The faith of a Canaanite

Jesus left Galilee. Perhaps it was because he wanted a break from the Jews who always sought a “sign.” Perhaps he had tired of the Pharisees.

All we know is he left and went to Tyre and Sidon on the Mediterranean Sea.

Phoenicia was known as a land filled with false gods. Yet, the Gentile woman that came to Jesus had a need. Her daughter suffered from a case of severe demon possession (Matthew 15:22).

Jesus didn’t answer her cries immediately. The disciples urged the Master to send the woman away because of the disturbance she caused (Matthew 15:23). Almost dismissively, Jesus told the woman he had only been sent to the lost people of Israel.

The woman persistently begged the Lord for help. She bowed to the Lord worshipping him and begged him to help her daughter. The Lord told her it was not good to give bread meant for the children to the dogs (Matthew 15:26).

With her heart breaking, the woman told Jesus that even the little dogs eat the crumbs from the master’s table. Jesus granted her request and her daughter was healed.

What a contrast from the words Jesus spoke to the scribes and Pharisees who had accused his disciples of abandoning their custom of washing their hands before meals (Matthew 15:1-3)!

Even today, there are people who are more concerned with their religious traditions than they are obeying the word of God. Even today, there are people who are willing to condemn others on the basis of their traditions than on the basis of obeying God’s commands.

Commentators say the Canaanite woman had faith. She certainly did. She had much more faith in God and in Christ than the religious leaders of Israel.

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John Henson

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, John Henson has been a husband for 43 years and a preacher for 34 years. He currently serves as the preacher for the Dibrell Church of Christ in McMinnville, Tennessee.

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