I want to share a story I recently came across in the Gospel of Matthew. It’s a story I’m sure I’ve read before, but it never stuck out to me in a meaningful way before until now. It’s interesting that as life context changes different stories in the Bible speak differently to Us.
This is a story about a Canaanite Woman, a Gentile, who approaches and asks Jesus to heal her daughter of demon possession; initially Jesus “says No”, but the woman persists, and her Faith “convinces” Jesus to heal her daughter:.
Please Read: Matthew 15:21-28
I read this and thought whoa….
- Did Jesus really tell her off?
- Did he really call this Lady and her Daughter Dogs?
- Did this Woman really convince the Son of God?
- Did that woman wake up in the morning with a nudge from the Spirit to seek Jesus?
- Did she really change His mind?
Then I did some more review and came away with three points for us to walk away with:
- Jesus does not immediately reply to her. But why would he wait? We must realize that Jesus is omniscient. He knows what He is going to do. From the beginning he plans to heal this child. However, it appears that He wants to test this ladies faith. It is to her benefit (and perhaps the surrounding peoples’ benefit) to have to persevere in her request before receiving an answer. It is also beneficial to the crowd and the disciples to see her persistence and faith. God does not always answer our prayers right away. He may require us to wait to receive what we want. The reason is not that He enjoys making us wait. Rather, the process of waiting can be very beneficial for us. We can learn many lessons while waiting with the right attitude.
- In verse 25 when the woman pleads with Jesus saying “Lord Help Me”, she uses phrase Kýrie eléison which in Greek isn’t a humble or soft spoken request, but more of a demand or forceful request. This woman wasn’t shy about her request, she didn’t ask with a mumble or stutter in her voice…I imagine she looked Jesus directly in the eyes, held his gaze for a moment and said with determination and conviction, “Lord, Help me!”
- We all believe that Jesus is Omniscient, all knowing and infinite in his nature, but I personally do struggle at times with how the idea of Free Will folds into that. In this example, was Jesus really prepared to NOT save this little girl if her Mother did not step forward boldly in her faith?
In closing, my challenge to you today would be :
- Are there things in your life that you aren’t acting on because of your lack of faith?
- Is there a conversation at home, here in the office, that you need to have but are scared to?
- Is there a dream you want to fulfill or pursue, but are scared or lack faith to take that first step?
- Are you afraid God won’t catch you?
- Do you live soft spoken and skittish, or do you live boldly, taking those risks knowing that, as with this Gentile Woman, those who step forward in faith will be rewarded by God?