said, “it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.” Don’t wait until you have as much as you want to give. Give from what you have, even if it seems like crumbs to you. You’ll catch on and one day you might be able, like the disciples, to say “left all” instead of “left over.”
The woman of Canaan happily settled for crumbs – Matt 15:21-28 – this woman was desperate for the Lord to heal her daughter who was grievously vexed with a devil. But she wasn’t of the house of Israel. She was from Tyre and Zidon. So, the Lord ignored her. It didn’t matter to her that she was ignored by the Lord, that the disciples wanted the Lord to run her off, or that he, in essence, called her a dog. If she had to eat crumbs instead of bread because she was a dog and not a child of Israel that was fine with her. She could get what she wanted from the crumbs. What’s the lesson for us?
Don’t ignore peoples’ spiritual needs – We are so prone to ignore people who aren’t like us. We don’t want anything to do with the “dogs.” Remember the story of the Good Samaritan and remember that economic and cultural differences aren’t an excuse to ignore others’ spiritual problems. If God has given you a divine opportunity then you should take it. A minor discomfort to you, because you are out of your cultural, social or economic element, might make a world of difference to someone else. A mission trip to a third world country is an eye opener.
Little things can make a big difference – You should consider that even crumbs to some folks are sufficient to meet their needs. We get the idea sometime that because we can’t do something big we can’t do anything at all. Healing this woman’s daughter was no big deal to Jesus [just crumbs from the table] but it was everything to this woman of Canaan. An orphan in Vietnam can live on $25.00 of food per month. “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again,” Prov 19:17.
The rich man wouldn’t even give Lazarus crumbs – Lk 16:19-25 – Lazarus desired to be fed with the crumbs that fell from this rich man’s table. The rich man wouldn’t let him eat the crumbs. In the end they both died and went to different places. Abraham told the rich man, in hell, “remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.” And so, the rich man enjoyed the “good life” during his lifetime and suffered torment in hell for eternity. He’s still in there burning. What’s the lesson for us?
You cannot hoard possessions in hell – You aren’t going to get to heaven today by giving to the poor; but neither will you get to heaven by trusting your riches. In the U.S.A., we are consumed with making, investing and spending money on ourselves. Jesus said, “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!” [Mk 10:23] You cannot serve God and mammon. This rich man was so consumed with his wealth and his possessions that he ignored his eternity. I have met 100’s of people like that. When you die there will be no more money, only torment. You need to get saved.
You have some crumbs to give – If you are saved you need to realize that there are people outside your gate who desperately need the bread of life. Give them the word of God. Give them a tract; give them a witness. You cannot keep Jesus all to yourself and pretend that they are not there. They need Jesus and you are so concerned with ‘you’ that it doesn’t make any difference to you that they are starving for the truth and you won’t give it to them. You won’t go to hell for that, but if it weren’t for eternal security in Jesus Christ you would. Like this rich man, many Christians won’t even bother to tell their own family about the Lord. In eternity it will be too late [Lk 16:27-28].
Conclusion: Be mindful of the crumbs. The little bit you have can make a big difference to you and to others.