THE CANAANITE WOMAN: GREAT FAITH
Tuesday: Week 2 of Beautifully Surrendered, A Love God Greatly Study
TODAY’S READING: MATTHEW 15:21-28; SOAP: MATTHEW 15:28
We really need to look at the full picture to understand and appreciate what took place and what it means for us as Gentile believers.
- Though she was a Canaanite, the woman recognized Jesus for who He was, one who could have mercy on her, the Lord, the Son of David. (22)
- She had a demon-possessed daughter.(22)
- Even though Jesus did not answer her at first, even though the disciples begged Him to “send her away”, and even though Jesus finally told her “He was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”(23-24) – She came and bowed down before Him, acknowledged Him again as Lord and again asked for help (25)
- In rebuttal to Jesus’ response, one that could have been taken as offensively rude, she doesn’t rile at Him in anger but acknowledges His position as “master”. (27)
Granted, among the crowds of people following Jesus, vying for His attention, pressing in for healing or some other miracle – being a disciple couldn’t have been easy. In this particular situation the woman had obviously gotten on their last nerve as they begged for Jesus to send her away. (23)
Jesus went from not responding to the women’s request, to a statement about why He was there, then to making the shocking statement that was less than flattering, and finally to commending her and acting on the woman’s “great faith”.
Note: Some have made the argument that Jesus was rude in not responding and others would argue that His comment about the ‘dogs’ was uncalled for – but the greater argument can and should be made that He was looking to see if the woman was a sincere believer or not since she was a Canaanite. A helpful commentary on this matter can be found at this Bible Reference link – https://www.bibleref.com/Matthew/15/Matthew-15-26.html
What we must remember when Scripture raises questions like this - is who we know Jesus to be. He God in human form, there was no sin in Him - so He would never be rude or disrespectful to anyone and His reasons for everything He says and does will always be perfect and for the Father's glory. To believe less than this is to question the very foundation of our belief in God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. - Me, from-the-insideout
How Then Should We Live?
It’s easy to approach God and ask for needs or health or even desires … but it’s the believing and persisting that is often missing. However, we are encouraged to be devoted to prayer, to pray without ceasing, to approach the throne of God boldly and with confidence, to keep on asking – to keep on seeking – and to keep on knocking … so even though she may have seemed annoying to the disciples – we must not take this to mean we should do any less. However, what struck me more than her persistence was the fact that her focus wasn’t on her daughter at the moment but squarely on Jesus, who He was, and what He could do. For this reason, I believe, a profitable take-away or application would be to pray believing, persist in praying, and focus on the Master rather than the request. I learned a long time ago – with many reminders since – that when we focus on our request we lose sight of Jesus and, like Peter on the water, our faith begins to sink beneath the waves of our desire.
My Prayer Response:
Father, in our praying help us stay focused on You and not on our requests/needs or desires. Help us to pray believing and persistently – knowing You are able. May we not waiver in our faith for in this You are glorified and we are blessed.