The narrative of the Canaanite woman begging Jesus to heal her daughter (Matthew 15:21-28) is a complicated one to be sure. We might read the story and wonder why Jesus would put off answering her desperate request! How could He have the power to heal her child and even consider allowing her to continue suffering?
We are going to need a little of Jesus’ perspective.
First, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. We may remember that this is the region that Queen Jezebel hailed from, but we also must remember that these are the very same people to whom God sent Elijah when he was running for his life. In fact, a woman from there had taken Elijah in and cared for him, and was also the recipient of the very first time in recorded scripture when God raised someone from the dead- her son.
Jesus could have gone anywhere, He specifically chose this area knowing full-well that this specific woman would be there with this specific need.
The timing of the trip is also very interesting. The religious leaders in Israel had begun to reject Jesus. In Tyre and Sidon, He found a woman who was desperately seeking Him.
At first, Jesus ignored the woman. She kept asking. When Jesus saw her determination, He explained that He had come with a focused mission to the Jewish people. What we might see as rudeness, was simply a test. Jesus wanted to make a point of her faith and made sure that His disciples (who were watching) could see it on full display.
This mother endured the test and passed with flying colors. “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted,” Jesus told her.
In Acts 10:34, Peter said, “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right.” The Gentile woman in Matthew is proof to us of that.
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Reading Plan–Week Three
Day One–Matthew 11
Day Two–Matthew 12
Day Three–Matthew 13
Day Four–Matthew 14
Day Five–Matthew 15