The Desperate Woman
A Gentile Shows Her Faith
21 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”
23 But He answered her not a word.
And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”
24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
Let Me Explain
The scribes and Pharisees had just confronted Jesus with the complaint that His disciples ate bread before washing their hands, thus transgressing tradition. Jesus, in no uncertain terms, expressed Himself to them in order for them to clearly understand. You can read that in Matthew 15.3-20
Now a whole new story unfolds. A Canaanite woman enters the scene. She is a Gentile (non-Jewish) and goes to the Master pleading for Him to heal her demon-possessed daughter, who is not with her.
Jesus did not answer her (verse 23). Take note, it doesn’t say He didn’t HEAR her it says He didn’t ANSWER her.
At This Time in Jesus’ Ministry
He is focused on the Jewish community NOT the Gentile. We must be clear on that important fact. So, for this Gentile woman to go to Jesus is just not “kosher” for the lack of another word. His disciples sure understood this because they insist that Jesus send her away because she keeps insisting for Him to do something.
Jesus answered saying, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (verse 24) In other words, I didn’t come to help you – I came to help the Jews of Israel.
So, what does she do?
She gets closer and WORSHIPS Him – crying, “Lord, HELP ME!” [note: she called Him Lord!]
He answered her, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
She replied to Him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
Next Time You Bake A Cake
And you take it out of the pan, ice it and put it on a beautiful serving platter – go back to the pan and scrape the residue, those crumbs? Taste just like the cake!
Mrs. Mother-from-Canaan knew what the Master had for her – she knew He had healing in His power. She wasn’t asking for the cake but she’d be satisfied with the crumbs. Glory!
O! Woman Great Is Your Faith!
Let it be as you asked – now, go, o woman of great faith – and let what you asked for, be… (and, her daughter was healed from that very moment.)… (verse 28)
- Just because He doesn’t answer you, doesn’t mean He didn’t hear you. (THIS IS CRITICAL TO UNDERSTAND!)
- If you’re in an in-between time; not sure if the Lord heard you or will answer you? WORSHIP Him.
- His crumbs are as good as the cake. There is no difference. What’s in the cake? Is in the crumbs! Let that marinate for a day or three.
There is great encouragement in this story about Mrs. Mother-from-Canaan. Be encouraged today!
*Note: this post is written after hearing Pastor Jerry’s message at Praise Cathedral on Sunday February 9th. It was incredibly good and I knew I had to put it into my own words and share with you!
Susan, I love your take aways! They are all so good. It’s easy to think He doesn’t hear when we don’t get an answer right away, but He knows best and we need to remember to trust Him. Blessings and love to you, dear sister! xo
Gayl, are you home?xo
Yes, we got home Monday a little before 5:00 pm. It was a good trip but always good to be home. xo
Yes, amen! He always hears us! I am so thankful that every bit from Him, crumbs or cake, is the same: all mercy. He is so good to us.
Yes He does – He may not answer right away – but He hears! Even our weakest prayer.
Lisa notes says
I do like eating those crumbs after I bake a cake. 🙂 But thankfully God doesn’t just give us crumbs but the whole cake and icing too!
I love a good analogy and found this cake one quite profound and so easy to relate to.
So grateful to be reading this post on this day. I remember thinking, as a child, that those crumbs were the best part, that my believed Aunt Bell had left them just for me. As I am in an in-between place, I am thankful for the oh-so-good crumbs I have right now as much as I am for the hope of a nice slice of perfect cake to come. So blessed.
I love the analogy – don’t you? He gives us the whole cake but even the crumbs are good.
Michele Morin says
And I like to think of the “crumbs” when I’m taking communion. We only observe once a month, so it’s kind of a special occasion, and that tiny bit of the bread is just an image of the big sacrifice and a tiny downpayment on the fullfillment of all God’s promises of redemption.
I know that Jesus came so we can have life in abundance (the whole cake?) but I do believe these earthly crumbs are but a foreshadowing of the greater blessing we will experience in glory!!!
Tammy Mashburn says
I just read this story a few days ago! Great take-aways!
That sermon was so good!
Such good encouragement! Thank you! While I wait for Him to answer, I worship Him! Yes! Thank you for the reminder!
Yes!!! I love it!
Beautiful Susi! and the part about valentines day, its sweet buy I just rather have a peaceful evening at home, isn’t it something we don’t need all kinds of stuff to make us happy. Thank you Jesus! It is Well with my Soul, Thank you , Precious Abba. He’s the sweetest Valentines Gift!
It is well with mine too, HM. FINALLY!
Patsy Burnette says
So thankful for the persistence of the Canaanite woman as an example! God hears our cry, even when we don’t feel like He does. Even when we can’t see Him working, He is. Thanks for these thought-provoking reminders, Sue!
Pinned & tweeted.
Thank you for linking up at InstaEncouragements!
Anita Ojeda says
What a powerful lesson we can learn from a gentile woman. It makes me wonder how often we don’t pay attention to people of other faiths or denominations because they aren’t part of our ‘tribe.’ And what we might be missing out on…
Yes, and in Jesus’ day this was a giant taboo! What are we missing?
Mary Geisen says
Thank you for sharing a new perspective on this story. Love how you summed it up at the end.
I need take-away’s, Mar’….
Jan Hershner says
Love this! The crumbs are all of the good and none of the bad, as we all know that the crumbs have no calories! LOL Your license plate couldn’t be more perfect, a small reminder of our Big God! Looking forward to seeing it in person soon. : )
Looking forward to seeing my peeps!
Sometimes the crumbs are the best part.
Yes ma’am, sometimes they are!
I was just reading this story in Mark this morning and LOVED your take away s from it. What a great reminder for us all when we get discouraged with no answer or not what we though the answer should be.
Kitty Lawrence says
Another reason to keep praying.
Because He hears us.
Allie Kay says
I’ve never thought about this story in that way! I love it.
Allie, me too!