And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. Matthew 15:22
Not to first understand this story, we need to understand the history and relationship between the Israelites and the Canaanites. Obviously the Canaanites are most famous for when God commanded Israel to wipe them out because of their wickedness. The Canaanites were a pagan centric society that believed in sacrificing their children to false gods among other things
So when a Canaanite woman came to approach the Jewish Messiah, you could probably expect this encounter would not go well. What would make this woman believe she could even approach the Messiah? Obviously because she really needed help and she really believed who Jesus is! She even addressed him as Lord (Master)
But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. Matthew 15:23
The disciples had no mercy for her, they wanted Jesus to send her away. Rebuke this Canaanite Woman, who does she think she is! Doesn’t this sound like the Church today? Rebuke these sinners! Send them all to Hell!
But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Matthew 15:24
Jesus challenges her faith, I AM the Messiah of Israel! This is what all of Israel believed in the beginning. They believed Jesus was the powerful Messiah that would wipe out all their enemies and make Israel reign from Earth! But they were mistaken!
Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. Matthew 15:25-26
Notice her reaction, she came and worshipped Jesus! Look at the humility she demonstrated; this is true repentance! Jesus then responds and calls her a dog! What? But what does she call him? Lord (Master) She is throwing herself at the mercy of the Master!
But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Matthew 15:26-27
Again Jesus calls her a dog, he basically says to her he came to save Israel not the Gentiles! She replies shes willing to be a dog if she could even be at the Lords Table! How desperate are you to be in the presence of your Lord? How desperate do you want to be at The Lords table?
Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. Matthew 15:28
Jesus does the unthinkable, he heals the Canaanite womans daughter because of her great faith! I could only imagine the face of his disciples, as they wanted to throw her out for even approaching Jesus. He praises her for her amazing faith!
This sets the tone for Gods redemption story for humanity, not just for Israel but for everyone who calls upon the name of Jesus! Amen!