Matthew 15:28, “Then Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed at that moment.” (NIV)
The faith of the Canaanite woman is one of the more perplexing accounts in the gospels. A Gentile woman came calling out to Jesus in deep anguish, revealing that her daughter was not well. In fact, her daughter was demon possessed. At first, Jesus snubbed the woman, by not even responding. When the Canaanite woman drew near and asked Jesus directly for help Christ announced that He was only sent to earth to help Israel, not Gentiles. But the Canaanite woman did not yield to frustration, or a shallow faith. She pressed into God more, and moved Jesus with her conviction. And her faith made way for her daughter to be healed.
What is it that moves God? What is it that causes Him to act on our behalf? The story of the Canaanite woman gives us some insight. And there are two details in this account that, in my eyes, outline how to properly pursue the blessing of God. One, generate a noble request. In this case, it was not the Canaanite woman’s desire to be personally gifted. No, she interceded for her daughter. This woman was selfless, and urgent to find help for her loved one. She was not thinking of her herself. And she would not take “no” for an answer. She sought out Jesus and twice asked Him to heal her afflicted daughter. To say this was a “me last” type of action is an understatement. The Canaanite woman risked a lot to secure Jesus’ aid, but not for her own gain, or benefit. Rather, for the restoration and betterment of her child.
Two, possess faith – great faith. The kind of faith that is typified by not giving up. The kind of faith that is made visible in its sheer relentlessness, or unwillingness to let go. This was the faith that the Canaanite woman displayed. She believed Jesus was the only answer. That He was the only cure. That is why she refused to leave His presence when she was first turned down. Christ’s initial silence had to sting her, but her faith endured. Note how the Canaanite woman’s posture changed in the account. At first she came to Jesus screaming. And when Christ ignored her, the Canaanite woman stepped closer to Jesus and then knelt before Him. She showed immense respect and reverence for Who Jesus is. She exhibited great faith.
Believers need this kind of faith today. We need to draw close to God for hope and strength. The Lord is the only source Who can provide what we need for each and every day. But do we truly trust this to be true? And do we prayer in a spirit that joyfully declares it to be true?
Kevin Orr (10/11/2018)