HOST: Michael Whitworth
SPONSOR: Logos Bible Software
And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
The words and attitude of Jesus in this encounter seem to be harsh and unloving, but we must remember that, as we have stated before, Jesus always had a purpose for everything He said and did. It is often revealed in the gospels that Jesus knew the hearts of those whom He encountered, and there is no reason to believe He did not know the heart of this woman. His words and actions toward her were intended to develop and deepen the faith that He knew already existed in her heart. She came to Him in humility and reverence, acknowledging Him as Lord and as the Messiah of Israel. She did not presume to stand in the place of the Jews, but rather trusted in the compassion of the Lord. Jesus commends her great faith—one of only two such commendations of faith given by our Lord in the gospels (both to Gentiles)—and He grants her request and heals her daughter. There may be times in our lives when our faith is challenged, when God doesn’t seem to be listening or responding, but those are times when our faith can be developed and deepened if we will continue to trust in the Lord as did this woman.
What should we do when our faith is tested?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!