Story Twenty

THE ANSWER TO A MOTHER'S PRAYER
AFTER the feeding of the five thousand, and the talk which followed it in the synagogue of Cā̇-pēŕ na-ŭm, 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 Găĺ ĭ-lee, 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 Cā̇-pe͂ŕ na-ŭm, across Găĺ ĭ-lee westward, to the land of Tyre and Sī́ dŏn, 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 Jeẃ ĭsh race, but belonged to the old Cā́ năan-īte 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!”
They thought that a Gĕń tīle woman, one who did not belong to the race of Ĭś̝ ra-el, 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 Gĕń tīle and a stranger. To show them how strong was her faith, he said to her, "I am not sent to the Gĕń tīles̝, but only to the lost sheep of the house of Ĭś̝ ra-el.”
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 Je'sus 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 Găĺ ĭ-lee, and came again to the country called Dē̇-căṕ o-lĭs, on the east of the Sea of Găĺ ĭ-lee. You remember that Jesus had visited this country before, when he cast the army of evil spirits out of a man into the hogs. 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 was.
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 Dē̇-căṕ o-lĭs, as before in Găĺ ĭ-lee, 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 Bĕth-sā́ ĭ-dȧ, at the head of the lake.
At Bĕth-sā́ ĭ-dȧ 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 village.”
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.
Lesson 16. The Mother's Prayer, and the Four Thousand Fed.
(Tell Story 20 in Part Sixth.)
1. To what land did Je'sus go with his disciples after feeding the five thousand? To the land of Tyre and Sidon.
2. Why did Jesus go to that country? To be alone with his disciples.
3. Who came to Jesus at that place? A woman praying for her daughter.
4. What did this woman ask Jesus to do for her daughter? To set her free from an evil spirit.
5. What did Jesus say to this woman when he cured her daughter? "O woman, your faith is great.”
6. To what country did Jesus and his disciples go from the land of Tyre and Sidon? To Decapolis.
7. Where was the country of Decapolis? East of the Sea of Galilee.
8. What did the people in that land say of Jesus as they saw his great works? "He has done all things well.”
9. To how many people in Decapolis did Jesus give food at one time? To four thousand people.
10. With how many loaves did Jesus feed the four thousand people? With seven loaves.