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!