Daily Thought for: 13th October
Matthew 15. 21-28; Mark 7. 24-30
The Lords encounter with this remarkable woman appears to have taken place
on the only occasion that the Lord moved out of Jewish territory and into
the borders of Tyre and Sidon. This Canaanite woman approached the Saviour
and asked Him to heal her demon-possessed daughter. It is important to
realise that this woman was a Gentile. As a Gentile, she did not enjoy
the same privileges as Gods chosen people.
As the incident unfolds, so does the womans character and faith. From the agony of this mothers heart, she cried for mercy, addressing the Lord as, O Lord, thou Son of David. A Gentile had no right to use this title and to approach Him on the grounds that He was the Jews Messiah.
This is probably the reason why the Lord was silent, and the disciples wanted to send her away. Then the Lord explained that He was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The woman was still persistent, however. If she could not come to Him as a Jew to her Messiah, then undeterred she would come as a suppliant to the Sovereign. This time, she dropped the title, Son of David, and came and worshipped Him saying, Lord, help me, Matt. 15. 25.
To probe further the reality of her faith, the Lord told her that it was not good for Him to turn aside from feeding the Jewish children in order to give bread to Gentile dogs. If initially this seems somewhat harsh, we need to understand that the Jews looked upon the Gentiles as scavenging dogs, but the Lord used the word for dog that would suggest a pet rather than an aggressive, scavenging cur.
The womans answer was startling and she completely acknowledged her unworthiness. She accepted herself as one of the little dogs under the table, and at the same time commented that sometimes crumbs fall from the masters table to the floor so that the dogs benefit thereby.
This answer reveals so much about the poor womans character, and humility of spirit. The Lord recognised and rewarded her great faith, Matt. 15. 28, and her daughter was healed that very hour.