Jesus Heals the Daughter of a Woman from Canaan

Matthew 15:21-28

During Jesus’ ministry, he traveled a lot.  At this point, he was at the coast of Tyre and Sidon, two cities about twenty miles apart on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, in the northernmost part of Israel. A woman from Canaan came to him wanting help for her daughter who was “vexed with a devil.”  

Like the Centurion who came to Jesus and had his servant healed through Jesus’ word, this woman was not of the House of Israel.  And like that Centurion, this woman had faith that Jesus could heal her daughter. Emphasizing that Jesus was sent in an orderly way to first have the gospel go to the House of Israel, Jesus, at first, did not answer her.  

With the persistence of a loving mother, the woman apparently went to Jesus’ disciples to ask them to get Jesus’ help.  She would not give up: she kept asking.  The disciples then went to Jesus and asked him to send her away, “for she crieth after us.”

Jesus answered, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel.”  The Bible says that the woman then “came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.”

The Woman of Canaan at the Feet of Christ by Jean Germain Drouais

Then, maybe to test her faith and humility, or possibly to teach that the gospel was to be preached in order, first to the House of Israel, then to others, Jesus told her “it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and cast it to dogs.”

This persistent mother responded with faith and humility:  “Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”

Jesus responded, “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.”

The Bible states that the woman’s daughter was made whole, healed, from that very hour.

What do you think?

  • What do you think of the woman who would not give up in getting help for her daughter?
  • When the Lord seems slow to answer our prayers, is it sometimes so we can show our faith and humility?  
  • What are some other reasons the Lord may be slow to answer us?  What do we do then?

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