By E L Thornton
“Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
We don’t know one thing about her. We don’t know her name, her backgound, what she looked like, nor her home town. She may have been a nurse, maybe a secretary, an auto worker, a school teacher, an insurance rep., a painter or an artist, but for sure she was a house wife and a mother.
She came from nowhere and went nowhere, as far as scripture is concern. She disappeared the same way she appeared, like a puff of smoke. But what a delightful puff she was.
The Disciples, during two years of training, hadn’t done what she did in just a few moments of conversing. The Disciples after three and one half years of training still misunderstood the mission of Jesus. They were continually asking Jesus what he meant by some of his sayings. Not one time did Jesus commend them for their great faith. But we hear Jesus reproach them with a “O ye of little faith,” we hear Jesus reprimand them with a “where is your faith,” we hear Jesus condemn them with a “wherefore did you doubt.”
But with just a few words this woman impressed God with her faith. The Disciples’ heart may have been good, their desire may have been sincere, they may have had faith but their faith didn’t turn God’s head. Hers did. For all we don’t know about her, we do know one remarkable truth: She impressed God with her faith.
She understood Jesus perfectly when He made reference to the dogs. Matthew called her a “Canaanite Woman,” and in so doing, called strikes one and two against her. Strike one? She was a Canaanite, an outsider, a foreigner, an apple tree in a orange grove. Strike two? A woman. Might as well have been a junkyard dog. For she lived in a culture that had very little respect for a woman outside the kitchen.
But this woman is desperate. Her daughter is demon possessed. This “Canaanite” has no right to ask anything of Jesus. She is not a Jew. She is not a disciple. She’s not part of the clique. She offers no money for worldwide ministry. She makes no promise to devote herself to missionary service.
This Canaanite woman knew better. She has no resume, she claimed no heritage, she had earned no degrees, she was not a member of the group nor is she a member of the deacon board. She’s not a singer nor is she a musician. But she knew positively about three things. Her daughter was weak and Jesus was strong, her daughter was sick and Jesus was the healer, her daughter was lost and Jesus was the Savior.
So you can see she didn’t get what she wanted because she was popular, she was a Canaanite. She didn’t get what she wanted because she was liked, the Disciples said “send her away.” She didn’t get what she wanted because she was somebody, Jesus called her a dog, and that’s when most of us would have went home. Weaker faith would have felt the chill, and would have desisted.
She came boldly, not because of who she was nor what she was, but boldly because she knew who and what Jesus was.
It makes no difference to her if Jesus calls her a dog, she will not let pride rob her of her desire, she even agrees with Jesus about, as if to say “I’ll be a dog if I can get what I want.
I think we can learn some lessons from this woman.
I. SHE PRAYED:
“………Cried unto him saying, O Lord, thou Son of David” (Verse 23)
The very first thing she did in prayer was let Jesus know that she knew who He was. She recognized who Jesus was. This recognition is important to your faith. You must place God in His rightful place.
Never underestimate the power you have with God in prayer. If prayer means power with God, then more prayer means more power with God.
If prayer means power with God then we are in trouble because of a lack of it.
It means that we are powerless before God.
II. SHE PRAISED:
“——–worshipped him saying, Lord. help me.” (verse 25)
We miss the importance of worship and praise. There must be prayer, but I believe just as important is praise.
I have seen God do more for the church in times of praise than at any other time.
I have seen mens hearts melted in repentance while the church was in praise. I have seen people receive their healing while the church was in the spirit of praise.
III. IMPRESSED BY FAITH:
It was the master stroke to the scenario, it was that genius touch to a dull picture that turns it into a priceless painting. She snares Jesus with his own words, “True, Master, yet the dogs eat the crumbs—.” This womans words are admirable and delightful. Her retort, to Jesus, are full of theology and real philosophy. This woman should be sitting on a board of directors, helping large companies make decisions, she should be on the Presidents advisory committee, she startles Jesus with her retort of wisdom.
She knows what she wants and she goes after it, and she impresses Jesus with her faith. How could Jesus do nothing less than answer her petition, he will not turn this one away.
And God puts this scenario in the Bible to show us that he can be moved to do the impossible if we have the faith.